Saturday, September 5, 2009

First let me say that, mostly, I'm a just "live and let live" kind of person. Generally, I accept that the one thing in life that you can count on is that things are going to change and I can deal with change most of the time. Politically, I'm a centrist; I'm not any party's loyalist. I didn't vote for H.W Bush (although I did later vote for G.W.) or support his policies but in 1991 I didn't see a thing wrong with him addressing students and having that address broadcast nationally. Frankly, I was delighted that the President of our country was taking the time to tell our kids that a good education was important for them and for our country. Today I feel the same way about President Obama speaking to our students - just delighted that he would take the time to tell them that education matters, not just for their own sakes but for our country. As it always has.

Unaccountably, to my shame and regret, in my part of the country I apparently hold a very quiet minority view! Many, many people are vitriolic in their wrath that the President of this country would dare to speak to their children without their consent. Without their parent's consent.

Is the paranoia so great, so rampant, so free floating in this country that some people are saying we must protect our children from the bogymen of a fairly elected President of United States? A man accorded respect for the office that he holds all over the world but here, at home, in his own country, he needs permission from parents to speak to students. I thought working in conjunction with the Department of Education was probably all the sanctioning an event like this needed. In the country I mistakenly thought I lived in it was.

Have we, as parents and grandparents, so little confidence in our own ability to instill our individual patriotic values to our own children that we fear their corruption and doubtless irreparable indoctrination from one 30 minute speech from President Obama? Have we raised a whole generation of students who can no longer reason for themseves at all but are so subject to manipulation that we must protect them from any thought delivered to all of them at the same time that might deviate from our own dogmas least they fall into the clutches of..of..of what????? A Vulcan mind meld?

This might be funny if it were not so absolutely pitiful - please excuse me while I weep.