Just asking for Clarification - Obama

United States
September 3, 2009 9:17am CST
There are many here who have answered my questions and discussions with dignity and respect - I call on you again. I will admit first and foremost that I am a person who likes to believe that most people are good, therefore, I don't automatically assume the worst in people or situations... Naive? Maybe. Devil's advocate? Maybe. Anyway, this is my question: What is wrong with Obama wanting to reach out to our children? Please don't remind me that this was how Hitler started, I know all about that... But isn't one of the most common views in America "The children are our future?" Aren't American parents always lamenting on the fact that children/schools don't get enough support and/or resources from the gov't?? Now that someone wants to reach our children, everyone is screaming "HITLER" Please, respectfully, explain the negative issues involved with our Leader speaking to our children. Isn't the very act of keeping our children home to avoid hearing Obama's address TEACHING our children what we're accussing the President of?? By this I mean, by keeping the kids home, parents are denying the chilren the opportunity to think for themselves. They are forcing the children to only hear WHAT they want them to hear! Don't attack me for this; I know it's a parent's job to filter children's worlds but there comes a time when the filtering needs to decrease and the child needs to be allowed to listen to what's going on, to witness things in the world, and to make up his/her own mind about what they see and hear. I may not always agree with the person who is in charge, I may not always like the choices or the methods of that leader - but it is what it is. We (AMERICANs) put this leader in charge, we made the gov't what it is today. Good or bad, we are all responsible for it. Our voices are heard and our choices are made thru the voting systems, so on a very basic level, WE are just as responsible for the state of our country as anyone. Again, good or bad. So, as I said, I'm not playing stupid or trying to stir up the hornet's nest... I am simply asking as many as so wish, to enlighten me on the issues of What is so bad about our leader wanting to reach out to our children??
1 person likes this
9 responses
@matersfish (6313)
• United States
3 Sep 09
In my opinion, people's problem with this can be understood by viewing the entire situation in context and not just looking at it as Obama delivering a message to kids. There are certain aspects of this that are just different. First off, as I understand it, this is the first President in America's history to deliver an address to the schools. On its surface, speaking to the kids for an hour may seem like no big deal and a really cool experience if you're a kid, but then you realize that he's not showing up in classrooms in person (although he may be showing up in one. I'm not sure); he's showing up via message in every school. That's a first for a President, but that's not what makes people's radar screens blip. What's causing a little unnerving behavior is the fact that memos are going out and kids are being asked to "help" the President. A supporter may view this is as what kids should be doing. However, someone more cynical may see that Obama has no problem using children to feed his national image (remember the rigged girl at the town hall meeting?). The afforementioned is just 2/3 of the first problem. The final third is the fact that a lot of teachers--some may even say the vast majority--are liberal leaning. You have the unions to contend with. You have schools in America that teach much more ideology than math and history. These factors leave some people worried. "Is the teacher going to 'teach' my kid to be pro-Obama?" "What if my kid happens to disagree with the President? How will he/she be treated?" And there are many more questions. Another problem with this, again, in context, is that there is A LOT of fishy behavior surrounding Obama and supporters. For instance, whoever wrote the provision in the stimulus to give money to the "arts" seemed to had done so to create "art" promoting Obama. A conference call has recently surfaced where many artists, on phone with the White House, were discussing how they can essentially promote Obama's agenda with art. No big deal? Yeah, until you realize that it's taxpayer money possibly (likely) being used to fund pro-Obama, anti-opposition art. Money was intentionally set aside to promote agenda. Wow. There's also all of this unflattering information coming out about the people Obama appointed to "special" positions. Many call them czars. These czars were backdoored in to avoid Senate confirmation, and more than a few are proving to be very radical... even by liberal standards. This all ties in together. What kind of man is Obama? What kind of system does he have running? Why is he speaking to our children using his organization tactics and preemptive memos to set the scene? What would you think if Bush was doing this the exact same way? If a partent has a problem with this, I can't hold that against them. If they don't, that's fine too. But when you look at Obama, his administration, his actions, and his shameless self promotion in context, you may draw a conclusion that it's not just a simple speech. My opinion on it: MSNBC, ABC and CNN will be running spots on children "agreeing" with Obama's healthcare proposal a few days after the speech is given. I hope it doesn't happen like that, but Obama's entire political career is a series of minor steps toward an ultimate goal. I highly doubt this is a simple "stay in school" message being delivered.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 09
Good morning, thank you for your response. I must say, it's a very well thought out response and you have enlightened me! I never thought of it that way - the whole "entire situation in context" thing. You're right though, I WAS looking at it like "it's just simple pep talk!" I am still being simple here when I think about your posted questions: I fully expect the teachers to TEACH respect for the president and our gov't. By extension, that looks like I'm supporting the teachers preaching "Pro-Obama" lessons. I'm not. I expect the teachers to TEACH respect for differing views and the power of debate and prospective. And I fully expect that if my child did disagree with the president that he would voice his opinion with dignity and respect. BUT also that he would have the knowledge and grace to keep his mouth shut in certain circumstances. "Fighting words" come to mind... Thank you for sharing, I'm starting to at least THINK about some of the issues and that's never a bad thing!
