Speechless

I know that I'm way behind the rest of the nation on this bandwagon (does that make me the caboose?) but I'll blame the school for that. It didn't suit our school to air the president's speech on Tuesday, so they showed it on Wednesday instead.

I am not generally up on current events of any kind. Really. I only knew about the president's speech because when we came home from vacation there was a message on the answering machine from our school principal saying that if we wanted to excuse our children from participating then we would need to send a note in on their first day back. This, of course, put me on high alert about the whole thing. Why would I want my children to be excused? What could the president possibly be addressing? How controversial or graphic would he get while talking to school aged children?

So I spent the weekend learning all I could about this controversial topic. I learned that there are some close friends of mine who were not allowing their children to participate, and I learned that there are a lot of people who are opposed to the president speaking to the kids, and that a lot of people thought it was just the president's way of pushing his agenda. I also learned that I could view the speech online. So I did.

It's everything that I've been telling my own children for years. Stay in school. Study hard. Do your homework. No matter what career you choose, you will need an education. Don't waste your life.

Now how controversial is that? It's not, that's how controversial it is. (Also, the whole "pushing his agenda" thing? If the president's agenda involves helping my kids in school then I'm all for it. Everyone else should be, too.) This all tells me one of two things. Or maybe both.

1. People panic over the dumbest things ever and blow things way out of proportion (hello, swine flu) and don't care to verify facts themselves but instead add to the hype and make rash decisions.

2. People are not very supportive of our president and are using this as an opportunity to express their displeasure. And actually, that's putting it nicely.

I did not vote for President Obama to get into office. I am not happy that he is our current president. But here's the thing - he's the president of the nation that I live in. I believe that America is the greatest nation on Earth, and I choose to live here and enjoy the freedoms that we have. Because this is my chosen country, I will submit myself to the authority of our president. Along with that comes a certain amount of respect that I have to give him, whether or not I agree with him on every issue.

If we, as a nation, don't support our president, then we as a nation will start to fall apart very quickly. Is this the message that we want to give our children? Really? Or could we all just get over the fact that the president is black, or that he's not of your religious persuasion, or that a Democrat is in the White House, and instead teach our children that we are bigger than petty differences.

We can work together to help our children. It is up to us to make America strong.

I choose to teach my children that we don't always get what we want from life, but it is our responsibility to make the most of what we are given.

10 comments:

Flea said...

I agree that the speech was a good one. I'm told that it's the revised version. The first one is what got people up in arms.

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Amen, Sister! I too find the controversy a bit odd, and am not quite old enough to remember if the same existed when George Bush spoke to America's youth during his presidency. Is it a bad thing that the president of our nation wants to acknowledge the people that will one day be leading our country (and picking our nursing homes)?

My Two Army Brats said...

Since I don't have kids in public schools I didn't really pay attention to this whole controversy. I figured people were just being bull headed.

I agree with everything you said. As the commander in chief we as a military family have to hope for the best out of every new president. We vote and whether we get our way or not we have to suck it up and hope he makes the best choices.

Well said!

Suburban Correspondent said...

My Two Army Brats took the words out of my mouth. Vote for who you like; but take your marching orders from the guy who wins. That's the way our country works.

Besides which, the speech (aside from the personal details which of course would differ) could have been given by Ronald Reagan, it was that similar to his ideals. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.

The Sports Mama said...

Like you, I didn't vote for President Obama. But also like you, I believe that no matter if I agree with him or not, the simple fact that he holds the office of President means he gets some respect. I might not like my boss at work, either, but I give him the respect due the position. If I decide I don't like him enough, I find another job. Simple, right?

I also believe in teaching my children to think for themselves, so that they can grow up and learn to make mature, well thought out, responsible decisions. How can I teach them that if all they ever learn is MY opinion?

I'll also go one step further, and say that no matter what his agenda may or may not be, I am going to give President Obama some credit for being an intelligent man and politician. Saying that, how much sense would it make for a man in his position to try to push his agenda on school children? What parent EVER wants their child used as a pawn? If I knew for certain my child was being used as one, any support I may have given would be yanked quicker than he could blink. So I think he's too smart to use children to get his message to. Also? What 5th grader really cares who pays for his doctor's visits? What 5th grader really even wants to go to the doctor?

Goodness.... didn't quite realize I'd jumped up on a soapbox until I tried climbing down. I hope someone has an air mattress down there when I jump.....

Roger said...

When I read the transcript, i actually thought it was a Ronald Reagan speech, and with Biden in the White House, you never can tell right?

I think, from what I have heard listening to the radio and co-workers is this, the President wanted to make a speech for the school children, and it was a good speech. However, word got around about the NEA's involvement and how they were sending out notes about how to deal with the speech, and ways that students could "help" the President. That's when the flood gates of not-quite-thinking-straight people came out and started thinking that this was the beginning of a new wave of "brown shirts" and that the President was going to indoctrinized our kids into some sort of socialist agenda, and have them (the kids) report on their parents behavior.

That speech is for after the 2010 election, by the way, but only if the Dem keep control of Congress. :)

People get all "up in arms" whenever the President does something that they don't agree with. For some reason, and maybe it's because of the 24 hour news cycle, or the internet, or whatever. It seems like there is way less tolerance for civil, and adult, disagreements. I mean, I just wish people would grow up and enjoy the fact that they are living in the greatest country in the world, and that if we keep on the path we're on, we won't be for very much longer.

Okay, I think I'm done now. :)

HalfAsstic.com said...

Amen. I, too, didn't vote for him, but as you pointed out, he is MY president and I support him in every way I can.

Michelle said...

Amen amen amen. We even made national news *sigh*

Brandie said...

I agree completely!

FlowerStalker said...

Thank you for writing what I was thinking. This has taught kids that we don't have to listen to people we disagree with. Such a shame that THIS is what the kids learned.