Thursday, September 17, 2009

Republicans are Crossing Over.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how many NASCAR fans I think are certifiable in their penchant for paranoia. Now I have to say the same about the Republicans. (Of course, those two groups may be largely interchangeable so perhaps I'm really talking about the same people).

At a recent meeting of our Chili for Charity Cook-off committee, one of the members, who is a teacher, sounded off loudly about how he would not attend the convocation his school scheduled to allow students to watch a video made by the president to urge them to get their education.

"They can't force me watch!" he declared furiously.

And I'm thinking, "what's the big frickin' deal?"

To hear them tell it, the Republicans believe Barack Obama has Pied Piper-like qualities, able to lure their children, en masse, into converting to socialism, communism, fascism (whatever ism they are most afraid of). Maybe they even doubt their own strength to resist the president's magnetism. Why else would a 64-year-old man find watching a video so fraught?

Schools all over the country were in an uproar about WHAT TO DO! Parents protested that Obama was out to brainwash the youth of America. It couldn't be allowed because, I guess, our students are so weak-minded that even hearing so much as a few words by a president that didn't agree in jot and tittle with their parents' own political philosophy would corrupt them totally, turning them unthinking Obamabots. In today's Republican America, the kids must only be exposed to the party line. There is no such thing as debating issues, listening to opposing points of view, tolerance of the ideas of others....

Most schools ended up letting parents make their own decisions which may be the proper course of action, although I have my doubts about where that resolution eventually takes us? Can parents also make their own choices about curriculum, required reading, letting kids be taught by African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslims? Does it lead to educational anarchy when parents get to call the shots about what or by whom their kids can be taught? I'm more inclined to think that the school system should make the decisions and any parents who disagree should find a private school that suits the comfortable environment of unquestioning non-diversity they require to feel secure, a school where judgement is discouraged in favor of obedience.

And when it finally all came down, what did President Obama say? Why, he encouraged kids to stay in school and get their education. That was about as subversive as it got. I'm sure the parents who saved their children from this kind of terrible propaganda heaved a huge sigh of relief and self-satisfaction.

Get a grip, people. You're losing it.