Children face worse than president

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, September 5, 2009

“The Socialists are coming. The Socialists are coming. The Socialists are coming.”

Paul Revere may have had to make his midnight ride of April 18, 1775, on horseback but the Internet has revolutionized how word gets around.

And in this case it isn’t the British that has everyone in a frenzy. In fact, the source of this panic is coming from within our own borders.

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The British carried guns. President Barack Obama simply carries the weight of the world on his shoulders as the leader of the greatest nation.

The e-mail chain letters spread far faster than even Revere’s fleet-footed horse could have traveled. “President Barack Obama is going to be speaking in a national address directed toward all school-aged children in pre-kindergarten to sixth on September 8,” the e-mail stated late last week.

Oh my gosh! Hide the women and children. Don’t let the president brain wash them.

Give me a break!

It may sound humorous to many people but for some this was a serious matter. I received half a dozen e-mails in an hour or so period.

Obama’s address will air live from a high school in Virginia at 11 a.m. local time Tuesday, September 8. It will be shown on both and C-SPAN.

A good friend of mine summed up the hysteria perfectly when he said, “If any of you are as frightened of Barack Obama as I am and his radical, far left, socialistic, and communistic agenda then how’d you like to know that he’s now interested in indoctrinating your children? … I’ll be keeping my kids home from school that day.”

I’m not even going to dignify the source of the Web blog that had my colleague so concerned but needless to say these sorts of fear tactics are what get people out of shape.

My friend is legitimately concerned about his children but those concerns seem to be fanned by radicals who are so out of touch with reality that they don’t have a clue what the real world is like.

White House officials are defending the move, saying that President Obama will encourage students to work hard, strive to reach educational goals and take responsibility for achieving positive results.

That isn’t a partisan message. It isn’t a socialist message. It isn’t even a controversial message. That is something every parent should welcome, regardless of the source.

This outcry appears to to simply be a case of political foes using every angle to attack the president and incite fear in Americans.

However, there were a few phrases that could be viewed as pushing policy or encouraging support of this president. Those were removed, as they likely should have been.

I remember as a child watching several speeches by Ronald Reagan but I didn’t run out and join the Young Republicans because of it.

As I student, we read about and watched John F. Kennedy but I didn’t feel the need to start flying a Democrat flag.

This national panic is indicative of the problem with our nation. Too many people jump to conclusions and react emotionally rather than with common sense. The glut of media experts that spout off their opinion — myself included — adds to the fire when others take these columns as the gospel rather than just one person’s point of view.

What does it say about our country when our elected president cannot make a speech that encourages students to excel in their studies?

But if Obama does use this as a platform for political agendas and subtle shots at the Republicans, I will be the first to take him to task over it.

Parents have so many more dangerous influences they should be worried about.

What are our youth learning from their friends at school? What lessons are they getting from TV commercials and programs? What are they learning from simply watching Mommy and Daddy?

All families should be concerned about the education their children are receiving but this is a case where the real lesson may be for the parents.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at