You can tell President Obama slipped in just under the wire and qualified as part of the Boomer generation. He takes the Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Teach Your Children” literally and he doesn’t ever tire of hearing himself talk.
Obama doesn’t have to worry about Avian flu or H1N1, he’s infected with enough narcissism that there’s little room for anything else. His weekly address on health care on August 22 mentioned the word “I” eight times – debunking “‘phony claims’ about health reform.” The week before when he talked about health care, he said “I” 12 times. He even quoted Kennedy using first person.
He’s not content with having the media endlessly talk about him. He has to do it himself.
Endlessly. He’s talking to the nation about health care reform Wednesday in a joint session of Congress. But his warm-up speech is a bit of liberal indoctrination to school kids the day before. Sure the president has to speak. But he’s also supposed to shut up sometime.
And he’s also not supposed to take advantage of the ultimate in captive audiences and harangue little kids to be good little Democrats. Republicans, who have enough trouble recruiting the iTunes generation, are naturally miffed.
Because it’s not just Obama being broadcast to schools around the country like we’re in some little tin-pot, third-world dictatorship. (You can bet Hugo Chavez is asking himself why he didn’t think of this.) No, this little exercise in paternalistic government comes complete with a lesson plan that was so controversial that White House aides helped decide what should be our Department of Education rewrite them. No matter what they finally say, it has all become part of the president’s perpetual campaign team.
The Education Dept., which already is controlled by the worst union on earth, the National Education Association, wants even more control. Oh, and more money of course. So they are throwing their ample weight behind the man so many teachers admire and voted for – Obama.
So Obama is reaching out to kids with a lesson plan that includes teachers urging students to read books about this president, or having them “write letter to themselves” about his speech – though somehow those letters are later to be shared with others. It’s hard to imagine a more blatant attempt to politicize the school system to boost a failing presidency.
Funny how the education push occurs just after reports that a “popular president’s strong stances on education issues can shift the public perception of those issues,” according to an Education Week story on a new national survey. Obama wouldn’t be playing politics with kindergartners and grade schoolers, would he?
It’s not like children are kept out of politics by team Obama. There’s the “Yes We Can” video by the Black Eyed Peas that shows a parade of mindless Hollywood celebs chanting “Yes we can” like they had just spent all summer at cult camp. That only targeted young people. Another video of children wearing “Imagine Hope” T-shirts looks more like it was smuggled out of a Dear Leader celebration from North Korea.
And Obama abused a recent interview he had with a young student. Obama used the young journalist for softball questions much like he uses the major media. The YouTube video had nearly half a million views of this little bit of big government propaganda about all the good things his administration is doing to help education. In it, the president listed several ways parents can teach their children. The recommendations included reading aloud to children and helping them with their homework. But he left out one key thing – not to let your children be indoctrinated.
Smart minds in the conservative movement want parents to pull their kids out of Tuesday’s little bit of indoctrination. That’s not enough.
Obama proves conservatives need to go further than that. This stunt should serve as a larger reminder that this kind of manipulation of young people occurs every day in America at the hands of the NEA. Conservatives for too long have fought little skirmishes against the outlandish biases coming from the uber left who control a huge portion of our children’s waking hours.
That needs to stop. Conservatives of all stripes – social conservatives, libertarians, Christian conservatives and more – all need to unify to stop government from manipulating our young people. The promise of education is an important one. How we deliver it needs to change.
It’s time for conservatives to not just lobby for a few charter schools or a tiny tax break. Conservatives need to push to defund the government-controlled school system and replace it with true school choice. Give parents the money and let them choose the best schools for their children. Stop letting NEA automatons decide how many times to watch Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” or how much sex education fourth graders should have.
Obama has reminded conservatives that there is a better answer for his version of public education. To quote another White House veteran from better days: “Just say no.”
Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and Vice President for Business and Culture at the Media Research Center. He is a regular contributor to the FOX Forum and appears frequently on Foxnews.com's "The Strategy Room."
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.