As I drove my daughters (ages 7 and 11) to school this morning, I thought about discussing President Obama's speech today. I thought about, as a parent, what I should say to warn my kids against incipient socialist indoctrination.
But why? I daily have shown my children the way of life that I lead and expect them to lead. They will hear an 18 minute speech today, and I PROMISE you, they will be bored. It's doubtful that they will much listen, anyway. It will be the same desk, in the same office, with the (apparently) same flags in background, as when, back in 1988, I was herded in front of a television to hear President Reagan speak. I remember the incident; I do not remember what the man said.
I'm not afraid of my children hearing what Barack Obama has to say about school. Hell, he's probably got some reasonably good input to give about it; he's a case study in how far you can go with a good education. And, no, I'm not afraid of my children being "indoctrinated" by a single 18 minute speech heard over the television. While I don't agree with the methods that our President chooses to use to lead our nation, I personally don't believe that he's got an evil subplot.
I believe that my kids should recognize who our nation's President is, and should respect the office. Thus, I want them to sit quietly, and listen to what the man in the Big Chair says. Tonight, I'll sit down with them and talk about what they saw and heard. In all probability, there won't be anything impressive to discuss. My elder daughter already hears the message from me that her education is her responsibility. If she can hear our nation's leader say that, then I'm okay with that.