Friday, September 4, 2009

Getting Political for a Moment

My Disgust with American Politics

I don’t feel like Obama’s making the kind of difference he promised, though I wouldn’t say it’s entirely his fault, either. The US government is built on a strong foundation. I happen to believe that the Constitution of the United States of America is a pretty good basis for government. The problem is that people have spent the last 200 years figuring out how to game the system. The result? Pork-barrel spending on a lot of crap nobody needs (and some useful stuff that sometimes seems like it fell in along the way), political “pundits” from both sides of the aisle who serve more to rouse the rabble than to draw attention to cogent and meaningful issues, and lobbyists who spend fortunes to bring political pressure to bear for their cause, whatever that cause may be. I don’t believe that any administration, in light of that, can affect the sort of change that America desperately needs to continue to be a bastion of hope and freedom for another 200 years.

What has me particularly outraged at the moment is Obama’s planned address to students on Tuesday. The message, according to the White House, “will emphasize the importance of education and hard work in school, both to the individual and to the nation.” (quoted from the New York Times). Seems reasonable, right? Not according to Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer, quoted from ABC News:

Nonetheless charges from Republican officials that President Obama is seeking to indoctrinate students -- unsupported by any real evidence -- have been flying.

Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer, who this week called President Obama’s planned speech to school children an attempt to “indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda,” told ABC News' Steve Portnoy that he’s pleased with the change in the Department of Education document.

Greer said "this administration has been very aggressive and very vocal of their vision of what America should look like in the future and that is not my and my wife’s vision of what America should look like.."

He said "this White House has been very diabolical in creating outlets to communicate with young people."

The Times also quoted him as saying:

Jim Greer, said he “was appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology.”

Diabolical? Are you kidding me? What’s so socialist about “education and hard work in school”? There’s more. From the Times:

Mark Steyn, a Canadian author and political commentator, speaking on the Rush Limbaugh show on Wednesday, accused Mr. Obama of trying to create a cult of personality, comparing him to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader.

What??!? Is there any sane person who can look at that without their head threatening to simply explode? Apparently yes – this crap works! From the Times:

Chris Stigall, a Kansas City talk show host, said, “I wouldn’t let my next-door neighbor talk to my kid alone; I’m sure as hell not letting Barack Obama talk to him alone.”

Mr. Stigall, I humbly submit that a nationally-televised broadcast to students is not the same as taking your child into a closet. There’s nothing “alone” about being in a classroom with 20+ other kids or an auditorium with hundreds of fellow students (none of whom are actually listening to the President's speech anyway). More:

“The thing that concerned me most about it was it seemed like a direct channel from the president of the United States into the classroom, to my child,” said Brett Curtiss, an engineer from Pearland, Tex., who said he would keep his three children home. “I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement.”

Again, what?!? We don’t trust the President of the United States to make a public speech directed at America’s students? Because some Canadian on Rush Limbaugh says so? I struggle to wrap my mind around the breadth and scope of this nonsense.

There’s a real opportunity here for parents to say to their kids, “ You’re going to hear a speech from the President tomorrow. I want you to listen to it and think about what he’s saying, then come home and we’ll talk about it.” Instead, parents like Mr. Curtiss are actually taking their kids out of school for the day to protect their tender ears from our own President’s scurrilous message of education and hard work.

Or maybe they’re actually worried that the speech is the prelude to a death panel.

Look, I’m not so naïve as to believe that Obama walks on water or that he doesn’t have ulterior motives in everything he says and does politically. I even recognize that the Times is widely viewed as having and supporting a Democrat/Liberal agenda. But that, too, is part of the problem. The media doesn’t so much report news as stir up popular concern over crap like this. And the American people eat it up! I’m just disappointed.

I’m disappointed that in order to be a politically viable candidate, a man like John McCain, who I really wanted to vote for back in 2000, had to so fundamentally change his doctrine that by the time he was done, I no longer wanted to vote for him. I’m disappointed that efforts to fix the economy, health care and education get bogged down in crap about death panels and a “socialist agenda.” I’m disappointed that Obama’s commitment to hope and change is almost certain to fail because there’s a huge political machine in our country that doesn’t really want either. It just wants to keep churning along, pumping money into the establishment and stirring up public outrage over things that generally aren’t even true or are stretched so far out of context as to be irrelevant.

It’s just such a mess that I begin to wonder if what we’ve got can really be fixed. And if it can, how? And if it can’t, then what?

No comments:

Post a Comment