Obama can’t pander to everyone

Shawn Heavlin-Martinez

On Tuesday, school children across the country will be watching President Obama address them on subjects such as hard work, the importance of education, and why setting goals in school should be a high priority in their lives. Except for those whose parent’s won’t let them watch.

Thousands of conservative parents are refusing to let their children view the President’s address, presumably because they see it as a way for the President to indoctrinate their children with some mysterious personal ideology. This viewpoint seems completely paranoid.

It’s one thing to disagree with the President and Democrats in Congress on grounds of policy, but it’s something else entirely when parents are protesting their children watching a speech that, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, aims to “challenge students to set goals, work hard, and stay in school.” Apparently, the people opposing the speech view it as a pulpit from which Obama will spew all sorts of crazy communist propaganda. Quotes like “I don’t want our schools turned into some socialist movement,” and “I am appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” litter the New York Times and Los Angeles Times stories covering the outrage.

Political arguments and frank exchanges of views have always been a part of this country’s history, but in the last few years it would appear that civil discourse has died an untimely death, stabbed in a back alley by talk radio, fear-mongering politicians, and sensationalist “news” channels.

How do you talk to an entire section of the country when they believe you’re a Kenyan-born, communist Muslim? I’m not exaggerating for effect here: a 2008 Gallup poll showed that ten percent of Americans believed the president a Muslim, the number reaching up to nineteen percent among rural voters. Why does it seem that the president is trying so hard to win over a group that couldn’t care less about facts or evidence? Why try and reason with a person who is so wrapped up in their hateful, fringe thinking that they will deny their child a chance to listen to a man occupying one of the most powerful positions in the world?

Perhaps it is time that the president moves on from courting the most hysterical among us. The Democrats currently possess a supermajority in both houses of Congress; it’s time they used it.    
their lives. Except for those whose parent’s won’t let them watch.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email