by Andrew Belonsky
From the Gawker
President Obama announced that he will give a speech welcoming America's young students into the new school year. Conservatives, happy to fight about anything this man does, came out swinging against the President's "socialist" intentions. And they're winning!
Basically, the speech amounts to nothing more than our nation's Commander-in-Chief urging kids to stay in school, for, if they do, perhaps one day they'll be president. Floridian Republican Jim Greer was one of the first to seize up over the news, and called Obama's September 8th an attempt to "spread" his "socialist ideology." Greer then got into nitty-gritty politics, and warned that the President would simply be indoctrinating guppies with his liberal politics.
Conservatives are easily swayed, almost collective organism, so their calls for prohibition only grew more voracious. They took particular offense over the announcement that students would be encouraged to "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."
Rush Limbaugh was soon on board. So was Glenn Beck. And then Greer reared his head on Hardball this evening. Though he and his knows Presidents often address students, this is different, because Obama's a proselytizer of anti-American madness.
The debate has become so heated, in fact, that school districts in six states are refusing to show the video, for, it would seem, they believe Greer's worries that anti-Obama kids will be "ostracized." This couldn't be further from the truth.
First of all, kids are kids and, if our increasingly dim childhood memory serves, don't care much for nitty-gritty policy. They care about recess and juice boxes. By folding to conservative pressure, schools and parents both are tacitly vilifying the President when, in fact, even if he were to discuss policy, most kids wouldn't care or would forget about it after cartoons.
Perhaps the most worrisome aspect of this outrage is that the kids are being denied an opportunity to hear directly from the President, a man to whom some civics classes — if such things still exist — encourage. Democracy goes both ways, we're taught, so wouldn't hearing a generic message about the importance of education be an important lesson in and of itself?
If you ask us, America's children would definitely benefit from hearing the President, particularly the nation's first black president, discuss the necessity of reading, writing and arithmetic. Especially since a Florida school distract just now, in 2009, removed the term "negro" from its racial background form.
Meanwhile, the White House has caved and agreed to release the speech's text ahead of the event. They also changed the announcement letter's language about "helping the president" to "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals." Both moves only give validity to these inane, unnecessary protests.
At least the kids learned one valuable lesson: bitch loudly and often enough and you can bring the White House to its knees.