First, we've had nearly all of our state and Congressional politicians who themselves make their living off of "big government," say nothing to point out to the paranoid mobs trying to kill healthcare reform that the big scary "socialist" government is entirely run by fellow Americans and is not some strange other-worldly evil force trying to take away our rights. (When you get down to it, the government is run by the same people exerting their democratic right to bad mouth their democratic government. Otherwise, there would be no town hall meetings because what would be the point of trying to influence government policy if we had no control over it?)
Now we have school officials wasting their time -- and our money and our children's education -- trying to figure out how to accommodate parents who don't want the President to tell their children to stay in school and work hard. These are the very same parents, mind you, who send their children to school precisely so they can get an education and in doing so hopefully learn the value of hard work.
My 17-year-old son shared with me Thursday a letter distributed in school from Gayle Sloan, superintendent of St. Tammany Parish Schools. The letter explains that President Barack Obama will address schoolchildren nationwide next week, and that "he will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning."From Sen. Mary Landrieu, seemingly the last "Democrat" remaining in public office, to St. Tammany Parish Schools Superintendent Gayle Sloan, it seems like no one we've put in charge of looking after our best interests has the leadership ability to do so. They'd rather take the easy way out and kowtow to the ignorant screams of those hellbent on screwing themselves out of what is in their and in their children's own best interests.
The letter also adds the following: "If you prefer for your child not to participate, please contact the school principal so that an alternate assignment can be provided outside the classroom." (Times Picayune Letter to the Editor, 9-4-2009)
When did REAL leadership stop including the very basic role of taking an unpopular stand every now and then? If our public officials aren't willing to point out foolishness, or at the very least, the holes in their constituents' logic, then there is no reason to believe that they possess the desire or even moral conviction to lead us in the right direction at all on any issue. These are not even hard stances to take. Saying there already are people (i.e., the insurances companies) standing between us and our doctors and that Republican presidents have given similar back-to-school addresses have nothing to do with whether you support the Democrats' and the President's policy agenda.
If our leaders cannot, or worse, are unwilling to bring reason and calm to chaos, why do we need them at all?