Friday, September 4, 2009

Like They Pay Attention Anyway

The furor over President Obama wanting to address the country's students in a speech, about education, during the school day confounds me. I'm pretty sure I was made to watch or listen to Presidential speeches during my time in school. It's possible I wasn't but I'm old enough to remember the unveiling of Channel One in our high school. Before, televisions weren't used or only to hook up to the rare video tape player (yes, kids, this is before DVDs, when dinosaurs with Beta max roamed the Earth.)

So once we had Channel One in our classrooms, we watched a few minutes each day to whatever they wanted to show us. All these years later, I remember little except it was there. Even at the time - and I was a politically-minded youth with lots of knowledge of current events - I doubt I took much away from whatever was broadcast at me.

Other than the first hysteria-filled conservative Facebook updates about Obama's speech that were negative in a crazy, low-information way, my first contact with the knowledge of this speech left me with the impression it was just your typical President-as-education-cheerleader speech. You know, "stay in school" "work hard at your studies." Not once did I get the impression that until there was protest, Obama had planned a subversive, propaganda-filled speech to infect the minds of our young.

This is the President who isn't even left enough for me. I support him, but he keeps moving right and I and others on the farther left keep trying to pull him back. What are the Repugs worried about? Trust me, they've filled their heads with enough birther/deather/teaparty nonsense, there is no room in the tiny brains for Obama to insert any reason or socialism as they see it.

Why not let the speech go as planned, watch it yourself, discuss with your children? God forbid that you could take some responsibility as a parent to make sure your child is exposed to what you want. I know I want my child exposed to President Obama and his inspiring speeches and any encouragement to educate himself.

Again, I'm pretty sure this boils down to an undercurrent (hardly subtle at this point) of racism in this country among the conservatives. They are just still pissed we have a black President and that they lost the election. It happens. Get over it. Move on. Protesting everything Obama does with spurious arguments, yelling before you even have information needs to stop. Yes, I complained for eight years about Bush. He was an idiot. He took us into an incredibly expensive war for false reasons, he spent like a drunken monkey (sorry, I keep insulting monkeys, they hardly deserve that comparison) and managed to embarrass us world-wide. But even in my grumbling, I didn't take to the streets and make posters about his stupidity. I just bided my time, knowing that at some point, the people would move on from his ilk.

Bide your time, conservative people. If you are so sure Obama is a horrible President, so sure the Democrats are ruining the country, you will have your chance. Now get out of our way. We are in power for the time being. Stop acting like we stepped on your pet.

1 comment:

  1. So here I am again, Andee, this time using a different browser, hoping that my scintillating prose and trenchant insights (all expressed in 140 characters or less — by conditioning) actually register. If not, I'll think of it as another entry in my disappearing diary. It's actually sort of cool ... I hit "Post Comment" and the text evaporates without explanation. I blame Obama.

    I'm hoping the Republicans keep screaming about the audacity of Presidential speech-making because this really is an issue where thinking Republicans cringe at how their fellow conservatives are behaving. It can't help but brand the Republicans as loopy and — more importantly — blatantly hypocritical. I don't recall if the previous President made such an address to children, but were he to have proposed such, I can't imagine there would have been a peep from Democrats about potential manipulation of little minds and the like. I think we all would have thought, "Yeah, that's what Presidents do."

    It's helpful that the Republicans are so caught up in their own agenda that they can't see the opportunity that exists to make gains in the mid-term elections. That would be nothing new, of course, but given how soundly they've been defeated these last two election cycles, they have even *more* potential to win back seats and throw a wrench into things. And yet here they are once again shooting themselves in the foot (or face?) and demonstrating to the country how dangerously close to the edge their party is. In a stroke of utter genius, they've also managed to alienate Hispanics, too, thanks to the Sotomayor nomination. It's as if they just can't help themselves. (They're fortunate the Democrats have performed in such a lackluster fashion over the past several months.)

    Sadly, what you note about racism seems entirely warranted. We're evolving, getting better and better with each generation at overcoming obstacles, but this sort of rhetoric provides the gut-wrenching reality check that we still have a way to go. It sickens me — and saddens me — but I remind myself of the strides we've made, and I trust that what former Negro League baseball player Buck O'Neil once said is true: Some are going down the wrong road in this country. But many more are going down the right road. During dark times, I try and remind myself of that.