I really am starting to seriously worry that we are just about doomed as a country:

White House officials seemed to be caught flat-footed by the response to what they say was a simple back to school address by President Obama to students across the nation — and has turned into a firestorm…

Some parents are talking about keeping their kids from school on tuesday to avoid the president’s remarks. The White House says it will release a copy of the text of the president’s address on monday so parents and educators can see that the message is entirely about learning, staying in school and taking personal responsibility…

There is some historical precedent for presidents speaking to students in nationally televised addresses. President George H. W. Bush did so in 1991 and President Ronald Reagan even talked politics with students in 1988.

Nonetheless charges from Republican officials that President Obama is seeking to indoctrinate students—unsupported by any real evidence—have been flying.

I weep for the lumpenproles who have been swept up in this insanity.

Update: Gherald points us to a good Economist post:

This speaks not just to Republican opposition to a Democratic president; it also indicates a profound level of generalised paranoia. The man is attempting to insulate his children from any outside influence. He’s not just scared of Barack Obama; he’s scared of his neighbors. The statement puts one in mind of those 1930s Scot Tissue advertisements that piggybacked on anti-Communist hysteria: “Is your washroom breeding Bolsheviks? The outside, the alien, socialism, the unclean, infection, pollution. They’re coming for the children!

The opposition to Mr Obama’s speech is fundamentally an attempt to deny the legitimacy of the president. It should be resisted. No liberal parents pulled their kindergardeners out of class to avoid having George W. Bush indoctrinate them with the esoteric neoconservative messages embedded in the text of “The Pet Goat”. (No wonder he was so insistent on finishing the reading!) But it’s also part of a broader atmosphere of paranoia that has taken root in American child-rearing in recent decades. In 1969, 50% of American children walked to school; that is down to less than 15%, in part due to fears that their children will be kidnapped, even though violent crime against children hasn’t grown at all. Those parents are increasingly reluctant to vaccinate their kids, for fear that vaccines are secretly harmful—i.e., that the entire edifice of modern scientific medicine is an elaborate conspiracy to harm their children. Teachers have their licenses revoked for letting kids climb up hills. And so forth.

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