From an article on Politico:
The White House says Obama’s address is a sort of pep talk for the nation’s
schoolchildren. But conservative commentators have criticized Obama for
trying to “indoctrinate” students to his liberal beliefs, and some parents call it an improper mix of politics and education.
If it hasn't already been made clear by some of my statements here, or some of the read books in my list at left, I am someone who holds those dreaded "liberal beliefs" that apparently has parents and school districts quaking in their boots. However, I find this offensive on a level beyond mere political divisions. I was taught in social studies classes as far back as I can remember about being a good citizen. This meant obeying the law, understanding the way government works, and respecting those in power. Even if you don’t respect the person, you still respect the office and the job they are doing.
And the key point here, to me, is that these are children. His message is about staying in school and being a good citizen. What is so harmful about that? There are a thousand worse things we could “indoctrinate” our children on than the importance of education and citizenship.
I can readily admit that I’ve said and thought some less than civil things about our last president. I’m fairly sure I even uttered the phrase “not my president” a time or two, and that wasn’t the most constructive way to go. But I would never begrudge him the chance to engage the next generation in this manner. Voter turnout and political interest amongst my generation is abysmal. Why not let this next one know now that they have a voice?
There is so much bitter partisanship nowadays -- and I implicate myself in that as well -- I just don't see why people are trying to put that on their kids as well. Let them at least have a shot at thinking we all can get along. Or at the very least have a civil debate before falling back on the standby accusations of a leftist government controlling kids and killing grandparents while making everyone be vegetarian and live in a Socialist commune.
And also, Reagan did it too.
(And now I'm off to Vegas! So if this isn't as eloquent or as rational as it should have been, I'll fix it Tuesday. Vegas on the mind!)