Thinking About the President’s Speech to Schools

After seeing, on several news programs, the absolute furor that is occurring over a speech that might be delivered by the President, I feel that that furor is completely undeserved.

Let’s think about it.

The speech is going to be delivered one time, in a limited manner, and in the setting of school. First, when, as we are reminded by that same news coverage, Ronald Reagan spoke to the children of the nation, no problems arose. When the first George Bush gave a speech to school children, no one thought that the children would come home with a glazed look, and the values and practices of John Birch.


bush snr is it possible that these men were largely unimportant, as they spoke to school children, due to age, speaking ability, or perhaps message?

Christopher Dawson, one of the columnists for ZDNet,  has had a couple of entries about the upcoming Presidential appearances, and has a fairly reasonable, and reasoned, response to those jittery parents.

Is the problem because this President may actually not put the children to sleep with his speaking? After all, I know some staunch Republicans that had a hard time staying awake during a few of each of the above mentioned presidential speeches. Can it be because this man might actually string together some clear and logical thoughts, which cannot be denied?

barack_obama can this man be so incredibly influential, because he is a persuasive speaker, is not ancient (in the terms of a child), or because he is someone who did well though education? (it could not be the color of his skin, or could it?)

Though I’m certain he will, I really doubt that much will change. Why? If someone says something to anyone, chances are good that little will happen over the short term, no matter how important, or relevant the material. It takes time, and thought, and a will to make changes that causes any real change. Also. we must think about the contact time. It will be small, especially compared to the contact time that these up-in-arms parents should be having with their children. The parent should be the very most important influence in a child’s life, and if the parent(s) are not, then the fault lies with the home environment, not anything that might happen in the course of a day in school. And only one day, to be sure.

The fact that the time is limited, in the context of school, and not something that breaks new ground, should make this a non-issue. The fact that it is, and has gotten to be such a flap, says much more about the insecurity of many parents, rather than any overarching power of this President.


Man: An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.

Ambrose Bierce


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