Thursday, September 3, 2009

Twilight Zone Alert: Conservatives Suddenly Oppose "Indoctrination" of Children

President Obama is scheduled to deliver a video message to school children next week. The message, billed as an event to inspire interest in education among students, has created controversy.

Educators, the Department of Education and the White House crafted educational materials to accompany the event. One question in the materials asks students to describe how they could "help" President Obama. It is unclear who designed this particular question, but it has has led to projectile vomiting among conservatives. In response, the White House has instructed educators to delete the offending materials.

Conservatives' Sudden Opposition to "Indoctrination" of Children
Personally, I find the idea of a video message from a president to the nation's young children a bit creepy. I found it even creepier, however, that President Bush was reading stories to children during and after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

But conservatives' sudden opposition to "indoctrination" of children is absolutely laughable -- and pathetically hypocritical. Conservatives have no problem with school officials leading children in Christian prayers or telling them the scientifically impossible myth that the Earth was created in 6 days by an omnipotent being who needed to "rest" after completing the project. They think it is faaah-bulous to force kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and salute the flag. And they favor blatant restraints on students' First Amendment rights -- particularly when those students do not subscribe to socially conservative notions of morality. Yes -- conservatives are the ones trying to beat the admirably tolerant "Gay/Straight Alliances" out of public schools and to punish students who protest wars and who make political statements favoring drug use. But now, indoctrination is a terrible social harm.

Give me a friggin' break!


liberal dissent said...

In my opinion, the hypocrisy of modern conservativism lies not in the fact that they indoctrinate with religion, but rather for the first 7 years of the Bush presidency they created a cult of personality around GWB which dwarfs anything involving Obama. If the video had been made 4 years ago, and talked about helping GWB, they would not complain at all about it.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

I agree that if the White House had asked kids how they could help Bush with 9/11, these same people would have found the behavior admirable. I also suspect that many liberals would have opposed it.

Anonymous said...

There's an awful lot of lumping people together in your statement, implications of "all" and "them" is not far from "you people." I choose to be conservative but I hold more dearly the idea of critical thinking. This battle between conservative and liberal thinking is getting us nowhere.

I agree. I don't like the President (either of them) speaking directly to the captured audience of our school children. I can't believe there are people who can subscribe to "too big to fail" and "it can't happen here."

Not long ago there was a reference to Hitler in the same sentence with Obama's name and it created a stir. The name Hitler is even vile to utter. However, did you know there is a bill in the House to repeal the constitutional amendment that limits the Presidential term?

If you step back and remove yourself from the moral high ground and take a look at the facts like an accountant you could easily add up that "it could happen here." No term limit, captured student audience, and enamored Dept. of Ed., a President that has our "best" interests at heart and the best intentions - it's starting to look like a duck.

I highly recommend you view the documentary "Weather Underground" which examines what can happen when one group emphaticall believes they have the moral high ground (like the conservative religous nuts) and a TED talk with Andre Mwenda ( - search Mwenda "new look at Africa").

The "liberal ideas" of social justice, charity, and taking care of those less fortunate also have unintended consequences that need to be balanced with conservative ideas.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

I am not on a "moral high ground." I think it is very hypocritical for conservatives (I never said "everyone who is conservative") to oppose "indoctrination" while supporting "indoctrination."

I didn't know there was a bill seeking to repeal presidential term limits -- which says a lot about the bill: it will go nowhere. Most proposed constitutional amendments die, and this is probably not the first time someone tried to repeal presidential term limits. This proposed amendment is dead on arrival. Ergo, your conspiracy theory rests on factual premise that has as great a chance of occurring as a snowy day in Miami.

Anonymous said...

Never said it was a conspiracy. Again, you are working from liberal biases. It's the same kind of hysteria that takes over in the markets, called "irrational exuberance" and at rock concerts and Baptist revival events. It's mass sheeple thinking.

FLRN said...

Oaky Darren - I have to agree with you that a message to children asking school kids to "pledge" to serving Obama or adopting a cause to be creepy.

While I respect the role of the President, his politics belief system and moral outlook are not a reflection of my own or my families - we are diverse and in celebrating that diversity it is my job to deliver or withhold moral and political messages to my children - not Hollywood, not Oprah and not Barrack.

Had this same message been promoted by George - insert the word Bush for Obama and half of the country would pass out. Perhaps it is my latent conservatism shining through here. This message has little to nothing to do with "promoting education in the United States" if it did it would begin and end with a picture of the country not Barack in a blatant self-promotional propaganda. The I pledge video reeks of self promotion, echoes with the slogan change. Taking a tally word education is mentioned once, change 7 times, and Barrack Obama 4, slavery 3 - someone kisses their own biceps, and Demi vows to be a servant to the President - where the heck is the stay in school part? TO quote a friend "Give me a Friggin' Break!"

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hi, FLRN. If the "I Pledge" video were shown in schools I would have a meltdown. Problem: It's not being shown. Obama is making a SPEECH to kids about the value of not dropping out of school (which I think is admirable). Although I still think it is creepy to address school kids exclusively, it isn't as brainwashing as the I Pledge video, which was filmed in January by adoring fans to celebrate the Inauguration. If you click back to Youtube itself, you will see that the I Pledge video was posted around the time of the Inauguration. I remember responding to it (here or elsewhere). It is not a part of the educational package for next week. If someone has information to the contrary, please post it.

'I Pledge' critics should pledge to use common sense

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Slight correction: The White House is not offering the video for schools to show students. I suspect that on any given day, some teacher could show the video, just as some teacher could tell students to "pray." But Obama should not receive criticism for this -- just as other people who pray should not receive criticism for the teacher's actions.

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