A presidential address to American students about the importance of staying in school is not indoctrination. With 6.2 million high school dropouts (according to CNN) in 2007, we should be more concerned about having a society that keeps students in school so that they can realize their potential than we should be about the evil President Barack Obama turning poor, innocent children into liberal demons.
This newest push against the president should alarm all Americans because it indicates that we no longer have a society where we can work together to fight for progress and justice. Instead, we now live in a country so politically polarized that we don’t trust the president, a man who attended the finest institutions in the land, to deliver an honest message about being well-educated.
This molehill of a controversy fits squarely into the Republican playbook. I must admit that I understand the importance of a loyal opposition. A loyal opposition is the lifeblood of a good democracy because it performs an important check on the ruling party and keeps us from making disastrous decisions.
That stated, it disappoints me to know that we have a loyal opposition so dedicated to regaining power that it distorts the truth and injects fear into the population. This opposition party has spread rumors that the president is not a natural-born citizen, plans on euthanizing the elderly and is hell-bent on turning the country into a socialist empire. Radical members of the Republican Party even attend presidential town halls brandishing loaded weapons while threatening to “water the tree of life with the blood of tyrants.”
This ill-founded fear of the president needs to stop. Barack Obama has not done a single thing to earn the title of socialist or communist nor does he have Nazi-like tendencies, like some on the right would have us believe.
Some reading this article might say the Democrats were just as awful to President Bush. Democrats did not protest President Bush based on fear or rumors. Instead, they protested a war that had no just cause and an administration that played politics instead of focusing on the needs of the country.
In any case, we must realize that we have too much at stake, that the mistakes we make will have disastrous consequences. We must not fear so much that we believe the president will turn our children into liberal monsters. If Americans are to make progress and realize their potential, they must stop this backbiting and focus on ensuring that everyone receives a good education.
Bennett Parsons is a junior music education major from Arlington.