.......We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I read with interest the Morning Call article on Monday which mentioned that, as a result of the Presidents speech issued to the school systems for grades 1 through 12 to listen to on Tuesday, several people were holding their children out of school yesterday. They could not allow their children to be subjected to the message of the President. As you can probably guess everyone interviewed that was taking this stance was obviously a right winger. Likely regular listeners of Rush, Hannity, Beck and any other hard right babbler on the air waves. How short our memories are when it's convenient for it be to so.
On October 1st, 1991 then President 'Papa' Bush did the nearly exact same thing with a relatively similar message. Although I don't particularly remember the incident (my kids were 7 & 8 at the time and I was logging some serious travel time) I can look back to see what the back lash was. Shockingly enough, the left wingers went just as wild! Most of the backlash was after the fact, audits, capitol hill hearings and the like propelled by the majority democratic congress.
An article by Byron York of the Washington Examiner about both messages concluded with this paragraph, "Lost in all the denouncing and investigating was the fact that Bush's speech itself, like Obama's today, was entirely unremarkable. "Block out the kids who think it's not cool to be smart," the president told students. "If someone goofs off today, are they cool? Are they still cool years from now, when they're stuck in a dead end job. Don't let peer pressure stand between you and your dreams."
The messages from both Presidents were very very clear. Stay in school, do your best, avoid peer pressure, don't give up on yourself, ask questions.......And these are controversial???? Worth keeping your kids home from school for???? Have we gone MAD as a country over these last 20+ years? So divided by our political affiliations that we would deny our children a message given by the the leader of the free world designed to make them better students, better people???? It's so sad it's almost funny. ALMOST!
Tonight the President will speak at 8PM on national television (ABC, NBC, CBS). I am certain the right wingers will watch and criticize everything from the opening 'My fellow Americans' line to the end. Or, just watch 'So Think You Can Dance' on Fox (fair and balanced?) instead. While the left wingers will mindlessly cheer every line the President utters. As I listen, I will remember the days of being inspired via the same medium by Ronald Reagan. When the country needed a patriotic boost, there was Ron at the ready. Others, they'll remember Bill Clinton and his television addresses. When the economy needed a boost, there was Bill at the ready. For both those Presidents, the political parties just did not seem so clearly divided as they are now. Perhaps the growth of the electronic media has something to do with that. Perhaps I just wasn't paying attention. I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that distortion of facts and disagreements based on party affiliations alone at not doing our country any favors. Listen to what is said, watch what is done, work your Representatives to oppose what you must. But for God sake, first and foremost, be an AMERICAN!