Before anyone had even seen a draft of Obama’s speech, the GOP jumped back on the fast track of the Fear-Mongering Express to insight anger along partisan lines.
Members of the GOP have good reason to fear the power a president holds for indoctrinating children. They needn’t look any further than a speech the golden boy of their own party, former President Ronald Reagan, gave to students in 1988. I was one of those children forced to sit in a school gymnasium listening to the importance of “our duty to bring the values of the American Revolution to all the peoples of the world,” which Reagan defines as a rebellion against “economic restrictions, taxes, and barriers to free trade.”
Reagan’s full speech, which you can also view below, is a complete overreach and abuse of power to spread a political ideology. Of course, only being a second-grader at the time, I didn’t realize this. All I saw was a very important man, someone even more important than my teacher, the principal of my school, and my parents, telling me what my duty was. I didn’t know what the American Revolution was about, much less what economic restrictions were. All I knew is that they must be an important reason for me feeling secure and safe, and that if I wanted to continue feeling secure and safe I should never want things to change.
If Reagan’s remarks had been more like President George H.W. Bush’s speech to students in 1991, then there wouldn’t be a need to post my thoughts on this subject. However, I feel it important to point out the complete hypocrisy of the GOP on this issue.