Should Obama Give Speeches to Schools? – an Analysis of Our President’s Impact on Our Young
Should Obama give speech for schools?
Is it something beneficial for schoolchildren to start hearing about politics and our country’s problems at an early age?
Our Century-old Constitution states one of the most powerful passages for all citizens and non-citizens: Freedom of Speech, regardless of gender, age, nationality, political/economical standing or race.
With this principle as base, and decades of time, statements, commentaries and even phrases which have been uttered, have changed the course of our nation, and it’s people
Recently, our 44th President, Barack Obama, decided to do an action, which, regardless of his original intentions, has been the target of criticism from numerous sources.
This article, regardless of whether the speech given at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, was or not correct in political and moral terms, will give the author’s analysis on the separate issues that make up the controversy.
1st Point. Precedence
Both Ronald Reagan (in 1986) and George H.W. Bush (1991) gave speeches to schools, each for their own reasons: Reagan avoided self-promotion, concentrating on the politics of the ending decade, in Bush’s case, he talked about the importance of study, but received criticism from the Democratic Party, who saw it as political self promotion due to it being publicized by governmental organizations.
2nd Point. Content
As said before, both Reagan and Bush Sr. concentrated their speeches in an effort to appeal to the younger generation of Americans. Obama based his speech on the importance of studying and perseverance in life, at the same time referencing the troubled political and economical times we live in.
Difference? “Not much” you would think. Unfortunately, there are some points on which people have held on to criticize:
- Obama’s speech contained the following iterations:
- 56 “I”s
- 19 times “school”
- 10 times “education”
- 8 times “responsibility”
- 7 times “country”
- 5 times “parents”, and “teachers”
- 3 times “nation”
As you can see, the phrase “I” was repeated 4 more times than the other words.
Now compare it to Ronald Reagan’s speech in May of 1986, who only used “I” 19 times.
Obamas speech used many self references, though not in the sense of political promotion, instead, it talked about his experiences in school, how his efforts as well as his wifes in early life took time and perseverance to bring fruition to their goals. He also commented that todays youth was slowly becoming more dependant on electronics, such as TV, computers and gaming consoles in general.
Unfortunately for Obama, his speech deferred from what is usually the social norm. I will expand further:
For at least 3 decades, school speeches, when made publicly, have usually followed one unwritten rule:
They are supposed to be “Vanilla”. Politicians avoid mentioning the following: criticism to habits or ways of life, mentioning strife, crisis or generally adverse situations (Obama talked about the current crisis, AIDS and other diseases, and the lack of effectiveness that schools possess when they adopt “Everyone is the same” attitudes).
He called to the schools student body to persevere in everything they did: studies, work, everyday life, and said that even the most successful people have had to fight their way to the top, such as J.K Rowling, Michael Jordan, and even himself, citing “I have failed over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed”
Our current generation has been said to be a “niche generation”. This means that we have been comforted and kept “controlled” by the use of Political-Friendly news and media. As short as this explanation may be, it is my sincere opinion that children and teenagers need to start connecting to reality. Obamas speech itself is not a direct attack to any persons political or religious views, nor does it incite dangerous thoughts. Our families, parents, brothers, sisters, they are there to help us understand the things that happen around us. The introduction of unknown topics to our young does not have to be a conflicting issue. It can be the seed to a new tomorrow, without the fictional risk of indoctrination or political control.
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