After what I’m sure were several trips back to the drawing board after the administration got caught with its intentions out there for all to see, President Obama’s speech to the school kids is available for public consumption.
I don’t for a moment believe that this is the speech that the president originally intended to give. I also don’t believe in Santa, the Great Pumpkin or any desire to negotiate on the part of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The speech in its current form is fairly innocuous. As Michelle Malkin reminds us, however, there is more going on here than mere words on White House letterhead. And I as I have been writing, this will be completely ignored in the Land of Unicorns and Make-Believe.
I got a comment on the previous post asking me if I was upset about President George H.W. Bush asking the school kids to write letters. Since I was a young, single road comic then and not the father of a middle school kid it didn’t really bother me. I also explained that I wasn’t a huge fan of GHWB so it probably would have if I did have a school-aged child at the time. (For the record, my favorite people with the last name Bush from the past 20 years are Barbara, Laura and that dude who sells the baked beans on TV.)
Anyone who bothers to pay attention will know that I’m a pretty big “keep the federal government the f**k out of my life as much as possible” kind of guy. I don’t really care which party is in charge. It’s like a trip to the dentist for me: I want the minimum done to keep things moving along smoothly.
The HUGE difference between POTUS 41 and POTUS 44 giving a speech to school kids is that America’s class rooms are being run by what amounts to an ideological publicity army for #44. The “get the kids on board to help this president and hold them accountable” portion of the lesson plan may have been erased from the Dept. of Education web site but I guarantee that it’s been taken to heart by the academic faithful already.
Like media bias, the indoctrination is almost always very subtle. For example, there’s a meeting for the parents every year on the first day of school. At my daughter’s elementary school, this meeting was used to introduce the school’s focus and goals for the year. Last year, we spent about 10 minutes meeting the PTA officers and being exhorted to volunteer, which is fine. We then spent the rest of the meeting (25 minutes or so) discussing the school’s efforts to go green.
A relentless focus (that wasn’t the last we heard of it, believe me) on which garbage can to throw the plastic in isn’t what I send my kid to school to learn. I’ve got that covered, thanks. You guys handle the reading, writing and math.
Whenever I complain about this I get a lot of people (on the right and the left) asking me why I don’t simply send my daughter to a private school or home school her.
My answer: I shouldn’t have to.
Public schools exist for one reason: to educate American children. Not to indoctrinate them. I spent half my education life going to Catholic schools, where indoctrination is the order of the day. I know what it looks and sounds like. You can dismiss me as paranoid all you want and I’ll keep coming back with examples.
Public school teachers are overwhelmingly Democrat, which does not (to borrow a phrase from the left) adequately reflect the makeup of the country. And they exist in an echo chamber. It’s hard for them to imagine that there are people out there with differing political views because they so rarely encounter them in daily life.
Last year, my daughter’s teacher went out of her way to make sure we knew that she didn’t agree with Ronald Reagan’s politics while telling us how much our daughter enjoyed a field trip to the Reagan Library. It was as if she was afraid that the mere utterance of Reagan’s name would offend us somehow. So, even though they went to the Reagan Library the chances that they heard much in the way of praise for him weren’t very good. (For the record, I didn’t pass along any indoctrination when she came home that night-I just asked if Air Force One was as cool as it looks in pictures.)
This same teacher threw a potluck school day party for Barack Obama’s inauguration. It was part of a school-wide celebration. They must have been low on paper plates when Pres. Bush was inaugurated, there were no parties then.
So, while the web site may have been scrubbed of any offending words and the speech itself seems relatively harmless, the underlying problem hasn’t disappeared just because the administration and its mouthpieces in the MSM are pretending it has. Naturally, those who benefit from ideological bias will always say it doesn’t exist. Hell, I’ve still got friends on the left who swear that the New York Times isn’t biased.
Even the New York Times doesn’t make that claim any more.
More for the record: I would never keep my daughter home for something like this. Why? Because we communicate well and I can provide some context and perspective without ramming my own political beliefs into her head.
But I do keep paying attention to what’s taught in class. I think that makes me a responsible parent, not, as some Hope and Change types would have you believe, a raving lunatic.
Happy Labor Day.