President Obama’s socialist indoctrination script for schoolchildren was unleashed released today (Labor Day – workers of the world, indeed) and he offers just enough to raise conservatives’ hackles:
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free.
While also saying just enough to appease conservatives:
[A]t the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
These two sections actually capture the speech’s big themes: work hard, finish school, and make contributions to the world.
While there are a couple of self-serving moments (“I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn”), the president mainly refers to himself in an effort to encourage kids who might feel a little out of step because of their family circumstances.
A few oddities stick out to me. For instance this bit of 19th-century lecturing on sanitation:
I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Maybe next year he’ll narrate “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
And then there’s his unusually frank assessment of kids’ dreams of stardom:
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work – that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
Boo-hoo, Kara. The only way you’re getting on TV is if your neighbor’s arrested. Put down the microphone and pull out the math book.
But at the end of the day it may be President Obama’s right-wing propagandizing that generates the most controversy. He’s set to broadcast into America’s classrooms not one, but two explicit references to God:
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
Hey, Sarah Palin, that may play in Alabama, but don’t try it in Alameda.
If Barry Lynn finds out, there’s going to be hell to pay.