Well the speech happened, some saw it, some didn’t and sun rose and another day went on with business as usual.
Obama addressing the nation’s youth
From my previous blog: "Obama is going to take 30 minutes to tell kids the importance of staying in school and studying hard and that if they put their minds to it they can achieve their wildest desires, even becoming president. Well it does not take that long to say all that but he will be addressing more specifics I am sure. The kids he is addressing are K-6 so his message will not be all that complex or sophisticated; remember this is America in the information age and not Germany in the 1930’s… This is the difference, I can give him the benefit of the doubt on things he has not demonstrated a violation of my trust in yet."
I lived up to my end of the bargain, I did not join in the bandwagon mindset of ‘everything Obama does is bad and socialists’ that I heard echoed from flapping heads on pod-casts, in the news, and on the internet. I am an independent thinker and I will lay waste to the GOP and conservatives when they mess up as much as the Dems have since November. My wife has even gotten concerned saying I needed a break from the talk radio and WSJ reading saying I was getting too one sided. I hope it did not seem that way as I am passionate on my beliefs but I try to stay grounded.
I don’t hate Obama, I just hate his politics, ideas, and thoughts on how best to run our lives. Personally I don’t know the guy so I can’t place judgment on him for that because that WOULD be baring false-witness and against my personal beliefs and values. That being said lets discuss the speech he gave yesterday. No, I am not going to type out the transcript as I usually do, why, well my last blog posts were very very very long and I need to balance that out.
I have read Obama’s speech 3 times, twice with my ‘critical eye’. For the most part I agreed with him, not all of it and not 100% on some of what he said that I did agree on. I liked the personal responsibility message, this is something lacking from many Democrats addresses and philosophies. It was refreshing to see him compare and contrast the hard work and rewards. I really liked him addressing the ‘not everyone can become a sprots figure or reality TV star’ line. I was not aware he was also addressing grades 6-12 but that is a moot point after reading the speech.
Obama is a great orator; he speaks well and as long as his teleprompter is working right his delivery is personal and powerful. So have I flipped my lid, how can I be praising someone who has drawn so much venom from me? Well, as I stated in my original piece, I will only lay blame after the fact, this time there was little to disagree with, hey I can admit it. There were some things he missed that I feel should be addresses.
First, he failed to mention the competition we as a nation face. He did not challenge the students with a clear goal of clawing our way from the bottom of the industrial nation education list. He did not set a goal of improving math, science, or writing skills or how much behind we were form our Asian neighbors. Americans are a competitive lot, give us a challenge and we will work harder and longer. He missed the boat by not asking the students to get us back into the top 10 in critical education areas.
Second is honestly addressing our economic future. I am a firm believer that manufacturing as the main backbone of the nation is done, through, gone forever. The ability for average Americans to raise a family comfortably on a high school education are shrinking faster then our national deficit is growing. He should have used this opportunity to challenge each student to find an emerging career fields and study it. He should have stressed that math and science are needed more and more to keep our country strong, if you are not good in that, writing and the arts are areas we are still dominate in, until India takes over. This would not be so political as practical. Our future generation in school will need to break the dependency on manufacturing and help usher in a more information based economy.
Lastly, he tried to keep the message too positive and too upbeat, he did not address the social issues that confront kids today, gangs, drugs, and teen pregnancy. Yes these are sensitive and political topics but that are pitfalls our kids need to be told again and again to avoid. I am sure he could have found a liberal way to do so with out coming off like a preacher. In recent years we have seen the declines of all three bottom out and increase again. National stories of sex clubs, binge drinking, resurgent pot usage have kept the issues on the fore front. School violence does not seem like such an issue now; he did touch on it thought. The more kids hear to stay off drugs, stay out of gangs, and wait until married or out of college to have a kid and the more people they hear it from the stickier the message will be.
Overall I would give the President the grade of a B+ on this address. I am disappointed and a little ashamed by my fellow conservatives who acted and reacted like liberals did toward G. W. Bush for the past 7 years. Who cares if the Pelosi crowd called for inquiries and trial over Bush’s speech to kids, that was the past and aren’t conservatives supposed to be more mature, restrained, thoughtful and less emotional, excitable, knee-jerk then liberals? Obama did a good job on this address, sure his administration botched the initial delivery but they corrected it. We have to remember we are all here to balance out the extremes and smooth over the bumps to keep things on course. I hope this isn’t my only time to say this or my only accolade toward Obama, but given his track record it may few and far between. He did a good job, he could have done better but he did good enough. Let’s all give him credit for that and try to build off this one positive thing.