• United States
4 Sep 09
I agree with you 100% when you say that teachers should teach respect for our President and our government. The only worry I have about it on that front is the actual position compared to its holder. Will teachers teach respect for America's Presidency, or just President Obama? That's a very legitimate concern when dealing with teachers' unions that are decidedly liberal. I'm hoping for a good stay-in-school speech about the power of education, nothing more, nothing less. I don't have any kids, so I'm viewing it through the my own eyes -- what I would think of a President stopping by. I would want to leave the classroom saying, "Wow! The President spoke to us!" I wouldn't want to come away thinking, "Wow! The President said we were all going to die unless we pass healthcare, and the polar bears will die if we don't switch to hybrids!" Well, as a kid, I woulda probably thought polar bears dying was pretty cool! lol... wrong, I know, but I didn't like bears. :P
• United States
4 Sep 09
Hi mater. Absolutely, I see the concern AND the difference: teach about the presidency - NOT the president. I'm aligning this whole debate with the religion/state/school debate. Both issues have positive aspects in a child's life, but without care, dictating becomes a threat... I read another discussion about this same thing, and while it was slightly more aggressive, it did open my mind to the pure FEAR of what COULD happen and the utter ANGER over powerlessness. (is that a word?? lol) And yes, you are right about the power of words... Children do need to know that the president isn't a God or anything and we (as parents) can't allow our children to become so completely enamored with him - or anyone - that they lose the ability to think for themselves.
@jonakyl (493)
• United States
3 Sep 09
I don't have kids. But if I did, I wouldn't have a problem with the President (or any political leader) talking to schoolchildren and expounding the benefits of an education. Encouraging children to study hard, get good grades, and succeed is not a bad thing. However from what I have heard that is not necessarily the case with what is going to happen with Obama. I think many parents are concerned about the way it will be approached and the fact he may be telling the children they should be following what the President says because he knows best. That is hardly encouraging children to think for themselves. I sincerely hope that his speech is limited to what I described in my first paragraph. I think it would also be good to remind children that he himself is a minority, and yet despite that he has risen to the highest most powerful position in the country. This would be a great encouragement for those children who may feel they can't get ahead in life because of the circumstances they live in.
