Obama’s Speech to the Children

In respect to Barack Obama’s speech to K – 12 students today (Tuesday, September 08, 2009), I’d like to make a couple of points.  My first point is directed at liberals and my other is directed at conservatives.

First off, here is the speech.

POINT 1: WHY THE BIG FUSS?

Liberals seem confused about the ire that conservatives have towards President Obama making this speech to school children.  They’ve thrown around words like “indoctrination” a lot on the web as of late.  Many of my liberal friends have asked me why conservatives are pulling their children out of school for the day so that they can’t hear the president talk about the importance of staying in school.  Well, let me see if I can shed some light on the situations.

When this presidential address was first announced, it was said to come with a packet of student activities suggested by the Federal Department of Education.  It was a PDF file that listed some possible things the students could do before, during and after the speech.  In the original PDF file there was one after speech activity that had many conservatives worried and rightfully so.  The activity was thus:

~Write a letter to themselves about what they can do to help the president.  These would be collected and redistributed at an approximate later date by the teacher to make students accountable for their goals.

This sent up red flags in waves around the conservative communities and rightfully so.  If the speech is supposed to be about the students themselves then why does the Department of Education want the students to think about how they can help the president?  What could the president be talking about in the speech to merit such a response?

President Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you: ask what you can do for your country.”  Well, if you replace “country” with “president” it becomes a much different statement and one that is very much against what America stands for.  By having students think about what they can do to help the president, you are putting into their minds an incorrect depiction of what the President of the United States is supposed to be.  The president is not a king that we are beholden unto, he/she is an elected official that works for the people and serves as the collective voice of the people.  The president does for us!  It doesn’t go the other way around.

Shortly after the irate blogging and youtubing started, the wording of the assignment was changed to something like, what they can do to help their educational goals, or something like that.  If you click here you can see the original PDF file and see the original assignment for yourself.  The wording was changed, but this only added fuel to the fire.  Changing something like that so fast leads many to believe you have something to hide.  Could the president have originally had another intended message for the students in addition to just “stay in school?”

All in all, it is a very understandable stance for a worried parent.  I would not want my child being told by an elected official “I have this agenda and this is what I need you to do to push it along.”  That kind of talk has kids growing up servants to the government instead of the other way around.

POINT 2: PULLING YOUR KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL

Fellow conservatives, you’re not getting off the hook on this.  Just because I understand your reasoning doesn’t mean that you don’t need a wakeup call.  You’ve all been telling me things like, “I’m pulling my child out of school on that day because I don’t want the government indoctrinating him/her!”  While I can understand your anger, it is based on either ignorance or hypocrisy.  Why is that?  Well, it’s simple:

IF YOUR CHILD IS IN PUBLIC SCHOOL, THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN INDOCTRINATING THEM SINCE DAY ONE!

If you are worried about the government teaching your child the wrong message in your local public school then you are WAY too far out of touch with your child’s education!  If you are a late twenty-something like myself, then the government schools indoctrinated YOU when YOU were in school!  This is far from a new thing, my friends.  If you want to raise a big huff about indoctrination and pull your child out during this speech then don’t you DARE send that child back to that institution ever again.  If you do then you are expressing some pretty hardcore hypocrisy there.

Let’s give some examples of what I’m talking about.  I’m going to assume in this exercise that you are a good parent that actually asks their child every day what they learned or did in school (I’m sure that’s a stretch for most).  Consider the following:

If your child is told to recite the pledge of allegiance every morning:  HE/SHE IS BEING INDOCTRINATIED!

If your child learns in history class that the civil war was fought over slavery: HE/SHE IS BEING INDOCTRINATED!

If your child learns in social studies that America is a democracy: HE/SHE IS BEING INDOCTRINATED!

Are you starting to get the picture?  Do any of those lessons sound familiar from when YOU were in school?!  You can’t make the argument that you are trying to keep the government from indoctrinating your child unless they are homeschooled or you send them to a private school that you THOUROUGHLY checked out ahead of time.  If you don’t meet either of those two requirements then you are just blowing smoke.

As for the speech itself, I read it word-for-word and had very little problem with its message.  I disagreed with a couple of wording choices, but I overall approved of it.  If it were my child (and I had the audacity to send them to public school in the first place) I wouldn’t have pulled them out.  What I WOULD have done was have a talk with them when they got home and had my OWN activities set planed.  People, it’s all about being a part of your child’s education, not blowing smoke to show off the fact that you’re a patriot.

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4 Responses to “Obama’s Speech to the Children”


  1. 1 Cayci September 9, 2009 at 2:24 am

    While I understand my child is being indoctrinated while they are in public school (even though I have no kids), I would take them out simply because whatever Obama has to say to my child needs to be said to me first. Going around parents to push his agenda by going into public schools is not right. If Obama wants to talk to my child, he can do it at night when I am sitting right beside them and not when they are at school and not under my supervision. I’m fine with some indoctrination, but this is crossing the line. You don’t go after my child. And I’m saying this assuming that I agree with everything he told the kids. It’s not whether I agree with what he said, it’s a matter of his method. You don’t go after my child when I can’t be there.

    • 2 freedomwatchnews September 9, 2009 at 2:28 am

      I think my favorite part of your response was the following sentence: I’m fine with some indoctrination, but this is crossing the line.” Seriously, you’re FINE with “some” indoctrination? Listen, I agree with you about the president’s methods, they are overstepping boundaries and are wrong, but you have to realize that this is just a small fraction of the indoctrination your child endures every day he/she walks into that school. I assure you, it is much more than “some.”

  2. 3 Cayci September 10, 2009 at 1:07 am

    By “some” indoctrination, I meant: saying the pledge of allegiance, learning to salute the flag, having reverance for our history and for those that have fought to make this country a great place. Our country began with good morals and good principles and I think there are alot of good things about it. I want my kids to have respect for those things and for the individuals that fight to keep it that way. That is what I meant by “some” indoctrination. I don’t agree with “all” or even “most” indoctrination.

    • 4 freedomwatchnews September 10, 2009 at 1:44 am

      How are you confusing good morals with indoctrination? Having reverence for our history is not indoctrination as long as it’s the RIGHT history. Cayci, learning those good morals and having respect for our nation isn’t indoctrination.


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