Consider the liberal-left choir's response to concerns that President Barack Obama would use his speech to the country's schoolchildren to indoctrinate children in support of his big-government, socialistic agenda. For example, on September 8, the day of the speech, HuffingtonPost.com blogger Mario Almonte wrote in a column entitled, "Republican Critics of Obama's School Speech Stoke the Fires of Bigotry in America":
... within this immense pool of 60 million who voted Republican thrives a disturbing core of religious fundamentalists, ultra conservatives, and all-purpose extremists whose true motivation — when you strip away their often irrational and contradictory rhetoric — is a hatred of everyone and everything that is different from them. They are the true Ugly Americans, who hate the Jews, the Blacks, the Latinos, the homosexuals — and anybody who believes in anything they do not.... These are the same people who Republicans now support when they publicly validate the dubious argument that Obama's true motive, in addressing school children, was to brainwash them into following his "socialist" agenda.
The following day, CNN anchor Campbell Brown intoned: "Can we have a rational conversation on health care, education and the economy?... It's time to get real and get at the facts. I want to take a minute to talk about some of the insanity we have witnessed over the past few days; the ridiculous charge that the president of the United States addressing American children is a dangerous thing.... Can we all take a deep breath and admit this whole episode was just nutty?"
It doesn't seem to matter that the Obama program thus far has already nationalized the auto industry as well as the banking and financial industry, or that he has appointed upwards of 40 "czars" (by recent count) who are exercising authority over vast swaths of our economy and society — without Senate confirmation, which is to say without any constitutional authority. Nor does it seem to matter that President Obama is pushing relentlessly for nationalized healthcare, a vast National Service program, and a national CO2 "cap and trade" program that will fasten draconian federal regulatory controls on virtually every human activity. Characterizing these socialistic programs as, well, socialistic, is verboten, according to the liberal-left Big Media thought cartel.
But, let's take CNN's Campbell Brown's advice (even though she didn't, herself) to "get real and get at the facts." The facts are that in advance of the address, Arne Duncan, Secretary of the federal Department of Education sent letters to educators throughout the nation suggesting lesson plans to coincide with Obama's message. Teachers in pre-kindergarten through 6th grade, for example, were encouraged to have their pupils "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals." Is it the job of the schools to instruct our children to "help the president" — even if that means helping him institute programs, policies, and legislation of which their parents strongly disapprove or even find morally reprehensible?
The federal Education Dept. guidelines also suggested that teachers tell students to "build background knowledge about the president of the United States by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama." As if our children have not already been saturated with Obamamania. The media adulation saturation for Barack Obama has far exceeded that for any previous President, including media darlings FDR and JFK. The public backlash to the plan caused the Obama Educrats to realize they'd gone too far too fast; they replaced the manipulative "classroom activities" on the Department website with more innocuous fare. Even Salon's very pro-Obama Joan Walsh admitted on MSNBC with Chris Matthews on September 4 that the administration was indeed "overreaching" with this scheme and that "there sometimes is a tin ear in the people around Obama. They do play into this cult of personality." (That did not prevent Walsh, seconds later, from joining Matthews in denouncing parents opposed to Obama's overreaching cult.)
It is this very real and disturbing cult of personality, combined with Obama's militant "change" agenda that understandably has many parents concerned - and rightfully so. The term "cult of personality" is something we associate with totalitarian dictators: Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Tito, Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe, Ayatollah Khomeini, Pol Pot, Kim Il-Sung. Americans, we smugly tell ourselves, would never succumb to such demeaning sycophancy and servitude; we're much too sophisticated and independent for that. However, many parents have viewed some of the videos on the Internet of fresh-faced children and youth singing and chanting their praises to Obama in scenes that look eerily, creepily similar to video clips of children in communist North Korea singing to the "Dear Leader," or to the scene from the movie "Cabaret" where the misguided, idealistic Hitler Youth sing the stirring "Tomorrow Belongs to Me."
