Today was a frustrating day.

(Disclaimer: This blog has ceased to become much more than a place for me to occasionally write a post about something that strikes me as worth pondering. No longer do I post to solicit admiration, provide entertainment, or collect comments. If you happen to be one of the few who still checks my blog, feel free to commiserate... Just fair warning that my "audience" when I am writing has slowly changed in the last year or so...)

When I opened my work email box, the first thing that I saw was a short email from an administrator regarding President Obama's upcoming speech. Next week, President Obama is planning on making a short 2-minute speech to the nation's students on the topic of staying motivated and excelling in school. A nice gesture, right?

Apparently not. The political opposition to Obama is so fierce, that our schools are receiving requests from parents to excuse their children from the two-minute cheerleading session from our nation's leader.

Do they think that he is going to address the controversial topic of healthcare to the young minds of America? Are they worried that his charm might brainwash their children into believing that he is actually somebody that students could see as a role model? Maybe he's going to, in one hundred and twenty seconds, turn them in mini-Socialists!!! (*Gasp*)

I'm sorry, but I don't understand. While there has never been any question which side of the aisle that my political ideals gravitate towards, I feel like I have an open mind. If President Bush had wanted to make a short speech to the nation's students, I would have welcomed the opportunity for my son to be exposed to the political leader of the free world. I would have encouraged him to think critically about what was said and to form his own opinions about it, whether they differed from mine or not.

When something as trivial as this becomes a politically charged issue, it makes me feel sad about the state of our nation. I cherish the right to freedom of speech and I am glad that parents have the right to choose what their children are exposed to and what they are not. What saddens me is that people are so entrenched in their political ideals that they can't see the value in anything that has to do with the "opponent" and will dig their heels in if that is what the idealogues tell them that they should do.

I wonder how this country has managed to become so divided. I worry that we will never be able to make progress in any way if both sides refuse to work together to set some common goals. And I wish that we could find some common ground. However, if when one side reaches out a hand and the other simply slaps it away, how is progress to be made?


Mishka said...

I hear you. I find it amazing to listen to the extreme right go on and on about Obama like he is the antichrist or something. I have to wonder if they would have opposition to him if he were to suddenly jump to the conservative mindset...probably so because they have already marked him as the enemy even if he does something good for the country.

When Bush was president, I wasn't happy with him but I would still listen him to see what he had to say out of respect for the position at the minimum. There were times (because I am a moderate) that he (or the speech writers since they never get credit) would say things that were logical.

I don't know how we will make any progress without some team effort but I also think that there are some nuts in Congress on the left side that are also not making it any easier for everyone to get along. Both sides need to do this...I can't say it is all the "right's" fault even if that would be the easier solution for my brain.

Blogarita said...

Not so long ago, it would have been considered an honor and a privilege to hear and see the president speak, even on a TV monitor. It would not have mattered with party he was affiliated; most families would have wanted their children to hear him.

When did our attitudes change? Was it with this administration, or has it been sneaking up on us for a while? Either way, it's a sad situation.

I don't know if our school district will air President Obama's address next week, and I doubt they show it to the 1st graders if they do. Still, I have sent my email to the our superintendent letting my thoughts be known: that I hope they WILL air it, regardless of pressure they may get from conservative parents in the district.

rosemary said...

History is this....Reagan spoke to school children as did George Bush Sr. I have a lot of years behind me....I have never seen and heard such political nastiness and that includes the dangling chad fiasco with Bush and Gore.

Chris Johnson said...

Amen sista! Our school will not be showing the president, so I will be tivo-ing it for my children to see.