Friday, September 04, 2009

The President's Speech to School Children

There is a great old Southern word: Hootenanny. Ignore the official dictionary definitions. What it really means is a big fuss (good or bad). It can refer to a party or a riot.

Aren't you glad I gave your vocabulary a boost? This is your official Word For The Day. You use it like this:

Conservative talk show hosts are having a fit over Obama's upcoming speech to school kids. As a result, they're getting so many parents riled up that it's becoming chaos for those poor souls who answer the phones at our schools. Yup: It's a big hootenanny.

What is happening to our country? First we're dumb enough to elect Obama (a man with little experience and communistic leanings). Now we're overreacting like brain-dead rednecks.

I suppose both phenomenons can be attributed to the same source: A lack of education and the dumbing down of America.

The President's speech is no big deal. Certainly the controversy may have helped to force him to tone down his speech: We will never know what he originally intended to say. We only know that now he is focusing on something relatively inane.

But anyone with intelligence knows that the President's speech could not be full of communistic advice and fascist urgings. It would be a political death sentence and Obama's no fool.

I understand why some people got a little queasy when they heard that teachers would be following up with questions after the speech. These questions (suggested by the White House) could definitely be construed as an attempt to indoctrinate kids and perhaps pave the way to "The Cult of Personality" that so many people are citing.

On the other hand, I have raised my children* to be objective and thoughtful, so I wouldn't have worried.

The hippies had it right: Question Authority. A good teacher would also enforce this. But this message, if it comes from the home, should be enough.

With the dumbing down of America, we are leaving way too much power and authority in the hands of the government and there is too little personal responsibility. Until we start raising our standards in our homes, nothing will change.

* I have one of my own, and another that I have taken under my wing since she was five.


Ed said...

Hootenanny is as descriptive a word of this speech as I've heard and is accurate in my opinion. My only disagreement with this post was the insinuation that it was a mistake for people who elected Obama due to his lack of experience. In my opinion, anyone with a lack of political experience and thus less time to have been corrupted by 'The Hill' the better. That is one reason why I didn't vote for Obama or McCain.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I would point out that NOBODY really has "experience" being president unless they are running for a second term. But whatever. The former president had no real experience either, and for his second term we really do not know if he was just the rubber stamp guy for Cheney and Rummy's insane policies.

But that really does not matter anymore. I just think it is amusing how the cheerleaders all turned into critics overnight. And lets not forget that it took YEARS for Bush's numbers to drop - where the hard right started up with this "communist" crap long before Obama was even in the office. So who is objective here?

By the way, George Washington also had no real experience in a job that did not even exist till he had it. Lincoln had no experience being a war president. JFK had no experience. Reagan had no experience. And so on.

I have started to listen to the hard right again. And what they are saying is so far from reality that it is scary. Their listeners are convinced that only the hard right has the truth - and all other sources are just "liberal" or whatever.

They have even convinced people that communism and fascism is the same thing. They have convinced people that the Nazis were communists - when in fact they were at WAR with the communists and were allied with the fascists.

And then just this week, Glenn Beck gets on TV spouting off about all these "hidden communist symbols" in New York City. Namely Rockefeller Center. That segment was really funny.

Beck works in Rockefeller Center. the Fox News Corp HQ building is in Rockefeller Center. And he incorrectly stated that the highly communist Standard Oil Company built the center - which it did not.

THIS is the source people are listening to about the speech. I clearly remember hearing stuff from the president and first lady in the 80s. Red Ribbon "just say no" week was a big deal. There were videos from the first lady, and lesson plans to go along with it.

Nobody cared. Nobody got all pissed off. Nobody drooled or foamed at the mouth.

But they are now. And it is ALL from a few crazy hysterical sources on the fringe right.

And lets not forget about the Presidential Physical Fitness award! That was started by Kennedy, and really could have been the start of some sinister communist plot to turn all of America's youth into soldiers. Well not really communist, the child soldiers would be fighting the communists.

Or maybe it was just a program designed to promote physical fitness to prevent the nation from turning into a bunch of obese walruses.

I can assure you that if Obama came up with the idea today, the hard right would call it indoctrination for public health care, and would ask people to yank their kids out of public school and allow them to get as fat as possible just to prove that America is not dumb enough to go along with it.

People like Beck, Hannity, and the rest would be leading the charge.

And seeing strange symbols along the way, convincing them that Jesus was actually married and had kids!!

daveawayfromhome said...

"These questions (suggested by the White House) could definitely be construed as an attempt to indoctrinate kids and perhaps pave the way to "The Cult of Personality" that so many people are citing."