1 person likes this
@jonakyl (493)
• United States
3 Sep 09
I'm a little more optimistic after seeing the Nascar PSA. You can see it at http://www.whitehouse.gov/mediaresources/
• United States
4 Sep 09
Good morning, thank you for the response... I completely with you in that the intent of the President is only (should only be) to get our children involved, excited and responsible for their own education and success. This is exactly what I was thinking and couldn't understand why that would be a bad thing! I did check out your link on the planned speech and it has confirmed the Predident's intent. Even the simple concept of "following what the president says because he knows best" in my mind COULD or COULD not be one of malicious intent... Children also need to learn to listen with respect and weigh what is being said, and to make up their own minds, without automatically challenging a differing point of view. I guess I mean to say, it's all in the intent of what's being said, not neccisarily the content of what's being said. Thanks again for the response.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
7 Sep 09
I hope it is limited too. I still believe that every parent should have the choice to say no if they dont want their kids exposed to it. It's not just what is being said, it's the stuff between the lines. Also, to the OP - you seem to forget! This is going out to LITTLE KIDS too! Some of which don't know yet how to separate important things from crap! This is why I'm irritated. I think this is akin to brainwashing, or could be.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
4 Sep 09
Hmmm. Well... since I posted the discussion stating that I don't want anybody indoctrinating MY child, I will address your questions. First of all, if this was for junior high and high school age only, it wouldn't bother me AS MUCH. Notice I didn't say 'it wouldn't bother me at ALL', because it would still bother me. However, I don't think they should be dumping this on the youngest kids - that is where government does not have the right to overrule parents. I'm going to ask my son in high school about this and see what HE gets out of it. I think it's rather appropriate for a high schooler, but again, if they disagree or prefer to remove themselves from the classroom, I believe they have that right too. I am choosy about friends, I have some who are close and others who are closer. There are only a FEW I would allow my daughter to spend a whole day and night or longer with (without me there) because hmmmm... I only trust a few. Wouldn't you think that I really wouldn't want my GOVERNMENT - which is made up of people I don't know, am not friends with, am not related to, etc etc - influencing my child? HELLO. Do you want your precious child influenced by strangers you don't like?? It's totally fine with me if you trust your government that much. I mean I know parents who let their 8 year old get on subways or city buses alone. Whatever THEY want to do, right? I wouldn't. I was even concerned about my older daughter when she was 15 getting on a city bus. There are weird people all over and some of them target kids. Once again, do whatever you like. I'm not stopping you. I might think you're crazy but I won't try to legislate what you're allowed to do, force you to stop, or anything like that. I won't DO WHAT YOU DO though, not in a million years. I'm not going to bring up Hitler. While it's a similarity, it's not really fair, even if I DON'T agree with Obama's policies. As far as the schools getting support from the government? THIS is what I want as a parent for my public schools. I want the government to give the schools enough money so they do not have to lay off teachers. I want them to have enough teachers so the class sizes can be reduced again, 20 to 1 ratio would be best but 25 to 1 is okay. I want them to always have enough books for EACH student. I want the teachers to have enough resources like COPIES so that the school is providing for the costs of all the copies and the teachers are not running out of paper. I want the schools to have enough resources and reserves to ALWAYS have a full time art teacher, music teacher, and PE teacher, and for those teachers to devote at least one day a week to each grade for elementary school. For junior high and high school? Those kids should get those types of classes DAILY. I would prefer for elementary to get those daily too but it doesn't seem like they have time, not with so many grades and kids at one school. THOSE are the types of things we are talking about, not having anybody in government try to INFLUENCE our kids! They also should donate or give resources to the schools in order to provide extra aides and help to the struggling students, the ones who are learning english, the ones who may have shorter attention spans or have trouble sitting still long enough to 'get' a concept and then practice it. If they WANT our children to be the future, by all means, that means you have to give them variety and resources - just like college! SO many people say 'oh, well you have to take all those extra things that you don't need for your degree so you are well rounded and show that you care'. OK, by that token, we need to put PE, music, drama, art, and sports back into public elementary schools. EVERY DAY. Those things are just as important as your kid making change from a dollar, reading a book, and knowing the capital of the state where they live. By the way, you would NEVER give a two year old an opportunity to choose whether they wanted to play in the street or eat a whole pie instead of dinner. YOU KNOW that two year old is going to want to play in the street and eat the pie instead of eating some chicken and vegetables and noodles BEFORE the pie!! I am really riled up about trying to include pre-K and K in this whole 'speech' thing. Denying the children the opportunity to think for themselves?! Let's make sure that ALL parents have had the opportunity to discuss this with their children - or to avoid it until they feel their children are old enough to HAVE to deal with this. Like I said before, my daughter is five and she's in kindergarten. I don't talk about OBAMA with her and she doesn't even know who he is and that's fine. She doesn't need to. If he came to her school and tried to talk to her, do you know what she'd probably say? I don't talk to strangers. If you want to talk to me then you ask my mommy. I am not responsible for the state of the country right now. My choices have all been mostly opposite of what has been happening and what is currently happening. Because there are just a FEW more people who are in favor than those of us that are not, that's how things are going. I prefer to be a-political because I really despise politics. I despise the lying, the loose morals, the broken promises, and more or less the greediness and inability of the people who are there to do a job to DO THE JOB WE WANT THEM TO DO. They aren't listening to us at all. There's no point in helping. There's not much point in ranting either although it does make me feel good to say it. You have the right to be okay with this. I have the right to NOT BE OKAY with this. You asked the question and there is the answer.
