Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Contradictions: Children Being Used

Lots of videos of public school children singing the praises of Obama have surfaced since he took office. A quick Youtube search brings two videos: one in NJ and one in an unidentified school. Now, there is another hymn to St. Barack of Obama. This one was sung on CNN by Chicago school kids:

A couple of those videos are pretty well put together. But what the hell are public school children doing singing songs explicitly praising Obama and/or his policies. The kids aren't even old enough to understand that there is an alternative to Obama, and they're being taught that his is the best way, he is the chosen one, and they must sing his praises.

Why is this bad? First, schools are supposed to be about education. This is teaching partisan devotion. It is completely subjective and unfair to children who a) don't know the difference or b) are afraid of being admonished by social ostracization or an authority figure (their teacher) for not participating.

Two, schools receive tax money and are tax-exempt organizations. They are supposed to be non-partisan. Also, they only have about 5-6 hours per day of actual class time. To waste an hour or more per day over weeks or months to teach children highly partisan songs is a huge waste of tax payer money. It is a prime example of the waste and malaise in public schools that causes people to send their kids to private school.

Also, consider: Local and state property taxes are involuntary and go toward funding public schools. School attendance is mandatory until at least 16 in all states. Property taxes take away money that many parents would like to use to send their children to better (private) schools, but otherwise cannot afford them. Essentially, parents are coerced through taxes to send their children to public schools where they undergo compulsory indoctrination.

These aren't songs about Barack Obama and America. Or Barack Obama and other politicians. Or Barack Obama and any historical lesson. These are highly personal songs praising Obama. But liberals say it's ok because once some kids from the Gulf Coast sang a song about recovering after Katrina that mentioned Congress, FEMA, and Bush in one line. One line:

Our country’s stood beside us
People have sent us aid.
Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade.
Congress, Bush and FEMA
People across our land
Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand!

Compare that to the CNN video:

So we throw our hands up
For health care reform.
Make your choice today
Private or public care
Will the market place treat us fair
Obama says everyone needs
Health coverage in America now.
We need to insure those 47 million but
The government doesn't know how

That's not to mention the sickly sweet "Obama is great and wonderful" lyrics of the in-school songs. The CNN song is riddled with partisanship and factual inaccuracies. I don't need to blame the children for inaccuracies because the teacher should have known better. A few issues. One, whether and how to have the government reform health care is a highly partisan topic. Advocating for it indicates that the teacher has helped craft lyrics that are in favor of government intervention. Two, the song is a personal reference to Obama's efforts at reform. The children are throwing their hands up behind his partisan approach to changing the health care system. Third, even Obama doesn't use the 47 million uninsured number. He used 30 million in his September health care speech. That number includes illegal aliens (10M), people making over $75,000/year (9M), people eligible for existing programs but don't participate (9.7M), and people who went without insurance for a brief period of time between jobs or change in coverage (6M). The real number is more likely in the 10-15 million range.

So, again, you have an innocuous reference to Bush in the middle of one line of a song about the Katrina recovery. No mention of his specific involvement, specific policies, or personal greatness. On the other hand, you have a variety of songs singing about Obama's personal greatness or brilliant policy reforms. Pretty much the same.

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