Our local paper features a conservative writer/editor that I am often ambivalent about. His articles are typically fine, but nothing to write home about. But last week, he broke ground with a well-written op-ed piece. He said what I wanted to say - but hey! Saved me the time. :)
Obama polarization: Spin out of control
by Hatcher Hurd
write the author
September 09, 2009
Sign of the approach of the apocalypse: When the president of the United States wants to address the students of the nation to exhort them to study hard and apply themselves, to work hard because it pays off in the end and to take individual responsibility for their actions, and many adults react in apparent fear their children will be brainwashed.
What is this country coming to? You may not always agree with the president, you may not like the president and you may not like the color of the president's skin. But he is the president. He does presidential things that are part and parcel to being a leader of this country.
But in the dark recesses of spin control, message distortion and The Big Lie, the truth is relegated to a seat on the sidelines. Every action, every proposal is flayed for its "hidden agenda." The radio pundits pour on their bias, innuendo and selective presentation to pander to a receptive audience. Then the e-mail trees launch their attacks. No one knows where these Web allegations spring from, but they are passed along by willing hands, because they say to them, "You were right. See here is more proof."
The radio pundits report rumor and present it as fact. They don't do any due diligence, they say they are not reporters and thus are not bound by such ethics. No, they are radio personalities, you see. They just pass along what they hear.
Now we have parents upset that the president of the United States is making an address to the students of America exhorting them to work hard, study hard and dare to dream big. Is there no decency left in America? Do we have to assail every word, every action in a jihad of political orthodoxy? The president is a democrat, thus he is a Liberal and a socialist and thus everything he stands for is a perversion of truth, justice and the American Way. And we certainly cannot have him infecting the minds of our young people with such ideas as personal responsibility.
If this same address to students were made by his predecessor, I don't think there would have been a ripple about it. There was nothing ground breaking in Obama's addressing the students. What was groundbreaking was that parents and principals denied them the opportunity to hear the president speak directly to them.
Yes, that would have sent a message to impressionable minds, although it is a bell rung only once. Instead, we have given them quite another message – a message about respect, or the lack of it, about twisting words rather than listening to them and about hate.That is what you have when you take all of the reason out of politics. Just hate.