• United States
4 Sep 09
Well, mommyboo, that's quite an answer. Thank you. I must say although I know it's not a joking matter, your 'way' of putting things put a smile on my face! It's not often that I smile at someone who appears to be ripping me up one side and down the other... Although after reading your answer twice, I realized you weren't really chastising me for raising this question, you were simply stating your reply - strongly! LOL Kidding aside - Thank you for the perspective. I never thought of it quite this way, but I find you're right. Excellent points. Thank you for the response.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
7 Sep 09
LOL! It was not meant to rip you up and down, anything I have to say about my views politically have nothing to do with the person I'm talking to. Trust me. I think everybody has the right to make the choices they themselves make regarding politics, religion, their children, their diet, what they drive or buy, etc. I would never concede to know what is right for someone else, but I DO know what is right for ME. I just don't want my government believing they know better than me or deciding things for me that are not their place to decide. I also want them to put their money where their mouth is, if they want support from the average parent of the average school child, then make education a priority, and FINANCE that education, don't just talk about it.
@Capsicum (1444)
• United States
4 Sep 09
The people who call him Hitler,have no clue about Hitler . Or they would never say these things,my grandparents were under Hitlers thumb. I am gonna give the guy a chance,without passing judgment.I also think its great that he is reaching out with times such as these.Not just the children but adults alike. He seems sincere in his efforts,I do wish him the best.The Republicans are having hissy fits daily.But if McCain had won the Democrats would be the same.Funny you can never please them all,then there are others who just need to b!tch. Seeing it is such a big to do about a man of color taking office,He will leave a lasting impression on all those children who will run our world when we are gone,giving them hope about everything in life.Some impressions are ever lasting.So yes he is doing the right thing with the kids .After all thinking of the future that far off with all on his plate makes him ok with me. Well I might here it for my mouthful but will only respond to the original poster no fights gonna break out over Hitler when the question is dealing with children. Have a great day
• United States
4 Sep 09
Good morning, thank you for the response. Yes, I agree, it's deplorable to call anyone "Hitler" - such a vile piece of sh#t! I am trying to stay as open minded as possible, because like you, I try to give anyone a chance before passing judgement, but at the same time, we DO have to be careful not to let anyone have so many chances that we don't notice when things have gone too far... You know? We don't want to just "give the guy a chance" to the point of where we forget to ask "what are we giving him a chance to do?" He needs to prove himself, maybe with each proven good deed, we give him a chance for the next challenge... Simply speaking, if the intent is ONLY to engage children in their educations and success, then I can't honestly say I'm against that. But as I'm learning, there's ALWAYS an ulterior motive... may not always be enough to negate the original intent, but occasionally and all too often, it does turn out to be sinister. Thanks again for your response.
@Capsicum (1444)
• United States
6 Sep 09
Yes nice to kids parents like you too.... Look at what Bush did for us ,I will say no more,on that.So like you said time will tell,as I am sure he is under heavy scrutiny even from his colleges .
3 Sep 09
I am a parent of 4 children, my oldest is starting Kindergarten on the 8th. While I am not around my child is going to be exposed to a man who I feel is very dangerous to America. He is a marxist and that is a system of government/economy that I feel is restrictive. But when you are a child you don't understand all that is involved in that lifestyle. What you hear about communism and the green movement, two of Obama's objectives, it all seems wonderful. And in a pure society without corruption it could be. But there is so much more involved in implementing these rather unrealistic utopias. First of all there is going to be poverty from jobs being lost to shift from one job set to another. There is going to be the "reverse mcCarthyism" on the capitalists and those who feel that the green movement is only out to hurt the private sector in a bid for government control. You will have the social and economic demonization of an entire class of people. So my child will be exposed to the President who may say something like, "keeping lights on is killing our planet and it is wrong." Then my children may come home and say, "Mom turn off that light you are killing the planet." And then I am going to have to take time to explain to them exactly why that is not completely true. When you start in on children that young, all your are teaching them is how to react emotionally, and not with critical thinking. Something they are too young to understand in the first place. So I am preparing myself to be accosted by my own child about an issue they find very important because the President said so. That is why I am apprehensive about the President speaking to my children.
