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In the end, one doubts that the children will be brainwashed into stupor-induced support of socialism by an Obama who has lost a good deal of charisma, and it’s well to remember that both Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush delivered similar sermons, but there’s also little question that somebody in the administration — an administration that effectively killed the successful DC school choice program — wanted to use the speech to bolster support for Obama and his program, and the impulse made it all the way into a letter that had to have been heavily vetted before being sent to school administrators.
One of the suggested curriculum activities recommended by the Dept. of Education was to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” When the mini-furor broke they eliminated it, but the fact that it was there in the first place indicates either a devotion to the Permanent Campaign or utter cluelessness.
Of course there was excess on the brainwashing-our-children fringe, but some of the response from the left didn’t exactly inspire confidence. Here’s Joan Walsh of salon.com, who is obviously a smart cookie and whose writing I sometimes enjoy: “So I was thrilled to hear he was going to deliver a back-to-school speech next week. I like seeing him play that paternal role, Father in Chief, not just for his own daughters, but for all of our children” Thrilled? The president playing father to all of our children? She’s obviously not only entranced with the Cult of the Presidency but is still drinking the Obama Kool-Aid.
As long as the dominant mode is government schools they will be rife with controversy because all of us are coerced into paying for a single approach to curriculum that is bound to include hot-button issues like evolution and creationism, the proper role of religion, approaches to global warming and environmental issues, and the like. Time for separation of school and state.
On Friday, Aug. 28, the principal of Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington, Utah – in the name of "education" – showed her young charges the "Obama Pledge" video released at the time of the inauguration, in which Ashton Kutcher and various other big-time celebrities, two or three of whom you might even recognize, "pledge to be a servant to our president and to all mankind because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek."
Altogether now! Let us chant for mankind and use our pens to write, "O beloved Obama, our courageous president, we are all servants defending the hope for you and marching to change."
Any self-respecting schoolkid, enjoined by his principal to be a "servant" to the head of state, would reply, "Get lost, creep." And, if they still taught history in American schools, he'd add, "Oh, and by the way, that question was settled in 1776."
To accompany President Obama's classroom speech this week, the White House and America's "educators" drafted some accompanying study materials. Children would be invited to write letters to themselves saying what they could do to "help the president."
The president is not our ruler but our representative
The president is not our ruler but our representative, a citizen-executive drawn from the people. It is unbecoming to a self-governing republic to require schoolchildren to (to cite another test question) select the three most important words in the president's speech.