Recently I crossed the threshold from fact-based reality into a bastion of Obama-loving denial. In other words, I went to one of the local public elementary schools.
Now, I realize that not all public schools are centers for the appreciation of Barack Obama and the first family. But unfortunately the school I visited falls under that category.
When you enter the school and take half a dozen steps, you are faced with a framed picture of the smiling Obama family accompanied by some gushing quote about them.
And throughout the school, images of the president are posted on the walls.
I don’t care who the president is, a public school is not an appropriate place to hang up and admire pictures of our president.
He serves us, remember?
But it gets worse.
Walk past the first family and down the hall a little way, and you’ll see, emblazoned on the wall, the words, “Thank you, Mr. President.” Then, below, accented by pictures of Obama, are various reasons why the 44th president supposedly deserves our kudos.
What are the reasons? Here’s a sampling.
Thank you, Mr. President:
... for the first lady.
... for rising above the racism, pettiness, and hate.
... for saving us from a second great depression.
... for restoring America’s place in this world.
... for facing the pressure of the presidency with grace and dignity.
There were many other reasons on the wall, detailing exactly why we should love Obama, but I couldn’t really stomach reading the rest of the half-truths and lies.
On that list, the only thing that Obama actually accomplished as advertised, was to bring us the current first lady. Not exactly praiseworthy, in my estimation.
What makes the whole display especially repulsive is that it isn’t some cute, first-grade class’ project written on construction paper.
Whoever put up this memorial to the president was either a teacher or part of the school’s administration, because all of the reasons why Obama supposedly deserves our thanks are typed out and printed on paper, laminated, and nicely arranged with corresponding pictures.
If this isn’t indoctrination, I don’t know what is.
I doubt there were many, if any, schools with displays up thanking George W. Bush for what he accomplished. And if there were, I would have been against those too.
Schools are politicized enough without making the current president a part of the decor.
But unfortunately it doesn’t stop with the decor.
Several weeks ago I saw a display of various students’ essays on the wall at a public school. Instead of writing about themes from American history or about great American inventors, the topic of the essays was how each student could help the president make a better nation.
I searched unsuccessfully to find the student who said that he or she would help make a better nation by opposing the president’s policies. Of course, with huge wall displays proclaiming Barack Obama’s great accomplishments, it’s no wonder that there were no dissenting voices.
I had the opportunity to ask one of the fifth-grade students at this school if he knew that America once belonged to another country — he didn’t; if he had ever heard about the revolutionary war — he hadn’t; and if he knew anything about Lexington and Concord — he, of course, didn’t.
Is it any surprise, then, that the politics of America’s youth is so messed up?
Young students are trained to think about Barack Obama in glowing terms. They see his image all over the place, and are taught to treat him like some sort of demigod.
But they don’t know about the founding of this nation, much less why it matters.
William Bennett once said, “All real education is the architecture of the soul.”
We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that our national soul is crumbling into oblivion in large measure because of the substandard foundation that has been crafted by our public education system.
(Elijah Friedeman, author of The Millennial Perspective, is the grandson of Janis Friedeman, Great Bend. His columns can also be heard on his father, Matt Friedeman’s, radio program on American Family Radio.)