Dear Mr. President
I’ve been reading in all the papers about your upcoming address to school children and all the brou-ha-ha that it’s generated….I thought it might be helpful if I threw my two cents into the discussion, although you never responded to my last letter. Then again, neither did your predecessor, so I’m not blaming politics. It could really be that you guys are busy. Sometimes it’s hard to tell out here in Middle America.
I stand in a strange spot. Strongly conservative, yet not wigged out by the idea of your speech. From what I understand, the content is pretty straight forward. Don’t smoke, don’t chew, don’t do dope and stay in school. I really believe you’ll stick to the script, as opposed to the twitter posting that was forwarded to me suggesting that you might open the speech with “little assassins, the time is now to arise.”
It’s not clear if they’re telling you this or not, but your getting a lot of flak about doing this. It seems a lot of people are suspicious that you’re going to politicize the event and are challenging the very idea of a president addressing the students. (Most of them are hesitant to admit that Bush and Reagan both did this…). Of course, your defenders are arguing that the naysayers are ‘silly’. At this rate, hair pulling will ensue shortly. I’m embarrassed for both sides.
Allow me to give you a little insight. It’s not the desire to tell kids to stay in school that’s generated all the frustration. It’s the arrogance of your administration. In this case, I think you’re trying to be helpful…and yet your staff (and maybe you, big guy) are carrying it out in such a way as to insinuate that the little people ought to be grateful. The issue is not ‘should the President be allowed to speak to school children’ but ‘why is the administration so clueless about how it comes off to the rest of us?’
The original version of the study guide suggested the children write a letter to themselves about how the could “help the President”. Sir, whoever wrote that should find themselves included the next unemployment statistics. That was bad work. Granted, it was rewritten to be less Orwellian, but the idea that someone who worked on the project might have thought that was a good idea is pretty freaky.
Additionally, I appreciate your desire to come off as a real person and identify with the kids, but it’s very hard to believe that any president, Democrat, Republican or Flying Spaghetti Monster Party, could sit behind 4 inch glass, reading a speech to 3rd graders from a teleprompter, and really identify that well. It’s not about your party – it’s about your position. We aren’t looking for a ‘have a beer, be one of the guys’ president or a ‘I’m a big kid now!’ president. We’re looking for someone to be presidential…to act with dignity and represent us well. Tossing in a little righteousness now and then wouldn’t hurt either, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.
All that to say good luck with the speech. My 12 year old will be watching. I’m trying to convince him not to roll his eyes.
your friend in Missouri,
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