HH: Now in terms of your suggested response, many, many listeners just do not like this at all. In fact, some are very stressed out about it. I think they should go to their principal and say I don’t want my kid involved in this, and I don’t think they should be intimidated by people who say they’re making a mountain out of a molehill. But at that point, they’re going to need a response as to why it’s not making a mountain out of a molehill. How would you have them respond to that?
VDH: I would have them not only say that they don’t want their child in class where they have to have a mandated politically correct address from the President. But I’d try to suggest that teachers don’t go, either, because the teachers, I don’t think that’s in part of their contract that they have to go in and get group think. This is sort of like, this whole thing about…I wrote a column not long ago about Orwell and Barack Obama, this idea that everybody blames Bush. He’s like Emanuel Goldstein, where you go shout at him, he did it, he did it. Today, Robert Gibbs said oh, it’s not our fault in Afghanistan, Bush did it. This is nine months later when there’s more casualties this year in Afghanistan already than there was under the last year of the Bush administration. And it’s this whole double think, double speak, group think, it’s creepy. And it comes out of the Chicago organizing, therapeutic mindset that we saw before during the campaign. And every time I hear this, I hate to be so negative, but when Barack Obama says he wants to transcend race, I hear, I expect another Sotomayor wise Latina, or profile speech about Skip Gates. When he says he wants to balance a budget and be fiscally sober, I expect a $2 trillion dollar deficit. When he says he wants to repeal the Bush abrogation of the Constitution, I expect he won’t do anything with tribunals, even Guantanamo. He’ll leave it alone. Every single thing that the man says should give us all pause, and it’s not going to be true. He’s not going to complete it.
HH: Now I also want to stress, though, Professor Hanson, I would make the same exception if it was George W. Bush.
VDH: I would, too.
HH: So explain to people why as a matter not just of Obama, but presidents should not be talking to school kids in a captive setting.
VDH: We have these examples, we’re very fortunate, because we look abroad, and I’ve been to Libya, and the first thing you see when you get into downtown Tripoli, is that everybody has to have a green book, and all the children have to wear green, and the same thing in China with the red scarf and the former Soviet Union. And that’s a method of the totalitarian manner, that children en masse have to hear a great leader speak to them. The Great Leader is never a guy with a Hitlerian mustache. He’s always a sympathetic, big brother-type figure that’s compassionate, soft-spoken, and that’s what Orwell was trying to get at. He was trying to warn people that totalitarianism is not going to come from an easy identifiable brown shirt. It’s going to come from somebody who’s going to take care of you. He’s going to tell you what kind of car you should have bought. He’s going to give you money when you make your mistakes. He’s going to help you get out of your mortgage. He’s going to take over the car industry for you. He’s going to give you health care. And he’s going to do all these things for you. That’s what’s really creepy about this entire broad assault on the traditional notion of what America used to be.
I have no doubt that 90-95% of what the President says in his address to the children will be totally unobjectionable: work hard, do your homework so you can become productive citizens. That’s a message older kids should hear. as well. Without seeing a text of the speech beforehand, how can one determine what objectionable content will be sneaked in? It’s the accompanying curriculum being offered by the Dept of Education that pushes the creep factor off the charts.
There is a “Dear Leader” quality to it, and that is why my children will be exempted from participating.
For Arwyn, it’s all about the Statism.
What I’m trying to say is that in this case, the message might well be the messenger himself. The essential fact that the president puts an address into the schools sends a message of statism, whatever the speech itself does or doesn’t say–that children should work hard because the president says so. That’s not why they should, and they shouldn’t be taught otherwise.