Friday, September 4, 2009

The Prez Wants to Talk to the Youth? What's the Big Deal?

When did the President of the United States become an enemy?

Barack Obama's speech to the youth of America on Tuesday, Sept. 8, has been met with a cornucopia of complaints from parents planning on keeping their kids home if their schools plan to show the president's talk. According to White House spokesman Tommy Vietor, Obama's speech will be about challenging students "to work hard, stay in school and dramatically reduce the dropout rate."

That no good S.O.G!

How dare he challenge our children to do something with their lives?! If they want to live in our basements playing video games and eating Little Debbies until they're 37, that's their business. We don't need the government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong!!!

Give me a friggin' break!

When did the president of the United States speaking to the youth of America become such a open-hand slap to the face from Big Brother? I would think Obama's life story could inspire kids to dream big and work for it.

Enter demagogue Glenn Beck:

Fresh off his "Obama is a racist" tirade, Beck pulled his head out of his butt long enough to take a quick breath and say the White House's goal is "indoctrination" of children. He is appalled at handouts sent out to schools that have students list ways they can help the president.

How terrible! If teachers talk about politics in the slightest bit, it should be about how we can kick and drag our feet against the efforts of the president, right?

This whole thing just makes me so disgusted, because this wasn't just one or two parents calling in to voice their displeasure, even though the speech was always said to be a non-policy speech. This is hundreds or even thousands of parents who rely on radio/TV personalities whose income relies on them being pot-stirrers. It's this kind of crap that makes people like Bill Mahr say "America is stupid."

Why shouldn't our kids think of way they can help the president? Didn't JFK say "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"? Doesn't that make sense?

I guess what really bothers me is the hypocrisy of it all. President W. Bush spent eight years putting us in way more debt (i.e. Iraq) than Obama could dream of doing and robbing us blind of our civil liberties (i.e. the Patriot Act), but we were unpatriotic if we didn't support everything he did because he was the president.

Boy, is the shoe on the other foot now.

The difference is even as Bush was enslaving us in a war without a foreseeable conclusion, I would have had no problem with him talking to my children in this sort of format, because he was the president. It's a privilege to have our leaders address the nation. I know he's not going to talk policy. He'd have talked about doing something great with our lives. About working hard. About studying and getting as much education as possible. That is what the country was built on, and Bush AND Obama know that.

This comes on heel of an incident in Utah where an elementary school principal showed an Obama video on service called "I Pledge," which many parents considered "leftist propaganda."

Overall, it was a video intended to encourage people to go to and give a helping hand to issues they're interested in, and while it did contain a few "Obama issues" like stem-cell research and going "green," I think people overreacted to it.

I spend a lot of time with kids of that age, and I'll tell you 99% of them wouldn't have remembered the "leftist" ones five minutes after. They'd be more interested in repeating these ones:
  • "I pledge allegiance to the funk to the United Funk of Funkadellica," said Anthony Kiedis of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. He went on to kiss his biceps, while saying, "I pledge to be of service [kiss] to Barack Obama [kiss]."
  • "[I pledge] to never give anyone the finger when I'm driving...again." (I didn't recognize the celebrity saying it)
  • Teen Wolf Too star Jason Bateman said, "For the environment, I pledge to flush only after a deuce, never after a single."
Even though it had some political aspects, it wasn't a video made to "indoctrinate" children. Most of the things said in the video were good advice. Obama ran the presidential race on change, and the video encourages citizens of the United States to help be the change they voted for.

I just wish the worst wasn't automatically assumed every time Obama does anything.


  1. Scott, you're on the money.

    Although irony involves a level of thinking that many on the right seem to be incapable of, it is worth noting that both Reagan and H.W. Bush made similar speeches to American school children. And, of course, eight years ago next week, W. Bush was involved in his own youth propaganda program at a school in Florida...
    None of this seems to matter, naturally.
    What I find especially annoying about these right wing fools is this:
    They still have exactly what they want.
    We are still at war.
    We are still detaining people without due process.
    We still defend the torture of these people, and most likely continue to employ torture, albeit less brashly.
    We still have no plans for public healthcare, and the sliver of an iota of public healthcare we might have gotten seems to be dead.
    These are now Obama's policies, so which "leftist" positions are these folks afraid of Obama espousing?

  2. I completely agree. I'll admit that there are some moves that Obama's taken that haven't been 100% about, but what is wrong with encouraging the youth to work harder, dream big? The shoe is on the other foot now, and boy is it making me uncomfortable.

  3. Points for you. I'm so frustrated with the level of ignorance that is being displayed. It seems like pulling random ideas out of your butt is the new doing research and considering issues in an open-minded fashion.
    I mean, why do you hate freedom?