September 4, 2009

Listening to Speeches

Pam is right, this is getting crazier by the minute. Why are people freaking out about a president giving a speech? I don't care if the president is liberal or conservative or whatever, he is the president and if he's giving a speech to school children I'd probably let them watch it. It could come from President Obama or President Bush, it doesn't matter. At least Ms. Yingling's concerns were more about delivery than content.

This isn't about politics--it's about being rational, thoughtful citizens. We need to be able to listen to differing views and make up our own minds. I personally thought that George W. Bush's first term was illegitimate and that the high court had no business intervening on the election. But if he had stated that he was giving a speech and he wanted the school children to hear it, if I was able to I would have made it available. He's the president for crying out loud. He's not going to tell them to all run around in the streets with water balloons or something. Jeez.

I mean "indoctrinate"? Really? Into what? Being a citizen in a democracy? It's ok, you don't have to agree with everything they say. You don't even have to watch it. But this scaremongering over different points of view are ridiculous. Especially when you haven't even heard them yet.

Let the man give his speech...then if it's loopy you can criticize.

Since we're on the topic of speeches and ideological differences, I want to share another speech. On October 3, 1983 the recently departed senator, Edward Kennedy gave this amazing speech to Jerry Falwell's then-named Liberty Baptist College, now know as Liberty University. Yes, you read that right. The most liberal senator in congress spoke at Jerry Falwell's college during the height of the whole "moral majority" business. He was, like always, warm and funny and unafraid to say what he thought. No matter your personal political views, it's a beautiful thing to watch.

Oh to live in a time and a place in which healthy and reasoned debate are not only accepted, but embraced. If we can't even listen to each other, how can we learn anything?

5 comments:

C. B. James said...

We watched his inaugural address back in January. To be honest it's a mixed experience for my 6th and 7th graders, as far as educational value goes. It certainly didn't hurt anyone. They all basically forgot it completely by the end of the day. It's a speech. They're 12.

Teacherninja said...

Good point. I was actually realizing that I probably WON'T be watching it w/students since I'm not a classroom teacher. I was trying to point out the reasons people don't want to watch it are basically bugfuck crazy and have nothing to do with the speech itself. I think you're right, the president (or any authority figure) telling kids to work hard and stay in school isn't going to affect their lives one way or the other.

Kathy said...

Well Said! it is just CRAZY - I am not a Bush fan, but if he had done a speech like this when he was President I wouldn't have thought twice about my kids watching it. This WHOLE thing has been created by the right wing media - which is SOO sad. At my school, PERMISSION slips actually came home - you can fill one out if you DO NOT want your child watching - again... CRAZY!!

Harrell Elizabeth said...

I fear it is not just partisan politics, but a more insidious reason of the right. It is very demoralizing for all people.

Teacherninja said...

I hera you Kathy and H.E. I think it's ironic that these right-wing cable nuts are promoting something so thoroughly un-American. Don;t listen to the democratically elected president. Stay out of school. Limit free speech. What happened to traditional conservative values?