Posts Tagged ‘education speech’

O.K., I don’t get it.  I just watched the full video of President Obama’s education speech today – http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2009/09/08/sot.obama.education.entire.cnn –  and sorry, but I don’t see what the fuss is all about.  I DO see a lot of disrespect for the President.  I was trying to think of a time when a president greatly affected me when I was in school, and it was President Kennedy.  He had President Kennedy’s Physical Fitness Program in the schools.  I probably have the name wrong  after all these years, but I clearly remember mandatory phys. ed. class in which we all tried really hard to meet the standards we were told the President had set.  These days?  We have no mandatory phys. ed. classes and a nation full of overweight, inactive kids. 

I also remember the Peace Corps when it was first founded.  There are times today when  I still think about joining as a senior citizen.  Both then and now, the Peace Corps was a way of giving back, of making a contribution out there in the wider world, of displaying the fact that not all Americans fit the mold of the “Ugly American” from the book of so long ago.

Did we think socialism then?  We did not.  Did we lob rude, crude criticisms at the President then?  Not that I recall.  We had some respect for the office and for the man; and if the President wanted us to be physically fit, we were going to work on it.  Did we feel ruled by some kingship, as if our choices were taken away?  We did not.  As school kids – I was in junior high and high school in those years of his presidency – we had something, and some one, who commanded our respect. 

It wasn’t Camelot, we all know that now.  But in those days, there was no shame in respecting the office of the President and the man who held the position; and there was no outcry over being asked to fulfill our better natures.  He helped shape our dreams – most leaders do.  Why are we, in this country, so determined not to dream, not to aspire, but only to throw spit balls and whine and complain?

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