I just knew that I’d miss some lame and trumped up controversy when I went on vacation, and I wasn’t disappointed. I opened my Facebook in the middle of last week to see many of my right-leaning friends in high lather about the President speaking to their schoolchildren.
You’d have thought someone invited Fidel Castro to come and share tips on how to overthrow democracy.
Now, granted if I were a parent I’d want to have some say in what my children were taught. That’s probably why I’d either send them to a private school or–if worse came to worse–join a homeschool consortium. But if I were relying on the government and other people to pay for my children’s education, I would just accept the fact that he who pays the piper calls the tune. And since the government is the piper-payer….you see where I’m going with this, right? You see yet again why I’m a libertarian.
As a libertarian I’ve seen kids forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school (and church!) for years. As I’ve said before, I feel it is a grave miscalculation to require recitation of the Pledge without first teaching its meaning and significance. A vow to support something with your life shouldn’t be something done as a sing-songy poem in a room of children who can’t even read. Yet for decades we’ve been pleased as punch with this form of government indoctrination. So why now are so many of my fellow Americans in a near riot?
Because we’ve decided that the President is no longer a public servant. After eight years of insisting that the President was Commander-In-Chief and qualified by that rank to make decisions over the armed forces; after eight years of insisting that the President was deserving of respect no matter what your party affiliation or ideological leanings. I guess with the show on the other stage many of us have decided to give lie to our previously-stated beliefs by becoming the very thing we hated for years. We have become people who characterise the President of the United States as a villain. We are telling our children that the President doesn’t deserve respect or decent treatment. There are many words for this, chief among them being “childish”, which I suppose is appropriate in this particular instance.
My parents saw their children exposed to a lot of things they didn’t believe in. You know how they handled it? They asked us what we thought of it and explained the other ways to look at the same issue. It taught us critical thinking, discernment, logic and tolerance. I wish other people had learned the same lesson.