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Just Listen -- Obama's Education Speech to Children

11/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

"Education? We don't need no stinkin' education!"

There are none so blind as those who will not see;

none so deaf as those who will not hear;

none so ignorant as those who will not listen

and none so foolish as those who think they can change anyone who will not see, hear or listen.

It's 2 1/2 hours before President Obama will give his speech to students about their taking responsibility for their education. Here is the text which was released ahead of time. Nothing political or socialized in it as far as I could see, and yet I am hearing all the reactions of people and parents not wanting to let their children listen to the speech. It's the same people who have been disrupting town hall meetings on health care reform that are now demanding their children's schools to prohibit children from watching his speech.

So why the uproar? The right wing of this country increasingly reminds me of the famous quote from the movie, Blazing Saddles: "Badges? We don't need no stinkin badges!"

It appears not only related to education and health care reform but to going to war with Iraq without verifiable weapons of mass destruction or a clear link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

Over and over again, we see the right wing steadfastly digging their heels in before gathering, listening to and evaluating all the facts regarding going to war, education and health reform. It has caused me to wonder why such a "knee jerk" near paranoid reaction in such matters.

I can understand -- but am not sympathetic to -- the moneyed people of this country wanting to hold onto and make even more money. But what about the unmoneyed right? Why are they so up in arms? Why are they so vulnerable and such easy targets for fearmongering?

I think it comes from the indirect and direct message from the wealthier part of that faction to the rest of it, "Don't let the non-working, freeloading take away your control, your choice and your hard earned money! You've worked hard for it and you have the rights to it, don't let those 'socialists' take it from you!"

What's behind that? Now I am flashing on the classic movies "Meet John Doe" (1941) and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) and am thinking of what made the "healots" and "political bureaucrats" so afraid of the characters played by Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart.

My conclusion is that the right wing, especially those in elected office, claim to serve "the people" but in reality appear to serve "the special interests and 'pork barrel' constituents who donated money to get them elected." Often they will stir up as many of the politically right in favor of their platforms to distract from the fact that the moneyed and political right wing does not care about doing what's right for everybody. Instead they care more about "being right" and serving those who have paid to get and keep them in office. By continuing to stir the pot of right wing reactivism, they seek to keep the scent off them and the fact that they don't care about the common man... including the "non-moneyed" from their own party.

Pushing to create and build and serve the community of the common man, does not a Communist plot make.

And neither is delivering a speech to children about the importance of their taking personal responsibility for their education and future.

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President Obama offered a heartfelt pep talk to the nation's students today and HuffPost wants to hear reactions from students and teachers alike. Press the "Particpate" button below to share your thoughts.

For teachers, tell us both what stood out for you and for your students. If possible, include a picture of your classroom.

For students of all ages, tell us about the speech in whatever medium most interests you. This could be a poem, drawing or a description of how it has changed your perception of homework and the school year that lays ahead.

To contribute, press the "Participate" button below. Include your name in the title, write your response in the description box, include a photo of yourself or your classroom, and mark on the map where your school is located.

We'll be featuring your reactions to the speech as they are submitted.