Hey, Mr. President, Leave Those Kids Alone!
Here’s this week’s DC Examiner column, on Barack Obama’s speech to the kids. Excerpt:
Is the president’s speech part of a sinister plan to create a socialist Obama Youth movement? Hardly. The transcript, released yesterday, reveals a pretty standard homily to educational excellence, and there’s no evidence it was ever supposed to be anything else. Even so, there’s something grotesquely collectivist about the idea of the president addressing a captive audience of 50 million schoolchildren, hectoring them to turn off the X-Box and hit the books….
The lesson plans Obama Department of Education officials came up with after several meetings with the White House make it clear that federal education bureaucrats should be kept as far away from children as possible.
One of the plans envisioned teachers making kindergartners write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. After parents rightly recoiled from that recommendation, the DOE tried to throw it down the memory hole, deleting it from their Web site.
Given some of the cultish questions that survived DOE’s hasty revision, however, concerned parents can be pardoned a few overheated references to Kim Il-Sung:
How will [President Obama] inspire us?”
What is President Obama inspiring you to do?
Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials?
These are question-begging questions, especially if you’re one of those sensible Americans of all ages who aren’t particularly inspired by President Obama, and who aren’t convinced that listening raptly to elected officials is the best possible use of your time.