I’m going on blogging break and taking some time off. I’ll have more thoughts and ideas, opinions and express when I return. However, before I put the keyboard away, a brief comment on a subject that shows just how much we have changed as a nation.
President Barack Obama plans to address students across the nation with a “back to school” speech. In essence, a pep talk for the nation’s school kids. However, opponents have called it “propaganda”, labeling the address as political. Some parents have become outraged that their children should have to watch and listen to the President during the school day, calling it “disruptive”.
The controversy has school administrations right in the middle. They have right to decide whether to show the speech or not, air it live or show it at a later time. No matter what they decide, it will likely not make everyone in that district happy.
Given all this controversy, you would think this is the first time a President has address the nation’s school children. You would be wrong. President Bush ( the first one ) did ethe same thing, telling kids not let those who believe school is not cool influence them. President Regan also spoke to the nation’s children.
I have not seen the President’s address script and I doubt his opponents have either. By the nature of their comments, their opposition seems to be based on the concept, not a specific part of the speech. I sense this whole debate is less about the speech and more about the divisive nature of politics in our country.
More and more, there is no middle ground on the political spectrum. It’s either left or right, Democrat or Republican for the majority of Americans and the speech has become just another field of play for these two ideologies to wage a verbal war of words.
The head of the National PTA calls the whole episode “sad”. The sad thing here is that children are exposed to so many more dangerous influences every time they turn on television, go to the movies of hop onto the Internet. I doubt anything the leader of the free world will say at 9am on a school day will permanently scar these children. At the same time, should a President who has already has been overexposed without the help of the White House PR machine be allowed into public schools anytime he wants to? Remember, we live in the YouTube world. If kids want to see it, they don’t have to be in school to do so.
It’s an interesting controversy and one that will not end with this “school pep talk”. As long as we know the controversy seems to be less about our children than it is about the never-ending battle between political ideologies which only seem to drift further apart from one another.