Schoolkids and Presidential Propoganda

Tommy Tomlinson, writing in the Charlotte Observer the other day, led off his column with quotes from the President’s speech to kids. He pointed out that the critics were correct about the speech being all about politics as you can tell from these snippets:

“We’ve been working to take an economy that was in bad shape and get it moving and growing again; take our national defense and make it first-rate again after a long period of decline; and to restore reason, respect and reality to our foreign policy, and I think it’s fair to say that we’ve made a good deal of progress.”

“We want to make your future better, because tomorrow belongs to you. And since you’re the leaders of tomorrow, I wanted to talk to all of you as a friend about the things you’ll have to do to ensure a prosperous nation and a peaceful world.”

Then Mr. Tomlinson drops his bomb; these comments don’t belong to Obama’s speech to kids, but to President Reagan’s speech to kids in 1986. President Reagan, of course, was not the last President to make such a speech, as the elder President Bush addressed the nation’s schoolchildren as well. The Charlotte Observer and other news sources tell similar stories regarding the criticism leveled at Reagan and Bush prior to the speeches by Democrats and readers; there was no criticism.

The rational middle, in this post, simply desires to point out the exercise our nation has been engaged in for the last 10 months; attack President Obama for everything.

“President Obama has turned to America’s children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating America’s youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves.”….Jim Greer, Chairman Florida GOP

Mr. Greer uttered those comments prior to seeing the contents of Obama’s speech. This seems similar to Teabaggers attacking the President for tax increases and gun laws that haven’t happened (or abuses of freedom that were committed by the Bush Administration). This also seems similar to Democrats and independents attacking the surge strategy before hearing the pertinent details; or spectators assuming that all ballplayers are on the juice…..

Do you get the impression that we just aren’t paying attention anymore? We took a strange turn somewhere, and started carrying on like reality shows with scripts. One of my bosses from the past, a quiet and thoughtful man from Alabama, tried to teach me to wait. He told me not to react to what a customer said, but to think about what they said. He told me to relax and pay attention. He told me, “closed mouth, open eyeballs”. When I manage to take that advice, I do well for myself. He is a smart guy, and his advice works well for the world at large.

Stop reacting, and try listening, thinking, and responding…..Reid, McConnell, Pelosi, and Boehner…that goes double for you!

For your contemplation and interest; the full text of President Obama’s prepared remarks,

http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

as well as the speech made by President Reagan (for comparison or reminiscence),

http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/51386d.htm

The rational middle hopes you all had a great Labor Day!