Really, Conservatives? REALLY?

7 comments

I’m a liberal guy, it’s true, but there are some things that transcend political opinions.  Like this FOX News story about parents forbidding their children’s schools from showing the kids President Obama’s speech to students next week.

Unbelievable.

This goes beyond whether or not you agree with the man.  This is censorship and, quite frankly, abuse of parental powers.  You are restricting the information your children can gather about the world around them.  Even if you don’t personally agree with what Obama has to say, what gives you the right to prevent your children from forming their own opinions?  If you only allow them to hear speeches that present a message you agree with, they’ll turn out like you: bitter, crazed, and only stocked with facts that support their viewpoint.

In the FOX News article, parent Regine Gordon says this:

"It's kind of like going through the children to get to their parents. Children are very vulnerable and excited. I mean, this is the president. I think it's an underhanded tactic and indicative of the way things are being done."

Okay, two things:

1. President Obama does not have the power to control your children’s minds.  I know this may surprise some of you, but it is the simple truth.

2. Even if your kid agrees with the President’s words, and even if he or she tells you that you should support Obama’s reforms, you are not powerless before your offspring.  You are, in fact, the parent, and for the time being you’re the one paying the bills.  Your children don’t decide your political leaning.

Also from the FOX News article:

The idea of having Obama speak directly to children without so much as a permission slip being sent home just "makes you feel a little funny," said Beth Milledge of Winterset, Iowa. She said she plans on going to school with her 8-year-old son to watch the address with him.

"I want to know how it's being presented," she said. "I'm all for my child having respect for the president, but why wouldn't he show us the speech first and then go from there?"

Maybe because he doesn’t want you to fill your child’s head with hatred, lies, and utter nonsense before he speaks to your kid himself.  Which is probably what you’re going to do anyway, Mrs. Milledge, since you’re tagging along with your third-grader on Tuesday.  Man, that must be embarrassing:

“Hey Jimmy, what’s your mom doing here?”

“Well, she’s kind of a zealot.  She doesn’t want me to hear anything but her own opinions.”

For the record, I am aware of the fact that most third-graders don’t know what the word zealot means.  But I’m sure if Mrs. Milledge was my mother, I’d want to know how to accurately describe her.

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7 comments:

  1. My only disagreement is about this statement:

    "This is censorship and, quite frankly, abuse of parental powers. You are restricting the information your children can gather about the world around them."

    How is it abuse of parental powers? Do parents not have the right to decide what their children do and do not watch? Should they let their children watch a rape, just so they can gather information from the world around them? Let them watch graphic murders? I am not saying that watching the President give a speech is anything like that, and in fact I think these parents are being very childish, but I would have to say that they can control what their children watch.

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  2. Let me be clear. Technically speaking, parents can do whatever they want within the law. Obviously Obama's speech is in no way comparable to the bad things that parents prevent their children from watching. I'm not saying it is illegal for parents to do this, I'm saying that it makes them look like big jerks.

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  3. Even if you don’t personally agree with what Obama has to say, what gives you the right to prevent your children from forming their own opinions?

    Parents have the right to restrict their children from anything as long as it doesn't endanger their well-being. On the other hand, they shouldn't pressure schools into requiring permission slips or canceling the event entirely, though.

    If you only allow them to hear speeches that present a message you agree with, they’ll turn out like you: bitter, crazed, and only stocked with facts that support their viewpoint.

    Don't you get it though? That's what they want. They want their children to be ideological carbon copies of themselves. I grew up in a small, Republican town that had a conservative newspaper, and Fox News was "real reporting". Luckily for me, my mother was a Democrat.

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  4. Again, I will reiterate that I was referring to a moral right, not a legal one. Wording aside, though, I would argue that this kind of censorship *does* endanger a child's well-being -- mentally.

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  5. Well said, Eric. Schoolkids should always listen to presidential addresses, regardless of who's in power. I'm a little taken aback that these parents think otherwise.

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  6. Again, I will reiterate that I was referring to a moral right, not a legal one. Wording aside, though, I would argue that this kind of censorship *does* endanger a child's well-being -- mentally.

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  7. My only disagreement is about this statement:

    "This is censorship and, quite frankly, abuse of parental powers. You are restricting the information your children can gather about the world around them."

    How is it abuse of parental powers? Do parents not have the right to decide what their children do and do not watch? Should they let their children watch a rape, just so they can gather information from the world around them? Let them watch graphic murders? I am not saying that watching the President give a speech is anything like that, and in fact I think these parents are being very childish, but I would have to say that they can control what their children watch.

    ReplyDelete