I am watching with interest the current fracas over President Obama's upcoming address on September 8th to high school age students. It is designed to be played to the children while they are at school. Many parents are expressing concern and even outrage that the President would presume to"teach" their kids. Many are considering keeping their kids at home to "protect" them. According to the AP the speech is going to be about "the need to work hard and stay in school". Okay... now I understand the outrage. We must protect our children from these Commie priniciples of hard work and education!
But seriously, who are these people? And why are they angry? Please, can someone tell me what is wrong the President trying to encourage our young people?
These are of course rhetorical questions. The reason for the outrage is clear. In this era of hyper-partisanship no idea or action, no matter how lofty or noble, is to be countenanced as long as there are politicial points to be gained by opposing it. This is the new guiding principle of goverment. Seriously, it is. Rush Limbaugh summed it up neatly when, shortly after Obama was elected, he said he hoped that the new President failed. That's right! For those on the political right (I almost said Republicans) it is better for this country to fail at the highest level, than to succeed if it means seeing an opponent get the credit. You will get this same basic message anytime you happen to watch Fox News. Obama and his legion of Socialist Democrats are out to ruin this great country. They must be stopped at all costs.
And by the way, did you know that Fox News gets (by far) the highest ratings of any televison news program in this country?
Here is a non-rhetorical question for you: Are we a nation of mostly idiots?
Abraham Lincoln, when putting together his cabinet, purposely picked several people who were his opponents to be his closest advisors. The main reason being that the country was in peril, and he would rule out no ideas. Even from his detractors. Doris Kearns-Goodwin tells this tale beautifully in her book called "Team of Rivals". You may want to pick it up as a cure for the indigestion you get when contemplating the current political scene. Maybe send it to your Congressperson when you are done with it.