However one judges the content of President Obama’s address to American students it is unquestionable that the essence of his speech was to exhort his youthful audience to espouse the values the President feels are beneficial to the nation. What if a given parent wished to impart different values? Is the President’s view to be preferred over Daddy’s and Mommy’s? It is noteworthy that even the eleven year old author of the above review noticed the speech resembled one directed to adults. This is because in fact the speech served an adult purpose, namely: to advance the political interests of the politician and the party in power. Childrens’ values should be influenced by parents. It is fair ball for politicians to try to sell parents on what is good to teach their kids, since adults can evaluate the message and decide whether to pass it on to their children. But allowing the leader of the State to address a captive audience of nearly the entire youth of the nation on the values which are deemed to be patriotic serves to undermine parental influence and lay the ground work for immature minds to prefer State propaganda over the teachings and values of their parents. It doesn’t matter if the President says exactly what any good parent would say; the point is the children are exposed to the speech at school, where the law requires them to be. They have no choice but to hear the rhetoric of the chief of state. What if the chief has views opposed to those of the parents?
Can anyone say “Hitler Youth”?