Platitudes and Abstractions? Yes We Can!

President Obama will deliver his Indoctrination Speechâ„¢ to the nation’s schoolchildren today.  His silver-tongued litany of subversive communist rhetoric is expected to completely annihilate the morals and values of American students.  Complicit teachers trained in Saul Alinsky’s tactics will use Obama-approved socialist lesson plans to reinforce the president’s radical Marxist agenda.

Or something.

I know those are the right wing talking points on the president’s planned address, but I’m having trouble raising my conservative ire to the expected levels.  Here’s why:

1. The text of President Obama’s speech is innocuous.  Released by the White House on Monday, it looks a lot like a commencement address, sans the humorous one-liners and witty anecdotes. And at 2,540 words, this painfully long speech is almost 10 times longer than the Gettysburg Address.  Kids’ eyes will glaze over, their lids will grow heavy, and they will absorb nothing substantive from the president’s vapid string of platitudes and abstractions because it contains nothing substantive.

2. Varying degrees of indoctrination are rampant in American schools.  If you’re thinking of keeping your kids out of the classroom today, you might as well keep them home everyday.

I attended public elementary school in New York City in the 1980s. My second grade class was taken around the corner from our school to the gates of the USSR Mission compound to protest the incarceration of Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky. This was done without parental permission.

In 1984, after Walter Mondale selected Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, my teacher excitedly handed students items from campaign headquarters. My classmates and I spent the remainder of the year with Mondale/Ferraro bumper stickers affixed to our canvas loose leaf notebooks.

From what I gather, partisan bias and philosophical indoctrination are just as flagrant in today’s schools.  That’s why conservatives are intuitively wary of a liberal president speaking directly to children.  So yes, I guarantee that in some classrooms there will be bias evident in the exercises and lessons that follow President Obama’s speech.  But I also assure you that there is informal indoctrination taking place in those classrooms all day, every day.  Shielding your children from political bias in the classroom is a laudable goal, but unfortunately, keeping your kids home today is like fixing a leaky pipe with a roll of Bounty.

3. President Obama’s address to the nation’s schoolchildren is a distraction.  Conservatives need to remain focused on the health care debate and the far more important speech the president will make to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night.

In the interest of moving on from this particular distraction, I propose that President Obama cancel his speech to kids and instead run the following video with the same message trimmed down to a succinct 30 seconds or so:

YouTube Preview Image


7 Responses to “Platitudes and Abstractions? Yes We Can!”

  1. Tom Degan on September 8th, 2009 10:07 am


    Just sit back and relax, folks. Barack Obama is only performing a routine presidential duty that has been performed by presidents for generations. There’s nothing to be afraid of. He’s not trying to turn your babies into mini Marxists. This isn’t the Trotsky For Toddlers program. The president of the United States merely wants to have a heart to heart talk with the children of America about the importance of a good education, that’s all. I promise you, we Progressives do not believe in evil, subliminal messages. Chill out!


    Just kidding.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  2. Jenn Q. Public on September 8th, 2009 4:35 pm

    Gosh Tom, thanks so much for copying and pasting the same exact comment to my blog that you’ve left on at least a dozen others.

    I don’t allow spam here, so I’ve removed your links. Unless you intend to participate in the conversation you can take your digital litter elsewhere.

  3. Rob Taylor on September 8th, 2009 8:19 pm

    Bam! Nice. But I think it’s also important to take a stand even with the indoctrination. Parents need to tell these semi-literate degenerates who end up as teachers (half of whom end up on crime blogs) that there is a line that won’t be crossed. Let’s try teaching some math instead of having some douche tell them they’ll get a better education if they just try a little harder, which is untrue as long as we have these piss poor teachers protected by their union thugs.

  4. Jenn Q. Public on September 8th, 2009 8:31 pm

    Rob, I agree that there comes a time when one has to take a stand, and this is as good an opportunity as any. However, I question the timing of this speech, especially considering some schools weren’t back in session yet, and others were administering standardized tests. Is it out of the realm of possibility that this was a planned distraction from the health care reform issue? I don’t believe the Obama administration would be tone deaf enough to release lesson plans asking students how they can help Obama unless it was done deliberately to get conservatives outrageously outraged about something else.

  5. theblackcommenter on September 8th, 2009 9:08 pm

    I’ll bet Mr. T didn’t use a teleprompter for his PSA.

    I agree with you about the president’s address. It was innocuous feel good stuff. What is the bigger problem I think is the level of comfort the citizenry are beginning to have with the constant presence of the president. He’s everywhere. That’s unsettling. I also agree that schools are constantly indoctrinating students. It happened when I was in school so its no wonder so many kids become liberals.

  6. Jenn Q. Public on September 8th, 2009 11:48 pm

    theblackcommenter: What I find interesting about Obama’s ubiquity is that as his exposure increases, his approval ratings decrease. POTUS and TOTUS are getting to be like the magician who gets hired for every kid’s party – the kids are sick of him, the parents are sick of him, and everyone has already figured out how he makes the coins “disappear.”

    For every person who seems comfortable with Obama’s seeming omnipresence, I think there are several who grow sicker of his overblown promises and bromides each time he pops up on TV. I think at this point, his overexposure is more helpful than harmful to the right.

  7. theblackcommenter on September 10th, 2009 10:16 am

    Yes, his ubiquity will I think be his undoing. It is becoming like background music that you eventually stop listening to. I wonder how many people listed to his speech last night; I know I didn’t. When the president is “ON” so much so that everything seems a crisis, then nothing is.

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