The White House posted President Obama’s speech to students yesterday, you can watch it below and read the transcript here.

Yes, the speech was innocuous.  I suspected it would be.  I wasn’t afraid that he was going to promote socialism or the like.  The only thing within his speech that I objected to was when he talked about the government’s responsibility.

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, and supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working, where students aren’t getting the opportunities that they deserve.

State and municipal government yes, federal government… no.  Education, another example of federal authority encroaching on states’ rights.

ABC reports that conservatives fears proved unfounded.  That’s misrepresenting the dissent.  Most conservatives fears were not with the content of the speech, I said my problem was with the curriculum and whether or not during discussion afterwards would critical thinking be exercised?  The backpedaled on that.  ABC’s was being disingenuous in their reporting when they interviewed a gentleman who though Obama was going to promote socialism

That wasn’t what people were concerned about.  Some were concerned about the history of this administration as it relates to politics and school children.  For others there is a crisis of confidence.  Then there’s the liberal mindset articulated at NBC where they said that parents who object aren’t smart enough to raise kids.  Then there’s schools that refuse to let parents opt out of a speech the White House said was optional.

Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier that the concern was never about content:

What is odd and creepy is the conception of government that underlay whoever it was in the Education Department, and it could have been a plural, to have a question, how can you help your president?

That is not innocuous. Look, it is not going to do any real damage. We’re not going to have people chanting poems about their dear leader.

The question is that that kind of thing about a relationship between the child and the president is extremely odd. A child has a relationship with a parent or with a teacher, later a mentor or a coach, but not a president.

A child swears allegiance to the flag and the republic for which it stands, but not the man who happens to be sitting in the White House. That’s the difference between a popular democracy – which is really a dictatorship – and a constitutional democracy. And the idea that you would want a child to have any relationship with a president is odd. He shouldn’t have any at all. He should have relationships with parents and teachers and friends, but not the president.

It wasn’t the content of the speech, it was the content of the curriculum and the concern that perhaps future speeches and classroom discussion directed at kids won’t be so innocuous.  Time will tell.

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  1. I have still yet to see any of the mainstream media call the speech what it really was. The speech was not just a toned down version, but completely edited, totally different one as opposed to the original one which included “how you can help (obama’s agenda)” I will say this, though: Clever trick by the administration to dumb down those opposed to his policies.

    1. @gary johnson, they technique is called ‘rope a dope’. Oddly enough: 1) I’m not sure it was even contemplated in this case — I think it was a freebie, and 2) Wow, it just keeps working! Some people never learn.

      1. @Shane Vander Hart, just when I think I can’t underestimate the reaction of the echo-chamber folks (the Malkins, Glenn Becks and World Nut Dailys), I find they still always manage to surprise me. In all, it was but a tempest in a teapot and crying wolf all the time only serves to desensitize everyone else. Those who identify with the 10-20% of the electorate who represent the hard core of the GOP may not recognize this but for those outside the core, it’s pretty distinctive.

  2. The nutjobs on the right NEVER cared about the content of the speech in the first place. The whole controversy is a bunch of contrived, feigned outrage. The speech is about WHO is delivering it, not what is being delivered. It’s personal, but the conservatives will never tell you that. I just wish that the righties would just come clean and tell us all what their real malfunction is.

  3. translation of his motivational speech on education for the future?

    students… you need to excel in school and continuing education so you can get the best paying jobs available to support the coming deficits and debts i’m currently building and will leave this country with once i’m done with all my plans. *big ear to ear grin*

  4. “ABC was being disingenuous in their reporting when they interviewed a gentleman who though Obama was going to promote socialism.”

    I correctly predicted they would do that several days ago right here on your blog. Now let’s see if the second part of the prediction comes true, i.e. that Obama will do a speech or series of speeches to students that add up to a thinly veiled pitch for socialist ideals.
    .-= Casey´s last blog ..The [Expanded] Bible =-.

  5. Yes, good call on the problem with the speech. “A wolf in sheep’s clothing” = Aesop’s Fables are still relevant today.

  6. Just like the Armageddon that would befall us in the year 2000, the speech that was suppose to indoctrinate our youth. Now who was spreading the baseless lies…..hmm…..oh ya, “Fake News”. Is anyone real surprised? Too funny.

    1. @Paul, Yeah sure they just changed the curriculum that was released and made changes in the speech so I doubt they were planning anything nefarious.

      If it was completely ok without any controversy why make any changes at all?

      Besides, in my comments on this, my primary objection was with the curriculum and how the discussion after might go.

  7. It seems the sky didn’t fall again.

    Re: “That [socialism & indoctrination] wasn’t what people were concerned about.”

    To be fair, a not insignificant number were. How many called for holding their kids back from school that day?

    1. @Argon, Most of the concern I heard was and for me personally was the curriculum involved. Not that the President spoke to the kids.

      I gave him props on his speech. It has to be noted though, he did make changes to it last minute.

  8. I think that we have to be very careful here.
    Just because the country elected this man to be President of the United States doesn’t mean that he should be allowed to record words that children might hear.
    It is vitally important that we act like complete morons and be constantly running around flapping our arms and gums.
    We can’t simply wait until he does something wrong before we condemn him.
    We elected this man president almost a year ago! Why hasn’t he gone away by now?
    Did he learn nothing from Sarah Palin’s example? Didn’t she teach us all to quit and not give a reason?
    or instead of wasting all this time recording words, couldn’t Obama have one to South America to see some cutie?
    Why , o why would he have done this thing?

  9. The leftists are using this as their opportunity to pull out all the stops and promote statism, national-socialism, defend marxism and tout the moral authority of communism, and villify capitalism, free enterprise, free markets, and individual liberty.

    This is where we stand firm to fight failed ideologies and the pseudo morality of utopian fantasies with rational, real, logical arguments steeped in historical examples of success and prosperity. It’s time to promote real solutions to poverty that shame and neuter the leftist lies of fairness, social & economic justice, and outcome based goals.

  10. I don’t think it had much of a motivational impact. I am not sure how anyone thought a speech targeting K-12 students would be effective anyway. You can’t tailor your speech and make it meaningful to such a wide range of ages. Go ask most K-4 graders what their take-a-ways were. Time would have been better spent on activities that are age appropriate.

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