It has only been a scant few hours since President Obama addressed a dual session of Congress on Health Care Reform that saw a shockingly sad and disrespectful moment take place when Representative Joe Wilson (R- South Carolina) yelled out “You Lie” as President Obama was addressing the inaccuracies that surround the myth of health care reform and the alleged coverage that will (will not) be granted to illegal aliens in this country.
Now taken alone this would be an unfortunate incident best quickly forgotten to history. But unfortunately it does not exist alone. In fact, it does not even stand alone for the week. In what had to have been the most convoluted case of hate over reason, a simple speech by the President of the United States intended for returning and new students became a controversy of stunning stupidity in this country. Whereas at one time the idea of the President of the United States speaking to school children may have invoked images of a Norman Rockwell quality, today it invokes for some images closer aligned to the reaction received at the debut of Igor Stravinsky‘s “Rite of Spring.”
This “outrage” at the President’s address to school children is both demonstrative and was, until Representative Wilson’s outburst, the culmination of extremism along with the death of reason. And it points to a level of disrespect for the President that is not organic but is instead being demanded and created at all costs.
Now why would anyone have a problem with the President of the United States speaking to school children? Not in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would see a day when parents would not be thrilled (despite political differences) to have their child exposed to the President in this personal way right in the environment of their own classrooms, delivering to their children a special message intended just for them.
Of course the objections went through several incantations to endeavor a justification that might dismiss the emotional reaction for an attempted complaint of substance. First, it was about how this speech by President Obama is the equivalent of him starting his own brand of a Hitler Youth Program. Then, when that proved too silly, it was all about how President Obama was indoctrinating the children against their parents’ teachings. Then, “No, the problem is the lesson plan.” Then when the lesson plan was changed (because writing to the President is somehow the beginning of these children’s political indoctrination), it became a matter of this speech being a Constitutional violation.
Persons that one would expect to place reason over outbursts had their say. State Senator Steve Russell of Oklahoma, for instance, commented: “As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education—it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality.” And he added, “This is something you’d expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.“
And as if all this was not irresponsible enough in its attempt to corrupt integrity and advance stupidity now that the speech is history we are hearing unsubstantiated comments about how the speech was altered with all the brainwashing removed. As if the original speech was about turning on your parents, a discussion of Iraq, torture and how if you reject conservatism you will get cash and a new puppy. All this naturally following an introduction by President Obama inviting students to watch his shiny pocket watch swinging back and forth while chanting “Children, you are getting sleepy.”
And just in case you are thinking that disgrace has met enough shame for today, there are even some people raising the complaint that because President Obama ended his speech with “God Bless You, and God Bless the United States of America” he was introducing prayer into the classroom.
It is to our national shame that in our country the death of civility and respect has voluntarily, and with thunderous applause, changed our nation from a country to a competition. From the once sacred chambers of our own elected government to the once sacred place of our children’s classrooms, history will someday observe these things and be flabbergasted that a portion of society could voluntarily become so incensed over the results of an election that they would willingly inject levels of such extreme disrespect along with levels of paranoia that must be insisted on to be true to be believed.
Lloyd E. Flyer is a freelance writer and may be contacted through the “Tolucan Times” or at Alternateangle@pacbell.net.