President Obama will speechify to K-12 students tomorrow.
Some conservatives have accused the president of attempting to indoctrinate students. I think that’s a bogus criticism, and if you read the speech, I think you’ll agree. It’s boring.
My problem was with the initial Department of Education suggested lesson plans for kids who watch the speech. One suggestion was to ask the students how they could help the president. My suggestion? Tell him to leave the country well enough alone. I doubt that’s the kind of help the president is seeking, however. Thankfully, the D of E revised that suggested lesson plan.
A couple of lines stood out to me: “We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.” You’re quitting on your country? Is the president accusing bad students of being…unpatriotic?
Or how about this one: “And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country. The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.” Uh, I’m as patriotic as the next guy, but I found this statement more than little bit creepy. When you give up on yourself, you give up on your country? Surely our beloved president jests…
My favorite line was a personal story the president told about his mother tutoring him at 4:30 a.m. When he complained, his mother said: “This is no picnic for me either, buster.” After reading this speech, I know how she must’ve felt.
Here’s a link to the speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/