Old time attitudes

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By Deborah Lucas Angel

How interesting…  When I was young, to hear a speech by the President of the United States was a good thing.  And, because I was and am an American; to listen to the President was a given.  He is, after all, the elected leader of our country, indeed the embodiment of our country.

However, apparently my views are old, antiquated and, well in some views, apparently un-American.

While listening to one of the 24-hour news channels on Thursday; I heard that President Obama was going to give a speech the following Tuesday.  The speech was to be given to school children across the USA in streaming webcasts.  Tuesday was picked because many schools were returning to classes that day.  In the speech, President Obama planned to urge kids to use their education to succeed.  Along with this speech, there would be some suggestions from the White House on activities to follow up the speech.

Wow, I thought that was a pretty cool idea.  How better to show kids the President cares for everyone, even kids, than by speaking directly to them?  

But, right on the heels of this announcement was the revelation that critics of the speech and activities were not having it.  Some school districts were not going to show the speech and some parents, whose districts planned to show the speech, intended to simply keep their kids out of school.

What the…?  Keep your kids out of school so they do not hear the President of the United States give a speech urging your kids to work toward success.

Here we have the democratically elected president of the freest country in the world taking interest in kids, urging them to succeed and these parents and school systems do not want the kids to hear this.

Seems to me bi-partisanship had reached an all-time low.  

This guy is not “your” president, not “their” president; he’s OUR president!  He is the duly elected leader of our country.  

Yes, yes it is the right of every citizen in this great country to exercise their right of free speech and basic freedom to choose to or not listen to a political speech.  But, what the heck are these people telling these kids?  It’s as if they are saying, “don’t you listen to that man, he’ll rot your brain!”

I was raised to respect the Office of the President and, ergo, to respect the man or woman in that office.  To be honest, there have been a couple of presidents I have not had a lot of respect for personally, however they were MY president at the time and so I did respect and listen to them.  Sure, you can turn off the TV or radio, but to keep kids out of school—I still have to wonder; what lesson is being taught here?

Ah well, I guess this idea of respect is about as passé as that “do unto others” platitude.  

Makes you wonder just who’s brain is really rotted here?

(Deborah Lucas Angel is a contributing writer to the Grant County News. She lives in Corinth.)