So the President has addressed the students of America, and it appears our children have survived! When we last checked none were wearing Mao jackets or waving the hammer and sickle, or leading sit-ins for health care in the schoolyards.
It’s just another week in the life of partisanship so far gone that even the President is not welcome in some of America’s classrooms.
This was not Obama’s best speech. It was too long, and perhaps a bit preachy given the audience. But so what! How about a little inspiration, for a change!
The detractors claimed that this was some sort of socialist plot, that the President
was going to use propaganda against young minds.
Really now! What are we to do, let someone give a Republican response? What, by the way, is the response? DON’T stay in school. Ignore your teacher?
Opponents tried to make it seem like Obama was “the child-catcher”
from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, “Children, I have ice cream, candy, socialism!”
When I was in grammar school at St. Anastasia in Douglaston, Richard Nixon was President, and it was pre-Watergate.
Nixon was the great communist-hater, the man who exposed Whittaker Chambers. However, imagine if Nixon gave US a speech, and today’s standards applied. Nixon, remember, opened the door to China (Red sympathizer!), and engaged in “détente” with Russia (Big Red sympathizer!).
On the economic front, he proposed a wage-price freeze (Socialist!) and actually made the health care proposal that most seriously resembles what’s in play right now (Big-Time Socialist!). If you want to you could make Tricky Dick look like a Commie Pinko.
And believe me, today somebody would try!
I think the greatest problem in this country is that kids lack role models, or at least
they don’t have the ones that they used to. Imagine trying to get a sports figure to address the kids … how about A-Rod … uh, then again, Manny Ramirez, uh, then again, Lebron James, yes, Lebron James, he’s a perfect role model, right? Well, he’s the guy who refused to congratulate his opponents when he lost in the playoffs last year.
Perhaps the only person in sports anyone could universally agree on would be Derek Jeter (okay, outside of Boston!). Any coaches will tell you, they’ve undoubtedly told their kids: just watch Jeter. There are no fist pumps. He never rubs it in anyone’s face. And he’s arguably the most prolific hitter in Yankee history. He’s never won the MVP.
But how many do you think he would have if he’d been like everyone else, and taken steroids? My 14-year-old daughter reminds me that I used to say the same things about A-Rod, so okay, Caveat Emptor. But if Jeter is a cheater, I give up!
As for our students, if even one takes the President’s words to heart, then his speech was a success. And almost certainly teachers benefit by being able to say, “You heard the President! Now do your homework.” I double-checked the speech for subliminal socialist messages. I spotted none. And Mr. Obama wisely avoided wearing a red tie.