The Orlando Weekly's Bloggytown is reporting today that a rather generic letter, sent to school principals across the United States by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, has caused one local GOP official to completely lose his mind. Duncan's letter previewed a national address that President Barack Obama planned to give on "the importance of education." Somehow, Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer managed to take away that this meant "taxpayer dollars" would be used to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda." O-kay!
Here's the letter that launched a thousand ships to the Straits Of Nutlog, bearing Greer.
In a recent interview with student reporter, Damon Weaver, President Obama announced that on September 8 -- the first day of school for many children across America -- he will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education. The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.
The letter goes on to say this is the first ever presidential address of this nature, provides the website to watch said address, and further offers teacher a "menu of activities" developed by schoolteachers to "stimulate discussion on the importance of education." It further offers preliminary details on some sort of student video contest. It's all pretty basic stuff: "The President believes that education is a critical part of building a new foundation for the American economy. Educated people are more active civically and better informed on issues affecting their lives, their families and their futures." [You can read the whole letter, here.]
And with that, Greer was off and running, penning a letter of his own! An insane one!
As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology. The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.
While I support educating our children to respect both the office of the American President and the value of community service, I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President's agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President's initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates.
He goes on to complain about "holiday parties" and prayer in school, and he refers to the President as "Pied Piper Obama." Meanwhile, I'm trying to imagine how a brief speech of routine paeans to the importance of education is going to pull off inculcating the nation's schoolchildren on the virtues of state-run auto companies, and the like. It seems to me that three days after this speech is given, most everyone is going to forget about it, the children fastest of all.
Florida, which geographically dangles from the nation's underbelly like a spent prophylactic, harbors its share of fringey GOP folks. Over in the 15th District, residents have the honor of being represented by Bill Posey, the godfather of the Congressional birthers and the primary sponsor for the so-called "Birther bill." Stephen Colbert made great fun of Posey earlier this year about it, and it made the Congressman all kinds of sad!
Anyway, tune in next week to see if Barack Obama pulls off this audacious plan to turn America into a Communist nation by means of a single, generic address to a nation of jittery, Ritalin-sotted schoolchildren.