What is wrong with this country?

Today (9/8/09), President Obama gave an address to the students of this country. This is not a first time event. Ronald Reagan did so. George H. W. Bush did so. The president told our children to stay in school and get an education. Seems, pretty innocuous.

But wait! It became a huge controversy fueled by the conservative talking heads. People protested. School districts and principals (and principles) buckled. People said that Obama is going to indoctrinate their children with socialist propaganda. People said this was an inappropriate political incursion into the education system. Where were these voices during the Reagan and Bush administrations? Why did no one object then? This is now dominating news programs. Is because Obama is a democrat or is it because he is black or is it both?

What I am most disturbed about is why is it that so many people in this country have lost common sense. Even when the text of the address was posted on the White House web site, parents still kept their children home from school. Why????? It makes no sense.

I find it ironic that parents kept their children home from school when the president is asking them to stay in school. What kind of example are these children getting from their parents? It is the president who is setting the better example. I also find it ironic that parents kept their children home from school, because they are afraid of the government intruding in the schools, when the schools are PUBLIC schools, funded by the government!

They want a free public education for their children, but fear a socialist speech that was solely about education, while taking advantage of what is, basically, a socialist institution – public education. I might add that this socialist innovation made this country as great as it is by offering free public education. Our economy would be in shambles without free public education. Is there a hint of hypocrisy?

What would benefit the children of this country is education in critical thinking. Examine the facts. Use logic in developing decisions. Listen to people with a political agenda with a grain of salt. It beats irrational, visceral rants. It will also make for more informed and well reasoned voters.

President Obama told our students, “You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy."

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