Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I really hate to do this, but...

I typically avoid talking about politics, usually because I am not fully educated on the subject, and other times to avoid getting into a heated debate as to which side is more hurtful to the American people or whatever else might come up. Today, I just can't avoid it.

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, presented a speech directed toward school children yesterday. It sparked a giant controversy leading up to the address, but calmed down after due to it's motivational content. Many Republicans were upset, fearing that it was Obama's attempt to “indoctrinate” students to his liberal beliefs, and some parents called it an improper mix of politics and education. At the end of the speech, most everyone agreed that it ended up being decidedly motivational rather than political.

However, while reading a follow-up article on the Portland Press Herald this morning, I did as I usually do, and read the reader comments, all 57 of them as of 9:21 AM. I quickly realized what is wrong with this country. It's not the health care system. It's not the out of control deficit. It's not even the continuing high unemployment and struggling economy. The problem with this country is how deep rooted the hatred the Republican and Democrat parties have for each other right now, and it is absolutely disgusting.

I wish that my daughter, who is in second grade, had been given the opportunity to see the address yesterday. In fact, I plan on reading the text of the speech to her tonight. In it Obama spoke of his mistakes and how he could have easily gone the other way. He reminded the children that they have a responsibility to themselves, their families, and more importantly this country. They are the future, and it is hard work getting to where you want to go, but it is well worth it. He reminded them how important education is, and that you can't quit school and fall into a great job. He talked about how becoming a Reality TV star or the next star athlete is more often than not a dream, and not something that can be easily attained. Education is crucial, as it will always be there to fall back on when other avenues may not work out for you.

Can somebody please tell me how this could have been bad for children to see or hear? Everyone gets too caught up in the political aspect of things, and, I think, misses the big picture. I read somewhere that Obama was using the speech to improve his approval rating because he would brainwash the children into thinking he is a great guy and that they should do as he says. I could be wrong here, but this doesn't make too much sense. Unless things have changed drastically since I was in school, there aren't too many kids in school that are of voting age, so I'm not really sure how this would help his approval rating. I was utterly disgusted reading the comments section following the story in the Press Herald, until I came upon the one below. She summed things up for me...

barbara58 of Bridgton, ME
Sep 9, 2009 8:20 AM
The biggest problem in this country seems to be emphasizing differences, rather than searching out common ground and trying to work together for the good of the country as a whole. Oh, excuse me...that would involve taking politics out of the equation and the "children" in various offices wouldn't have anything to whine about anymore. Guess I just don't have any patience(or use)for those who waste time and resources pointing out why their way is the only way. Get over yourselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Agree with him or not, Obama is the President and he's just trying to do his job which is help the country out of the messes he was left and try to avoid major future problems. He was elected, there was no coup or hostile takeover....let the man get on with his job! Instead of knocking him and his plans....propose an alternative. If it's reasonable, it may actually help. I know it's a shock to the system, but it seems that Obama does actually want to help the country find its way

We need to stop pushing the ideals of the parties and start looking for common ground. Having played sports all my life I have learned that it isn't about the individual, it's about the team, and we, as a country, need to put our differences aside and work for the greater good of the country as a whole. Bickering, name calling and finger pointing is not helping. We are the United States of America, the greatest country in the world. We need to get our collective shit together and stop worrying about gaining political clout in order to gain more votes or fearing to cross party lines. We need to do what is right for our country, and not for our party, I'm just saying.