• United States
4 Sep 09
Good morning, thank you for the response. Yes, I see your point; children take everything they hear so very literally and will lack the abilility to rationalize what they hear. However, there will never be a time in life where children will NOT need their parent's to explain things to them. There will never be a time where children will NOT be exposed to oppossing views and confusing issues... so I guess my point is that while you may have to clarify statements made by the President (or anyone for that matter), that doesn't mean what is being said is completely wrong, or that what was said was meant to be sinister... "an issue they find important because the president said so" - this statement could go either way. Isn't the first step of learning of important issues listening to what someone else said? I mean, no child automatically knows the simple things in life, the important things... they have to told - taught - what is important. Sure, while they are little, they need guidance in deciding what is important to them, their families and their lifestyles, but the simple truth is that deciding something is important to them just because ANYONE said so starts with listening to what's being said. But it's important that they decide why the issue is important - so you're right, nothing should be believed, accepted or adopted JUST BECAUSE HE SAID SO, but that is the FIRST step to discovering shared ideas. Thanks again for your response. I'll be apprehensive now too... and I haven't even gotten thru all the responses yet...
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
7 Sep 09
I am apprehensive too! I keep seeing people say 'it's not bad for your kids to be exposed to differing viewpoints' and yes it is - if your kids are not really old enough to KNOW the difference between how they feel and how their parents feel and how people who feel differently from their parents feel! I'm not an environmentalist, I do turn off lights and I recycle BECAUSE I MAKE MONEY doing it, but I don't do anything else extra. I bristle at the thought that someone would tell my daughter you HAVE to do more. No she doesn't. I should not HAVE to go up against and explain or argue with my daughter why someone else someone says is wrong! They shouldn't have said it to her in the first place, my first line of defense is protecting her from those types of influences before they have a chance to influence her. Trust me, your parents felt the same way about exposing YOU to influences THEY disagreed with...
@Fortunata (1136)
• United States
4 Sep 09
Because it's creepy, that's why. This guy should try to fix the economy, period. He should stay the hell out of the schools, and I'm sick of seeing his ugly mug on tv, lol.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
7 Sep 09
LOL! Yeah, I agree with this. I too believe he ought to fix the economy, close and protect the borders (none of this 'amnesty' crap) and stay out of schools. Education means teaching basic skills for how to live, NOT HOW TO THINK OR WHAT TO THINK. geez lol.
• United States
4 Sep 09
I have to admit I wondered about this because I read the threads where everyone was saying how evil it all was, and then I read what schools were saying about the President to their kids and I thought, so whats the problem? I think that children should be taught to respect the President and his position, while still being able to question his policies etc for themselves. Actually a huge part of the responsibility lies with parents. There are all sorts of things your kids get taught at school you may not agree with, make sure they have a good foundation at home.And in some cases, being made aware of another school of thought at school may be a good thing - I came from a family which constantly ranted about a certain political side and I was pretty much told how to vote. I still feel almost guilty for voting how I actually believe, instead of how my parents told me. Give our kids some credit, maybe they are actually capable of listening to these things critically themselves, and choosing what they believe.
• United States
4 Sep 09
Good morning, thank you for responding... It seems you and I are of the same mind set, but I will admit I am on the naive side. I often think of things in simple terms and "what's the big deal??" This is why I enjoy MYLOT - I have asked many questions that could have potentially gotten me cained but everyone has answered me respectfully so I get to ask the question "what's the big deal?" and there's always someone here who will tell me! Yes, I agree with you, the foundation of strong thinking begins at home! And isn't school - ie learning - all about THOUGHT! The first step in deciding whether you agree or disagree with something is listening to that point of view.
@bestboy19 (5481)
• United States
3 Sep 09
I think they are afraid Obama is going to indoctrinate their children with a socialist view point. I believe the children are already getting that without Obama's help. It's up to the parents to show their children a different point of view and to explain why they (the parents) believe the way they do. There's nothing wrong with hearing both sides. You can weigh the difference and make a more logical decision when you know all the facts.
• United States
4 Sep 09
Good morning, thank you for the response. Yes, I agree... it's the parent's responsibility to guide a child thru the process. Exactly my point: "there's nothing wrong with hearing both sides."
@Carson11 (332)
• United States
4 Sep 09
Raven, How would you feel if you are a liberal,if Rush Limbaugh addressed your kids and told them everything Obama is doing is wrong? Don't you understand this kind of crap is what 3rd world communist do all the time? I will wait and see what he says. If he says a bunch of liberal crap about how everyone should serve him, I will tear into him like there is no tomorrow.