You know I’m Republican. I’m an “Old School Republican” – as in fiscal responsibility, thoughtful approaches informed by the lessons of the past, and belief in individual responsibility and accountability. The first campaign I worked on was Paul Laxalt’s U.S. Senate race in 1974.
I can not begin to imagine the politicians I grew up with, Senator Laxalt or Governor List or even President Reagan, coming unglued at the idea of the President making a national address directly to students on the importance of education. Honestly. Don’t you think Ronald Reagan, master of communication, would have addressed our students if he had had the technology available?
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“Obama would not be the first president to address American students in a speech televised from a public school. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush urged students to demand more of themselves in their studies. His speech was shown on CNN and broadcast on the radio.
Democrats at the time attacked the speech as political advertising and a waste of taxpayer money.”
We are talking about the President of the United States, not Fidel Castro.
Here’s what I don’t get. Republicans – we’re patriotic, right? We’re dedicated to fighting terrorists and those who “hate freedom” and to helping spread Democracy around the world, right? Democracy: that’s got something to do with peaceful elections, majority rule and protecting the rights of the minority, doesn’t it? Plus the first and second amendments (equally important to me)?
Well, you win some and you lose some. America elected President Obama in 2008. Now we can say, people didn’t get what they expected, but I don’t think we can insult the American people and say they were tricked or didn’t know what they were doing. If they knew what they were doing when they elected President Bush, then they knew what they were doing when they elected President Obama.
If people are so scared one speech from the President will sway their children, then by all means, they should keep their kids home. But honestly, don’t you think our kids know what our values are? And where we stand? Haven’t you taught them to speak up for what they believe? Whether it’s popular or not? Isn’t that what has always made this country great?
As my son often says, “don’t panic.” People, it’s undignified.