Yes...... I, too, can not believe it but this post is at least partially about Mr. Obama.
I don't consider myself a very political person. I have a few core beliefs that I feel strongly about, so I vote that way, but otherwise don't generally discuss politics much. There is a lot about politics I just don't understand and am certainly not able to carry on much of a debate with someone with opposing viewpoints. I just know what I believe. So, I generally keep my mouth shut.
I am very conservative politically and just don't care much for many of Obama's view points at all.
Everyone- whether you have kids in school or not- heard about the President's speech to school kids yesterday. I have found it interesting to think and reflect on the hysteria caused by it.
I first heard about it one evening while speaking on the phone with a friend. I had not heard anything about it at all, and she goes on to tell me about this horrific speech the president was set to give and how kids should not watch it and that many schools were canceling it due to parental concerns. I thought it sounded interesting, but didn't think too much of it since I hadn't heard about it otherwise. The next day, another friend mentioned it- who had heard the news from her over-zealous in-law and was also concerned by what she heard. After these two conversations, I too was concerned. After speaking to both of them, I read about it in the paper and also didn't like what I read there. I was especially concerned that our school district was requiring the children to watch it- without even giving parents a choice to opt out. My first reaction was to not send them to school that day. How dare they make my child watch something I was opposed to? However, I made a conscience decision to not join the hysteria and to study the situation myself.
So, I started to read about it. The more I read, the more it seemed to truly be intended as a "stay in school" speech- which, within itself is really a good thing! But, I read the concerns were due to some of the Presidents original phrasing such as asking the kids ways they could "serve their president" (versus their country...) and other such phrasing. This part is true, and where the hysteria came from I think, however- the phrasing was changed as the staff came to realize it wasn't worded well. So, I ended up relaxing completely having no issue with my children watching the speech. Despite the fact I don't care for Obama, he had a good message to share, and he is the president after all, and my children are young enough they don't really listen anyway.
It got me thinking as to what led to all of this panic. Here are my thoughts:
1) the concern over the phrasing. This was passed from person to person to person, without those people really reading up on it before passing it on to the next person. As this was passed on to those who are highly politically charged, it progressed to an anger, and continued to get passed down the line from person to person.
2) Some people, who maybe weren't concerned about the message itself, were opposed because they felt (quoted from a viewer on the news one night) "the President should stop campaigning and do his job." This probably explains what I read that, even though past presidents of all parties have done similar speeches, it has been controversial every time because it is hard to believe that a "politician" isn't campaigning every time they open their mouth, and parents are worried about their children being "campaigned to" while in school. Presidents such as George H.W. Bush, Reagan and Kennedy all did something similar, all with at least a little controversy.
3) Even the pro-Obama people got worked up because of the protesters and took things to far. I talked back and forth with some people on Facebook about the situation. I never outright opposed, because I was on the fence and not sure what it was all about, but I did state my concerns as I was trying to understand- but I read some comments of people stating that those who were opposed did so because of his race. Why would they claim that just because someone disagreed they were racist???? Puh-leeze. Give me a break. At least with my concerns, race had nothing to do with it. Maybe I am naive, but I tend to think racism can't be that big a problem for our President at least, when he did manage to get elected....
4) We all like a good story or scandal. I think it is within us all to lean toward the dramatic. Sometimes I think we all need to take a step back and look at the big picture. It is easy to get worked up about things like this with emails going around previously accusing Obama of being the next Hitler. Again... Puh-leeze. As I said before, I disagree with Obama and I don't think he is best for this country, but I certainly don't see him as being the next Hitler. Another couple years (or 7 at the most....) and he will be voted out, their will be a new president andlife will go on.
So, I know I have rambled on a bit. As I said before, my children watched the speech and I am glad they did. I am thankful that I didn't panic, but took a step back and did what I could to figure it out. I think if we all did that when we are told something questionable (whether it is about the president, or our neighbor) that we should hesitate to jump on the band wagon and seek for the true information and make educated decisions about what we believe and what is best- and respect others even if they disagree. What a boring world it would be if we all believed the same.
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