My children, despite having one liberal parent and one conservative one, have come down firmly and absolutely on the side of conservatism. They loath Obama. Thank God, too, because Obama is going to use the power of the federal government to speak directly to America’s children, bypassing their parents as gatekeepers and intermediaries. It’s not Obama’s speech that actually worries me. If most kids are like mine, they’ll tune him out in about 3 minutes. Nope. The problem is the way in which schools are being encouraged to use that speech. [I've removed the text from this post, since it's messing with my site's formatting. You can still see it at the link, above.]
I find it unnerving that the teachers, the ones whom the students know and trust, and whose guidance they follow, are being told to educate the little darlings about Barack himself (not just presidents generally), to encourage the students to accept Obama’s words as important, to make the children believe that Obama is telling them to do something, and telling them to “help” the President. My feelings about this are true regardless of whether Obama slips in health care talk or is just using his bully pulpit to encourage children to work hard and do well in school.
To his credit, Obama has been remarkably consistent in supporting education and in telling children, especially black children, that education matters. That does not mean, however, that America’s children, who are a captive audience, should be forced, not only to listen to, but to act upon his speech. That’s an ugly precedent, and one that takes on a Dear Leader quality that is not only frightening, but strikingly un-American.
UPDATE II: Kim Priestap weighs in too.