Drastic Times

Weird, Interesting or Disturbing News and Current Events along with some unsolicited opinions. Pretty much anything that I believe to be of interest, including politics, religion, conspiracies, values, corruption, etc.

An article on the BBC News page reports that President Barack Obama's education speech, in which he urged American schoolchildren to work hard and not to give up, has stirred a partisan row.

In Today's (Tuesday, September 8) speech at a Virginia high school, Mr Obama told children their country's future depended on their educational achievement. But conservatives have complained he is trying to indoctrinate children to serve his political agenda.

A different article posted on OpEdNews, suggests that the latest Republican exercise in manufactured outrage may very well cost the party for decades. The GOP threw weeks of anger at the speech with accusations of indoctrination and socialism. Conservatives ignored the Department of Education's description of what the speech would be about, subjects such as staying in school, taking responsibility for one's own education and working hard in school. Instead they went about treating the speech like they have treated the stimulus and health care reform. They ignored the facts and invented their own specifically designed to maximize outrage.

Based on these accusations put out there by the Republican Party, parents kept children from school, school boards alternatively decided not to show the speech, or required parents to opt in, or opt out, etc. The lies caused some parents to have visible breakdowns on television, driven to anguish and concern by the fantastic claims of socialist indoctrination.

The Saint Petersburg Times (Florida) compiled a list of students comments, some bitingly sarcastic towards opponents of the speech. Said one 16 year-old:

"Obama's speech was just dripping with socialist values, especially when he told kids "I hope you'll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don't feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter."

Oh, and the part about students setting goals for their education and asking for help when they worry they won't succeed? He is stealing the words right out of Karl Marx's mouth."

A 17 year-old stated:

"Yes conservatives, you can come out of your bunkers in Wyoming and send little Jimmy back to school because there are no socialist agenda fist-pounding moments and no brain-sucking Marxist remarks."

Another 17 year-old commented:

"The speech had no socialist agenda and only the best of intentions: getting students to realize that the circumstances of their life are no excuse for not trying in school. "

And an 18 year-old had this to say:

"Does brainwashing include telling students that, "every single one of you has something you're good at?" If it does, then every child in this world has been brainwashed by their parents and will continue to be for the rest of their lives."

What's really interesting about all of the propaganda, is that the Republicans knew what would be in the speech. Did they not foresee that their lies would be exposed? Did they honestly believe that millions of parents would keep their children home from this education encouragement speech? Are the Republicans against education for the fact that an uneducated population is easier to manipulate?

One of the most insightful remarks was this one, made by a 17 year-old student:
"Children and teenagers are very susceptible to simply believing whatever their parents believe politically."

Hopefully this deception by the Republicans will teach students that their parents' views are not necessarily correct, and to evaluate statements on their own. Regardless, this lack of credibility on the part of the Republicans will no doubt still be in the minds of these young people when they vote for the first time in 2012.


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