Conservatives have their leopard-print panties in a gigantic wad over Tuesday’s Presidential address to the nation’s students. While I find it ridiculous, I also find it baffling. This isn’t partisan. This isn’t politics. This is a speech about staying in school and working hard. The objectors are confusing Obama’s political and Presidential roles.
Every week, there’s a new firestorm. A new reason to be irate. A new conspiracy theory. We live in an age characterized by instant overreaction and thoughtless, hard-line stances This latest right-wing backlash speaks volumes about the President’s detractors. They’re wound up with anger, red faced, and reactionary. The ranters, along with the tea baggers (I’m sorry, this is just too HEElarious), the birthers and the town-hall nutjobs are well beyond the point of looking absurd. A speech to school children results in such an uproar? It’s stupid. And more people need to stand up and say it: This. Is. Stupid.
How alarming that so many think the worst of the man and his motivation; from the Joker posters and accusations of non-citizenship to firearms at health-care rallies and cries of fascism, this demonstrates an utter lack of respect for the institution of the Presidency. Many believe that this is Obama’s forum for advancing his, uh, socialistic ideals. Are you insane? (Yep.) Do you even know what socialism is? (Nope.) Are you frightened that your young republican darling might jump the aisle and run toward the light? (If only.)
This is your president, as Bush was mine. And absolutely no, I’d not pull my kid out of school were he to hear one of Bush’s speeches, no matter the impact it may have had on the Kaiser’s grammatical skillz. Why isn’t it thrilling to have the President speak to a school? Whatever you think about his political philosophy, how can this be a bad thing? As an editorial at Kentucky.com explains:
They go beyond the pale, though, by saying the nation’s children need protection from our president’s words. What do they fear? That in a 15-minute speech Obama can hypnotize the nation’s youth into forgetting everything their parents ever taught them and … what? Do their homework?
Former Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush delivered similar speeches to students. Reagan’s speech called taxes, “such a penalty on people that there’s no incentive for them to prosper … because they have to give so much to the government.” Yeaaaaah. Now I don’t really remember this speech, or Bush’s, but look at me now! I heard both and turned out just fine (and liberal). Send your kids to school. Relax. Have a stiff drink. It’s gonna be OK.