Monday, September 7, 2009

Obama's coming for your children!

Unless you live in a cave on Mars with your eyes closed and fingers inserted in your ears at all times, you've heard about this whole flap regarding Obama's speech to schoolchildren. It looks like a lot of people are having their kids pulled out of class that day because they're afraid that they're going to be indoctrinated.

You can read his speech here:

Seriously - read it. Don't just take my word for what it says. Read it.

And then if you have something negative to say about it, go ahead. Otherwise, admit that pulling kids out of the classroom is an absolutely insane response to this.

On a friend's Facebook page, a debate started where a conservative said that liberals would have acted the same way if a conservative President was giving the address. Well, I'm always accused of being a liberal, but I don't care who's giving that particular speech - I'm in favor of it. (Well, maybe I'd care if "The Nanny" gave it. Her voice is annoying.)

The thing is, I can't remember a time where liberals have done something so drastic that's on any kind of equivalent level. Did they protest Bush? Sure - but they protested specific issues regarding his presidency. I just can't see him making the same kind of speech to schoolchildren and liberals getting all crazy about it. Sure, there's always a couple here and there, but I can't imagine it being such a brouhaha like this has become.

Personally, I think that the speech is pretty good, and it acknowledges the one thing that nobody wants to talk about lately. Obama brings up the fact that parents and teachers are only one component in a student's education. The bottom line is that the student has to take responsibility for his or her education. Shoot, isn't self-responsibility pretty much a go-to conservative talking point?

This whole thing is depressing. I check out conservative blogs sometimes, and they're so full of the most irrational kinds of fear. There are plenty of legitimate things to critique about Obama, but they've gone so overboard with all this rhetoric about him being a "socialist" (without ever explaining what that means and why it's bad) and simultaneously a communist and a Nazi. I suppose that Fox News is mostly to blame for stirring up this kind of bile, but I can't just blame them. I have to blame people who are gullible enough to believe all their lies and propaganda in the first place.


Ingrid said...

Now I just read the speech and I don't understand how anyone can object to anything he said. I just don't get all the negative blabbering beforehand.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

But he's like Hitler! He's a socialist! Stalin! Pol Pot! Voldemort!

Anonymous said...

The blaber started when the outline of the speech asked What can you do for the President. That has since been changed but as they say "damage done".

Also one of Obamas Czars was just forced to resign for his involvement in Bush/911 conspiraciy.

Its called politics folks they all do it. take the blinders off.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Anonymous, what exactly are my blinders? Look, I'll admit that I'm wrong if you can give me an example of liberals protesting something similarly innocuous as this.

Nolan said...

Anonymous' response is fairly typical of right wing nutjobs.

First, take no responsibility for what you write by hiding your identity.

Second, he has used distortion in order to make a point. There was nothing about "what can you do for the president." The administration initially suggested that teachers ask their students, "what is the president asking me to do?" Which if you read the speech, is clearly to work hard, be responsible, and don't make excuses, no matter where you come from. As Lance notes, these are all "conservative" tenets.

Third, he throws something completely unrelated (the resignation of the guy who signed the petition) in an attempt to muddle the argument.

Facts and reality have ceased to matter to these people. Whatever horseshit Glen Beck spews that day is the new reality. Pathetic.

April Findley said...

I want to say, as a consertive Christian, that I think the outline for Obama's speech was VERY good. I didn't see the actual video, but I'm trusting it stuck to this word for word. (Yes, I used the word TRUST in a POSITIVE way about President Obama.)

I actually got entangled in a pretty infantile "discussion" on FB last week when one of my "friends" posted a link to a Denver post article about a couple who was pulling their kid out of school Tuesday. He called them insane wackos. I tried to speak in defense of the couple's mistrust towards Obama, addressing in particular the "I Pledge" video and basically got a barage of saracastic remarks back as well as accusations that I must be high on drugs. So much for examining the other side's point of view!

HOWEVER, I will ADMIT it, I did give into the pretty irrational fear that Obama's speech would be a tactic to secretly indoctrinate my kids on his liberal political agenda. I also admit that the emotion is based out of a SEVERE mistrust of our president and some of his plans for this country.

I'm posting because I want to show that Christian Conservitives are not all raving lunatics. We do possess fully-functioning brains and possess the ability to use critical thinking. Most important, I want to express humility by admiting that my initial assumption was incorrect.

After the discussion on FB, I went home and talked to my 10 & 12 year olds. I explained to them what the controversy was about and why some parents were worried. I explained to them that it was important to listen to the President's speech, and that even though we might not agree with everything he stands for, we are to be respectful to our chosen leaders, as God commanded in the Bible. I told them that if they were asked to write a letter saying how they woud help the President, they could write that they would pray for him to make decisions that are good for our country and they could also help by being good students, helping mom and dad, and helping at church.

My 10-year-old actually came home with an opt-out letter from school, excusing him from the speech if signed. The permission slip stated, "This is the first time an American President has attempted to address the nation's children." Of course, we ALL know that statment is ridiculous. Nonetheless, I refused to sign this paper, even though our son asked us to. I'm sure he thought mom and dad's dislike for the Prez could be used to his advantage. Ahh, how he underestimates us sometimes! *LOL* The point is, there was no real evidence that we could find that supported the indoctrination theory and my feelings were that if the president kept his speech focused on education as promised, then there was no need to excuse the kids from school for the speech. We reiterated the importance that to our son that he participate in this event and pay close attention to everything Obama had to say, because it's a not everyday the President of the United States has the opportunity to speak to students.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Good stuff, April. Nothing I can really add to that.

Matthew said...

Not that I - in any way - defend the criticism of this speech, but to answer you question, Michael Moore does it all the time. I'm surprised that guy resorts to hyperbole when he criticizes the Bush admin. Wasn't there enough ammo without misrepresenting the facts?

The only problem I had with the speech is that it seems a little boring for grammar school kids... but I don't think they were the intended audience.

Lance Christian Johnson said...


While I still wouldn't put Michael Moore in the same category, I don't really care for him. (Although I think that he makes good, as in compelling, movies.)

I feel the same way with his methods though. I mean, I tend to agree with his point, and the truth is enough to make it. Why play around with that?