Monday, September 07, 2009

Using Children for Political Purposes

The recent flap over President Obama's speech to America's school children has been roundly denounced by conservatives as inappropriate political indoctrination.

No self-respecting conservative would tolerate that, right?

Despite my little quip, this is a serious issue. And conservatives who scream about the communist boogey man have yet to wrap their minds around the fact that America has given over to the world's largest communist nation, China, trillions of dollars of our debt.

So communism is evil. But without communist China, we'd be out of business. Go figure.

As an old Rocky & Bullwinkle fan, I would ask how many readers would get in Mr Peabody’s Way Back Machine and set the date for the Clinton administration, when America had a surplus, and conservatives were complaining that America should give money back.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be in that position today?

But that is not to let Clinton completely off the hook. The banking deregulation legislation that President Bush allowed to bankrupt us was born during the Clinton administration – and many of today's players were a part of it then.

This surprisingly balanced report from Fox:


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Day,

There is, quite simply, nothing wrong with the Obama speech, but you have to admit, this was not an issue for Terry Holliday to weigh in on. Or do you disagree? One of the first things I learned about the public schools is that they are under local, not central, control. This is not a curriculum issue that affected the whole state.

The fact that Dr. Holliday adopted a conservative attitude and then urged school districts to use "caution" is anti-intellectual and anti-education. How will he react when the next conservative group urges us to teach creationism in the schools?

If the state superintendent of education thinks an address by the President is cause for concern, how can he possibly be a promoter of civics and social studies education?

Shame on Dr. Holliday! I'm none too impressed with his first attempt at leadership.

Anonymous said...

Humm...I liked this blog because I could come here and get unbiased, or at least mostly unbiased, information about KY Education. When did you decide to turn this into a partisan, left-wing, platform? Isn't there enough of those on both sides out there already?...

Anonymous said...

For "Humm...'s" relection: I don't see that Richard's blog has veered away from "...information about KY education..." Education is the opposite of ignorance and if the recent opinion polls regarding education-related issues are correct, we have mountains to climb in the Commonwealth of Kentucky!

Anonymous said...

Dear Richard,

Please get off the political soapbox.

I don't think this blog is left-wing, but your moralizing is becoming increasingly annoying.

You fail to reproach any of Kentucky officials who have been so uber-cautious about the Obama speech, but instead you go after avowed conservatives like the talk-show host in Lexington and those who don't seem to like Obama or call his behavior scary.

Finally, please quit saying the Obama speech doesn't have political implications. It most certainly does. Obama has copied many of the policies of Roosevelt's New Deal, and this has annoyed many. For better or worse, he is becoming as polarizing as George Walker Bush. Now, Obama is trying to style himself another education president. I'm not convinced it is working.

Richard Day said...

I think I've been pretty clear that I find nothing wrong with President Obama's speech scheduled for tomorrow.

And commenters are correct to say that I have laid off Terry Holliday and Stu Silberman in this case. I'm not perfectly aligned with their positions but I get where they are coming from. We've always allowed parents to remove their children from controversial lessons - even when we may believe they are important lessons - like the world famous 4th grade girls video, and more.

I have no reason to suspect Holliday will gravitate toward creationism or any other form of "establishment." If he does, KSN&C will be on it like a big gorilla.

KSN&C will try to be left wing everytime the left is correct - but mostly thinks of itself as moderate. In this case, I don't buy the right wing arguments. There is no evidence to support a claim that Obama planned to turn this into a Reagan-style policy speech. But I suppose we can all agree that Reagan was wrong to have done so.

By the way, Leland Conway and I had a very pleasant phone conversation this morning. But alas, our schedules aren't matching up very well so I probably won't do his show. I had some time today, but he's off work. I'm busy teaching tomorrow - and then, this thing is over.

We may chat by phone in the morning for a very brief time...if it works out.

For those of you who know us both and thought we'd hit it off, I'd say we did. We were able to needle each other, exchange jokes, and not take ourselves too seriously. We both understand that this is political speech.

But Dems should make no mistake, the R's won this round.

By unfairly turning an innocuous message encouraging students to do well in school - something we can all agree on - into a communist plot, the R’s have effectively scored points at the same time President Obama does something we should all admire.

That's politics for you. ...and if we care about democracy, we should keep it out of the schools.