Among socialist values Obama pushed were hard work and hand-washing
So today is the first day back at lessons for my two youngest kids, both homeschoolers. And since many of their publicly schooled counterparts across the nation got to watch President Obama's back-to-school speech I made sure they did, too.
My husband and I encouraged our kids to watch the speech not just because we support our president but also because the act of watching is a testament to our faith in our parenting abilities. We didn't think Obama would say anything we disagreed with. But we are secure enough in our kids' intelligence - and their respect for us - to realize that even if he did that it would be OK. Had he said something we disagreed with, we would have discussed it with the kids. A speech isn't going to influence them any more than we can.
I feel sorry for kids of parents who are less secure in their own abilities, and for kids whose parents are so paranoid that they think the words of a politician - any politician - are going to instantaneously poison whatever values they've formed in their children so far. Do those parents really doubt their own influence to that extent? Do they think the kids they've raised are that morally and intellectually weak?
Apparently so. Some of those parents kept their kids home from school today, collectively raising the average IQ score of their schools by many points.
I made the mistake of turning on a local talk radio station last week. In the five minutes I listened I heard two callers express fear - yes, fear - over this speech. Obama, they said, was going to use this address as a way to advance a cult of personality. You could tell by the way they said this that they had no earthly idea what they were talking about and were just repeating something they'd heard on FOX. In fact, when the host asked one man what he meant by "cult of personality" the man stammered a bit before saying, "You know...like one of them...Jonestowns...You know. A cult."
The callers said Obama was going to try and infect children with socialism. I kept picturing not a speech, but a sneeze spreading commie germs. It sounded pretty dire. So naturally I was keen to pick out the socialist messages today while listening today.
I looked for it when Obama said this:
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world - and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
Hmmm. That sounded a lot like that a promotion of individualism. Probably just a slip. And then there was this:
When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years and my mother didn't have the money to send me to where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday - at 4:30 in the morning.
That sounds suspiciously like appreciation for homeschooling, something a few paranoid right wing home schoolers I know say Obama opposes. Again, that was probably just a mistake. Let's move on.
Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
Patriotism? How did that get in there? Now let's see what he has to say on that socialist value of Perseverance in the Face of Adversity, shall we comrade?
J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."These people succeeded because they understand that you can't let your failures define you - you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time.
Aha! Harry Potter reference. He's promoting witchcraft! Still no socialism, though. Damn, those hidden messages are hard to find. Maybe if I replay the speech backwards I'll finally hear that communist propaganda everyone was so worried about.
Poor Obama. You can tell he tries really hard to get his point across, but I were to grade him on turning my kids into little pinko socialists, he'd get a big fat F. For FAIL. By his own standards, that means he'll just to try harder.
Of course, I could be wrong. The message may just be so insidious and understated that it flew under my adult radar. So I'll be on the lookout for the subtle signs of Obama's socialist influence on my kids, just in case. If I catch them pretending to be doctors who treat patients regardless of their ability to pay, then I'll know exactly who to blame. Oh yes, I will...