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Calling the President a Liar: A Teaching Moment

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Schoolchildren, particularly those of you who were warned of the dire consequences of hearing the President of the United States urge you to study hard and stay in school, learn this: Calling the President a "liar" is a great way to raise funds for a political campaign.

People who have never contributed to Congressman Joe Wilson's campaign obviously did so solely because he called the President a liar at a joint session of Congress. Although he insulted the President, the presidency and the Congress by his conduct, he is a hero, and the money is pouring in. Whether he was telling the truth when he called the President a liar is irrelevant. He showed courage and spunk and told it like it was (or wasn't).

Now you may ask: when persons criticized President Bush about the war in Iraq and claimed that he lied about weapons of mass destruction weren't they labeled by these same people who are supporting Joe Wilson as "unpatriotic" and "un-American"? Sure, but there the criticism of the president was about thousands of American soldiers being killed and wounded and billions of dollars being wasted. Here we are talking about something far more serious, providing health care for illegal immigrants. We're talking American health care for Americans. What could be more patriotic!

So my children, just look around you. Thoughtful and rational debate will get you nowhere. It's labels that carry the day. Calling someone a liar, a fascist, a socialist, Hitler, a Nazi, someone who advocates death panels for the elderly, who falsified his birth certificate; those are the kind of things that carry the day.

So today's lesson: the next time your teacher says something that you don't agree with, say "You're a liar!" You will be a hero in your school, and who knows someday you might be able to say it to the President of the United States in a joint session of Congress. Of course, that can only happen if you listened to that "liar" and stayed in school and got an education.