On this, the anniversary of one of the saddest days in American history, I am reflecting on the almost psychotic extremism being portrayed in the American political experience. I am basically frightened by some of the rhetoric that I am hearing from both sides, but particularly the extreme Right.
Here is an example that I just read in a "readers' comments" section on the Bangor Daily News website. See if it makes any sense to you:
Lori, the "socialist agenda" in Obama's speech, as proposed is not held within the speech itself. The concentrated concern of the problem issues came from the outside. The very fact of Obama's background, oratory style of saying nothing in a long speech, the frustrating manner in which he twists words and theories, and his everlasting manner of street-speaking, frustrates a lot of people. What a concern of these people who were adamant against having their child sit and be forced to listen to Obama the other day was simply just that! Because parents know how Obama is, Obama has proven himself to be something he once said he was, and is not, and they (parent's) were afraid of something being said in-topic which could have been detrimental; not known by young minds what Obama's intent or words would actually be, absorbed into their minds!BTW, this is in response to a teacher who wrote a guest column about the lack of student responsibility. I chose these comments because I simply can make no sense out of what the person is saying. But it is clear they don't trust Mr. Obama and apparently fear he has some unique powers of persuasion that will somehow corrupt the minds of children. Wow.
The next reader's comment came from a woman who described herself as someone "recently retired from school teaching in Maine, after 25 frustrating years..."
In terms of Obama's speech, I was against it for several reasons: schools are suppose to be apolitical; early addresses by past Presidents were not beamed out to every student, due to lack of technology ,and teachers could decide whether they wanted to attend, but most schools did not have the TV's available; Obama has embedded messages in most of his speeches which might encourage indoctrination of students; Obama is everywhere pushing his message; Parents should be the people deciding whether students listen to him at a young age, perhaps high school students, but not K-6; some schools mandated viewing, which is truly socialist in nature.Excuse me, did you just say, "...Obama has embedded messages in most of his speeches which might encourage indoctrination of students..."
Both of my grandchildren did not watch the Obama speech. They are Kindergarten students, and too young to understand. One child stayed home, as the speech was mandated in Broward County, Florida, and the other child did go to school, as the school "archived" the speech, stating it was not in their primary curriculum.
God help us.
Image from Creative Commons