The Debate and Opposition Surrounding the President’s Speech
When President Obama addressed the nation’s students on September 8, 2009, not everyone was inspired. In fact, many conservatives and other right wing critics were all but appalled at the claims that were made. The fear of Socialism has caused many people to ignore the message for the sake of attacking the messenger. Many times in life, people end up in a position where they have this same reaction. If you trust the messenger, you will likely trust the message that they are spreading. If you do not trust them, you’re not going to believe what they teach. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most of the opposition to the speech came from those who already didn’t believe in President Obama before he even began.
Critics are commenting that homework is ‘fascism’, that socialism is taking over public education and making many other outlandish claims that have nothing to do with the speech that was actually given. If you pay attention to the transcript of the speech, which you can read here, the message is quite clear. President Obama isn’t trying to invade privacy, create a debate about public education, or even raise any political issues. He is simply talking to students, asking them to be responsible for their own education, and telling them that there is hope for a future if they are willing to work hard to create their own destiny.
It’s the same speech that motivational speakers, teachers, and parents give children on a regular basis. To the right wing critics like Glenn Beck, Hannity, and other Republican opposition, this is not the case at all. For them, it’s just another chance to berate the messenger when there really is nothing to be berated for. Much like the philosophy of this site, where the education starts with family values that are taught early in life, the Obama speech basically appeals to the question of what children should do when parents are not there to fill the gaps in their life.
President Obama has been accused of many things by making this speech, but it’s a good bet that he wouldn’t take back any of it if he could. He simply wants to inspire, encourage, and show children that a good, full, successful life can be had if it is worked for. What’s so wrong about that?
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