Sunday, October 11, 2009

Public School Song in Praise of Obama

There are two things that strike me about this video of New Jersey public school children singing songs in praise of President Obama's agenda and accomplishments.

First, it's not that big a deal.

This is a relatively trivial issue that conservatives have been eager to exploit for political gain. Rush Limbaugh has been pounding away at this story for more than a week, and Fox News has been feverishly churning out exposés and airing clips about the incident.

In some cases, the hysteria from right-wing pundits has been extremely offensive. Tucker Carlson, for example, recently likened the song lyrics to Khmer Rouge tactics. We should all be extremely concerned about this kind of hyperbole in our political discourse.

Second, some of the lyrics to these songs were inappropriate, and I can't believe that anyone on the left is trying to argue otherwise.

Here's a good example:
Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans, To make this country's economy number one again!

Whether or not you personally believe that President Obama's economic policies are admirable, public school children should not be 'honoring' the president's "great plans" to "make this country's economy number one again." Many of the president's fiscal plans are highly controversial, and instructing young students to honor his plans amounts to political and intellectual coaching. If these same public school children were expected to sing songs 'honoring' the economic plans of Ronald Reagan, many parents on the political left would be justifiably upset.

Elementary school teachers should never give the impression that they are endorsing a sitting president's plans in a specific policy area. Yes, Tucker Carlson is wrong, but that doesn't make the teachers in this story right . . . .

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