The "Sing for Change" campaign video features a roomful of winsome children in UN-powder blue T-shirts emblazoned with "HOPE" earnestly hymning to the new savior: "We're gonna spread happiness, we're gonna spread freedom. Obama's gonna change it, Obama's gonna lead 'em. We're gonna change it, and rearrange it; we're gonna change the world."
Equally, if not more disturbing, is the "Obama Youth — Junior Fraternity Regiment" video of the black male teens, dressed in military camouflage fatigues, who march into a Kansas City, Missouri, classroom and chant their support for Obama and his healthcare plan.
Here's another example from a school in Burlington, New Jersey:
This is indoctrination, not education. Ditto for the Fayetteville, North Carolina, teacher Diatha Harris, who asks her young students whether they're "pulling for" Obama or McCain and then browbeats to tears a young girl (whose father is a soldier in Iraq) for saying she supports McCain. This cruel child abuse and unethical exploitation of classroom authority was caught on video by a Swedish documentary crew (and then went viral over the Internet).
Parents know that these are not isolated incidents. They know the national teacher unions (the 3.2 million-member NEA and the 856,000-member AFT) comprise many of Team Obama's staunchest "change" cadres and provided the Obama campaign with some of its largest campaign contributions. Many of these teachers-cum-propagandists need no prodding from FedEd Secretary Duncan to turn every "teachable moment" into a programmatic push for every Big Government proposal imaginable, from Obamacare to Law of the Sea Treaty to Cap and Trade to National Service.
Many critics of Obama's education program are also aware that the President's speech to the schools was not happening in a vacuum, but was (and is) part of a concerted effort by the Obama administration, along with its Hollywood allies and billionaire politco-philanthropists to further nationalize and centralize American education. On the same day that his speech was broadcast to the nation's schools, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Viacom, the mega-media giant, launched their five-year "Get Schooled" National Education Initiative at the Paramount Pictures studio lot.
Serving as a launch pad for the venture is a "Get Schooled" video featuring President Obama with American Idol pop diva Kelley Clarkson and NBA superstar Lebron James that aired on the same day as the president's school speech over Viacom's massive network, which includes MTV, BET, CMT, COMEDY CENTRAL, Nickelodeon, Nick @ Nite, Spike TV, and VH1 (to name but a few channels). These Viacom "entertainment" vehicles have been some of the top villains in the ongoing corporate media culture war aimed at dumbing down, bumming down, and scumming down our society. Viacom has also distinguished itself by unfailingly pushing a leftward political agenda, from enlisting youth in Al Gore's battle to save the universe from the global warming non-crisis, to a global "Safe Sex" campaign that prescribes condom use ("Rubber Rocks!" is the MTV slogan) while engaging in the promiscuous sex promoted by the Viacom's lewd, crude, raunchy programming.
Of course, there is also the incredible pro-Obama "I Pledge" video produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, in which sundry self-important Hollywood narcissists pledge their fealty to Barack Obama. A slew of shallow celebrities, including Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Eva Mendez, Cameron Diaz, and P Diddy, tell viewers: "I pledge to reduce my use of plastic ... to sell my obnoxious car and buy a hybrid ... to be more green ... to turn the lights off ... to flush only after a deuce, never a single ... to go to USAService.org ... to be of service to Barack Obama ... to be the change ... to be a servant to our president."
This "serve Obama" propaganda video also has been shown to captive school audiences.
In our 24/7 pop culture of celebrity idolatry, Barack Obama is constantly presented to young people as the epitome of cool, hip, smart, and sexy — and he is all but worshipped by Hollywood demigods whom our youth are taught to idolize. This engenders a mindset that is conducive to tyrants and fatal to freedom, limited government and our constitutional safeguards. The charges of Fidel Castro and his like-minded comrades in the Big Media punditocracy notwithstanding, parents are not "racist" or "insane" for suspecting that President Obama and/or his fanatical followers would exploit his speech to the schools to further his Big Government political agenda.
Thumbnail Photo: AP Images