Obama's Speechifying to Our Kids: The Left is Missing the Point

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Yesterday’s “Back to School Event” speech (full text here) by President Obama was actually quite a good speech. (I didn’t watch it, but did read the text.) My liberal acquaintances on FaceBook were quick to point out that it was the best fourteen minutes of their lives they’d ever had, or something like that. The problem was that after each of these well-reasoned status updates would come the flurry of “What the heck were all those crazy right-wing conservative parents/morons/idiots worried about? That was a good speech full of great stuff and they’re dumb/ignorant to worry about it in the first place.” I condensed their comments to two sentences—their words, not mine.

As a “crazy parent” who is “nuts” and prefers to screen the messages being delivered to my children from someone whose values and messages have been, in my opinion, suspect, to say the least, I regretted that the dialog on this issue had fallen to the depths of name-calling. My opinion is just as valid as yours. I am not dumb because of my opinion; nor are you because of yours.

Everybody who thought we were objecting to his speech because we were afraid he’d tell our kids to do something ludicrous, such as “Take it easy in school. Don’t worry, the government will take care of you,” is just as nuts as you claim I am. However, we conservatives are somewhat jaded by his party’s historical pattern of rhetoric to the contrary. It was certainly reasonable to expect more of the same, just not perhaps stated overtly.

I certainly wanted to know what he was going to say if he were to have my kids’ undivided attention. I’m pretty sure that is called “responsible parenting” instead of “ignorance,” and it’s the same thing we do with movies, trusting in the MPAA rating instead of pre-screening most of the time.

So until I read the pre-release of his speech, you won’t be surprised to know that I wasn’t sure that he wasn’t going to get up in front of my kids and use the platform to promote his policies or do other things I might object to—seeing as how he doesn’t come with an MPAA rating. And whether or not you agree with his policies, I’m sure even you would have to admit that his doing so would be totally unacceptable and inexcusable.

Liberal name-callers and the media who whipped this thing to an overblown frenzy are missing the point. And the point is that some of us are not objecting to his obtaining a monopoly of our students’ attention as a knee-jerk reaction (though that was certainly my first thought). Instead, what we’re doing is the same thing they should be doing any time their children are exposed to something new: they should be checking it out for themselves to see if it’s appropriate for their children and for their family’s values.

That’s part of being a responsible parent, no matter your political affiliation or beliefs. Look into it.


JessD said:

My wife summed this up with two excellent comments directed toward conservatives who discussed keeping their kids at home:

1) Think Catholic schools would like to hear the Pope? Then why shouldn't state schools hear the President?

2) Conservatives are totally missing the boat here, and trivializing themselves at the same time. THIS is a pretty stupid hill to die on.

Was there a risk of Obama politicking at our kids? Sure. Did the right monumentally goof up in reaction? Most definitely. All Barry had to do was make sure to give a straight speech and play the martyr card, and he makes every statement the right made sound silly.

Besides, it's not the prez who's gonna make political commentary in front of your kids; it's the teachers, members of one of the largest labor unions on earth, ruled by a bureaucracy rooted heavily into money and politics. Sure, not all teachers are political, but the organizations controlling them are.

Want to make sure your kids aren't being indoctrinated with politics and ideas you don't agree with? Home school, or pay for a private school that you've carefully researched, and are involved with.

Politics aren't why we homeschool, BTW. We do it because we chose to accept full responsibility for our childrens' education. Avoiding state propoganda's just a fringe benefit..