Or rather, that so many people on the right are citing. Just because many (or even all) the people on the right are calling the act of liking Obama a "cult of personality" doesnt make it so. To suggest it does would be like saying that just because every member of the Cubs say they won the Series means they havent lost for the last three generations.
And who says that the questions will be suggested by the White House? Was it the White House? Or some talk show host with his own agenda? When Obama's crew starts banning people from attending his meetings for wearing clothing or having bumper stickers that might suggest they dont like him, then we'll talk. It hasnt happened so far, and I doubt it will (unless maybe the Secret Service has a list IDing people who've been disruptive at town meetings, but that's a security issue, not a political one).

* * *

"People like Beck, Hannity, and the rest would be leading the charge."

Very carefully, from behind, with enough mealy-mouthedness to present a viable defense should the situation land them in court.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Neil Boortz made the comment that the speech in the schools was a win-win for conservatives because if he gives a nice little "study hard and make something of yourself" speech it might have good effect, and if he makes it some kind of proselyting speech the backlash would extend far beyond conservatives.

As for me, I could care less. I can't think of anything that would have pleased me more as a student than to take an hour off to listen to a politician (I actually think I had that experience sometime) and I can't imagine it having any ultimate effect.

Ellen said...

Where was the outrage when Reagan delivered his little speech to school children that mentioned tax cuts back in the 1980's? Or... how about the speech that Bush 41 gave to children about staying in school and keeping off drugs? It was taken as a matter of great importance that these Presidents wanted to push their messages, and unpatriotic to dispel their idiologies.

We finally have an adult President in the oval office, and yet the hard conservative *pundits* can't seem resist the urge to debate and debunk what type of kleenix this man should use everytime he sneezes.

Communistic agenda? Really? Where? Are you talking about his concern that healthcare should be a right and not a priviledge? Oh, I get it... it's that the Government is getting too big, too far in debt, and too far away from the framers of the Constitution. Well, that's a nice slap in the face for Lyndon Johnson and his quest for a "great society", and all those laws he signed in to better our way of life. Just think, we could be back to hosing blacks instead of voting them in to the highest office in our country. That whole Equal Rights thing.... who needs it? And the cost for all this? Granted the numbers are higher than any other time in history collectively, but it is nothing we can't do once we collect ourselves and remember that we are one country that has faced multiple challanges in the past. Are we so lame or lazy that this is an impossibility?

Fascist agenda? Again, where? If I remember correctly (and I do) fascism was conducted under the Cheney/ Bush terms. (Bush Docterine anyone?) The web-site is right here:

Yeah, we gave hell to Bush and his ilk (and I remember Saur that you didn't care too much for him) but I don't remember anyone carrying a gun to a Town Hall Meeting, or the constant loud voices from the Conservatives denouncing the road to ruin that Cheney and Bush led us to. As a matter of fact, it was completely unpatriotic to say ANYTHING against the regime. You couldn't even attend a Town Hall meeting if you wore the wrong T-shirt, never mind bringing a gun with you.

I don't consider myself dumb for voting in Obama, and although I disagree with some of his policies, I am not disillusioned by his performance, and am proud of my vote.

I am fully disillusioned with the performance of the Conservative lies I hear and read, and am completely sick to my stomach that we have a faction in our country that does nothing but divide our county/ states over such lies. I bow to Iguana's Glenn Beck rantings, and add to that Limbaugh's statement of hoping that this President fails. Add in the "death panels" of Sarah Palin, and the Republican consent by not denouncing the diatribe and misconceptions. I feel we dodged a nightmare by not voting in McCain/Sarah "Iquitarod" Palin.

The reason for the fuss over the President speaking to school children has nothing to do pushing any other agenda than that children need to stay in school and become productive people of society. In other words: Get a good education, reach for the stars, and go out and do good things. Why would anyone assume that it would be anything else?

Would there have been such an outrage from the Conservatives if this message came from Reagan, Bush 41 or Bush 43? Not on your life.

Ellen said...

Obama's speech to school children can be found here:

Not a word of a socialistic, communistic or a fascist agenda... just words of encouragement, determination, having a healthy work ethic..... and, oh yeah, go out and do good things.

Surprise! No little underbelly messages to join indoctrination camps or push any social agendas other than do go out, get a good education, and do good things.

Isn't that what we want for our children already?

The fuss made before this speech shows one more of many attempts to discredit the President on every aspect of his tasks to right this nation. In my opinion, the pundits on the "Right" have a lot of apologizing to do.... and they have much to be ashamed for.

Just my opinion....

Kathleen said...

Spot on , Saur! God I hate it when the fringe makes the opposition’s argument that we can't reason beyond our bias.