Respect is Due…

September 4, 2009

The Oval Office

The 0ffice of the President is a sacred and cherished position, one that represents the freedom of a vocal electorate, the American past and cherished American traditions. The founding fathers believed in a representative form of government, with an individual at the helm that was a member of the citizenry. Whether or not you agree with the President’s political position, the office still carries a weight that is due a modicum of respect. There have been many presidents that I have not agreed with their platform personally, but they were still the highest elected official of our government. Therefore, respect is due and must be given.

I say this, because I am shocked at the outrage that has been stirred over the President’s upcoming address (September 8th @ 12:00 PM) to students within the United States. This address which is intended to be an apolitical statement reinforcing the benefits of an education all the while supporting the age old message to, “stay in school” has somehow been tainted. In fact his speech is no different than the message that every president who has ever sat in the White House has given. In fact a high level education is an expectation of our elected officials. Most of our presidents have held degrees from major ivy league institutions. Granted there have been a few presidents that did not fit this mold and even less who received an informal education see Andrew Jackson, and even the great George Washington, who called his own education, “defective.”)

Though the most interesting non-collegiate in modern American History is Harry S. Truman (Who never earned a college degree – though he dreamed of attending West Point, and did study two years at the Kansas City Law School.) His story is the most interesting due to the fact that he ordered the dropping of the atomic bomb, probably the most important global decision in our time. Truman was a very learned man, because he read voraciously, but I’m still a little surprised by that fact.

Back to the matter at hand: At what point did supporting education become political? Now I’m not talking about No Child Left Behind or Goals 2000 or the like, but at what point did we think that a political party pushing staying in school is a bad thing? I understand where people are saying this is a movement to say that Obama is trying to indoctrinate them as “Democrats,” but unless his speech starts saying that your enducation is sponsored by the Democratic party, what’s the big deal? Even if this is the case, can’t we trust our paid professionals (teachers) to act as the balancing force to say that Republicans, Independents and all political parties support this as well?

This is where someone chimes in with, “but all teachers are Democrats!?” Are you kidding me? Since when did it become a requirement to teach that you had to be a Democrat? Last time I checked the likely hood of any one person being a Democrat was about 1 in 2. Now granted teachers tend to be more democratic, but to say that they all are Democrats is ridiculous. Plus, do they expect the Republican educators and the Repbulican party to sit idlely by and watch the Democrats take responsibility for the education drive is!?

What we should be doing as a collective country is to rally around our elected official and champion the same message of education. Allow these students the opportunity to learn skills, ideas and to expand their minds, so that they may eventually come up with solutions to our political, social, and economic problems!

Plus, why would people wish that their child not participate in a political moment about a non-issue such as staying in school? Wouldn’t this be an opportunity to demonstrate that our government cares and that we should be involved in the political process? Maybe to smooth things over, the President could hold hands with prominent Republican leaders and they could deliver the message together. Afterwards, the whole country will sing “Kum Ba Ya” or better yet, “The Wheels on the Bus!”

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One Response to “Respect is Due…”

  1. N Says:

    I wish I understood the fuss over all of this. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday (who happens to be an elementary school educator), and while neither of us liked Bush as a president, we’re both the type of people for whom, as Americans, he was our President, whether we agreed with him or not. The position is a hard one, and I don’t envy any person the responsibility. Her mother, a staunch Democrat, has pictures of herself with President Bush (the younger) alongside her pictures with President Clinton.

    I think that it’s important to be active and vocal about politics, and the things you feel strongly about, especially if you’re not agreeing with how the government (President, Congress, State Legislator, or even town administrator) is handling it, but I was raised with respect for these same people, even when I don’t agree with them.

    (FWIW, I’m not registered with either party.)

    Er – sorry to make this delurking a very long rant. 😉


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