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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What is going on?

When I heard that President Obama was going to give a speech to American children on their first day of school my initial thought was, how cool? ! I would have loved that as a kid. Even though my instinct was that it would be a back to school pep talk revolving around educational issues, I wanted to look into it a bit, so I did. Well unless a lot of people were lying, including the transcript of the speech, that is just what it was setting out to be. An inspirational, motivational, self-empowering pep talk !

Here is a clip of a mother who is very upset about the school speech. (Come on people, is this really something to cry about?? This is what I mean when I say people want to demonstrate conviction and emotion without being informed. Sometimes I think we all just want attention.)

As much as I would like to credit Obama as being the first to do this he isnt. George Bush Senior, Reagan and many others have done this in the past, and in Reagans case he even mixed some politics into the speech ( they couldnt even vote yet!). The strange thing is I cannot find any remnants of there being such opposition to any of the others. I would assume parenting is hard enough as it is. Why in the world wouldnt you want a strong figure giving your kids a little extra boost in the right direction? Most of the voiced opposition is coming from areas of the country that we know voted mostly for McCain. So what? Your guy didnt win the big race. Life goes on. So you are conservative, republican and voted for McCain, I still think that you should possess the logic and smarts to recognize that the President is a figure to be looked up to. If for nothing else simply for all the hard work a person in that position must have put in to get there. That work ethic, that diligence, that unrelenting drive to realize a dream... arent these the type of things you would hope would rub off on you children? I wish some of it would rub off on me right now !

The argument, if you could call it that, seemed to be that young children shouldnt be exposed to or exploited in politics. Im pretty sure we can all agree on that. That would be a great argument if it correlated to this AT ALL. I think its fair to say it would not be a stretch to assume that these certain groups of parents who opposed showing the speech in school would NOT have felt the same if McCain was giving the talk to the kids. Isnt that the definition of politicizing the situation? Dont you think these kids being kept home for that hour or that day are wondering and asking why? What kind of an explanation can you imagine these parents giving them? Im going to guess that it doesnt come across as very patriotic. Very confusing since I thought McCain supporters were supposed to be the most patriotic of all! So if anyone is exposing children to politics I would have to say, in this case, its the parents themselves.

Well I watched the speech, and I loved it ! In fact it made me wish I was in school again ! It even touched on some very relevant media and societal issues that I really do feel are at the root of some problems kids have today. If you havent already, I would highly recommend watching the speech. I tried to set you up with a clip but I must doing something wrong ! Oh well, my favorite part is when Obama tells the kids he knows it looks easy to grow up and become a rapper, NBA player, or reality TV star but it probably isnt gonna happen ! Let me know your thoughts...

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