September 4, 2009

No Presidential Speeches for Students?

Filed under: Assorted Politics,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:20 pm

So on September 8, President Barack Obama will being giving a speech aimed at students that schools are encouraged to show live in their classrooms. And, of course, conservatives are throwing a fit. Why? Because as responsible parents, they don’t think this is appropriate for their children to be viewing, that Obama is just trying to indoctrinate their children without their consent.

In fact, there’s even a poll on Facebook about it: “Should the United States President be allowed to do a nationwide address to our children at school, without prior parental consent?”


Are you fucking shitting me?! People are actually getting all up in arms because, oh noes, the PRESIDENT is acknowledging children in his speeches, against the children’s parents’ wishes.

I can’t even count everything that is so messed up here. I’m speechless. What the hell do the parents think Obama is going to do, flash his penis?! Or, no, they think he’s going to brainwash their innocent children with socialist propaganda. You know, because it might interfere with them already trying to indoctrinate their children with ignorant redneck conservative propaganda. If the kids hear an opposing viewpoint they might *gasp* actually be able to form their own opinions! And nothing scares a parent, particularly a wingnut parent, more than their kids forming their own opinions.

Seriously, though, I just can’t facepalm enough here. It’s not like the speech is from some celebrity whose personal life or other issues might make them not the most morally upstanding person to be speaking to kids (not that that should matter either). Or the spokesman for some fringe radical group. It is the goddamn President of the United States! But because he’s not the guy the kids’ parents wanted to win, then the kids must be hidden from his apparent hypnosis.

In fact, as a youth rights supporter, I’m glad the President is taking the time to actually address kids, as if they’re, you know, PEOPLE. True, the speech is expected to contain the usual generic bullshit about staying in school and doing homework and whatnot, but the idea is that he’s still speaking to the kids themselves, as if these things are in their own hands and that they have the ability to make these decisions. He’s speaking to the kids themselves, as if the kids are, just like adults, still citizens of this country. We should be applauding politicians for taking the time to address kids, not acting like doing so is inappropriate or evil somehow. You know, God forbid these kids have any exposure to the leadership of their country, the country their idiot conservative parents claim to love so much.

Think they’d feel this way if George W. Bush had done this? Or if John McCain had won the election and were doing this same thing? Doubt it. But in my case, I’d still support it, because, as I said, kids watching a presidential speech where they are being addressed is a damn good thing. One reason young people tend to be apathetic about politics, alongside not being able to vote anyway, is that so often the politicians never acknowledge they exist, at least not as people, but rather like just extensions of their parents. So young people tune it out since it rarely if ever involves them in any meaningful way. In this case though, despite the expected generic bullshit nature of the speech itself, the idea is still that kids are being addressed, which is a very nice step in the right direction and I hope this sort of thing continues.


  1. I’d agree with this if I hadn’t seen the lesson plans the Department of Education has released for the early grades. They don’t ask students to evaluate what the President says and form their own opinions; rather, they ask students to think about what they can do to help achieve the President’s goals. The exercises are designed to bypass any doubt as to whether the President is right, and permit only discussion that proceeds from the premise that he is right and everyone ought to pursue the goals the President sets out. So while the speech may help some students form their own opinions, it will come in a context designed to encourage them to support the President uncritically.

    The irony is that those students who would be most likely to benefit from the speech, at least in respect of independent political thought, are the ones whose parents are trying to stop them from hearing it: Those students are getting a contrary view at home, and the speech would encourage them to test the two views against each other. Many of the parents who’ll be pleased that their children will watch the speech are already indoctrinating them in favor of Obama.

    Comment by Alexander — September 5, 2009 @ 8:55 am

  2. Let’s make this quick. The ageism issue is a red herring, this has nothing to do with whether children or teenagers listen to this speech or not — the only thing the idiots complaining about this give a shit about is the fact that someone playing on the Blue Team is giving this stupid speech instead of the Red Team. That’s it.

    These are the same fucktards that would *bus their kids* to see George W. Bush for crying out loud. How can you not see this for the bullshit smokescreen it is?

    Comment by >:( — September 13, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

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