Today President Obama has a message for our school children. Many school systems will carry his message, others will not. I have no problem whatsoever with the President of the United States speaking with our children and I will explain why; but first, some prior thoughts.
First, the hoopla over the President speaking to the nation's school children is just one more example of what I keep harping on time and time again-- the rank hypocrisy of the political right and the political left. When President George H.W. Bush addressed school children in 1991, the left was in a tizzy over his supposed attempt at the "brainwashing" of America's youngest. The right thought the left was being paranoid. So, here we are in September of 2009 and the roles are reversed although the script is the same.
Second, the political right needs to mellow out. The president is not going to corrupt their kids. My guess is that whatever the president says will be quite benign politically; and if something is uttered parents disagree with, so what? They are the parents-- have a discussion with your kids when they get home. In our house we talk politics all the time. If the President says something I take exception to, we will talk about it as a family. Those parents in a snit over this need to do their job as parents and see this as one more opportunity to raise their children to be serious thinkers.
Third, the political left needs to relax. They forget that they have gotten all bent out of shape in the past when they think a Republican President is going to corrupt America's youth. They need to understand that the Obama White House partially created the problem, not with the speech, but the follow up curriculum in which one of the questions to the children was, "How can you help President Obama?" One of my concerns about this Administration is their continual minor league approach to the major league of politics. The Obama White House has many young and bright personnel with great futures ahead of them, but who lack gravitas. What is needed is someone who can be the sage who understands not only how to do things, but how things might be received and understood. In other words, someone is needed who is not so starry-eyed in looking at the President that she or he can give the kind of wise counsel that, at times, seems to be missing. In addition, the fact that the White House said it would release the transcript of the speech only after the controversy erupted is further proof that this Administration lacks experience. They should have anticipated the potential problem and announced its release when it was revealed that the President was speaking to America's school children. That would have diffused much of the fireworks.
Finally, and to the point, the President has an opportunity to inspire a young generation of children. If his message is about hard work and staying in school, who would oppose that? And to have, for the first time in history, an African American President who can inspire African American children is to have an opportunity that should not be missed. Regardless of what one thinks of his politics, Barack Obama is a role model that is badly needed, and he can inspire children who think they are in hopeless situations.
I look forward to having a good discussion on the President's words with my sons when they get home from school today. And, frankly, when it comes to the analysis of the pundits, I could care less what Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck think about the President's address.
I only listen to serious thinkers.
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Cross-Posted at RedBlueChristian
Update: I have read the President's speech. There is no reason that our children should be shielded from his comments.