In 1988, Ronald Reagan pushed his anti-government, low-tax ideology in a speech broadcast to classrooms nationwide, adding that he had supported "Negro" educational institutions. Here’s excerpts:
Fast-forward twenty-one years later, and the very same people who lapped up Reagan's right-wing speech are throwing a fit because today Barack Obama gave a totally different kind of classroom speech, one focused not on politics, but rather on the importance of staying in school.
Indeed, the people who fueled the freakout in the first place are backtracking. Before the speech, Florida GOP chairman James Greer, who last week said the speech would "indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda," now says "it's a good speech, I'll let me kids watch."
To be fair, Greer is still bonkers. He now claims that if he hadn't falsely accused President Obama of trying to indoctrinate America's youth to the ways of socialism that Obama would have done just that. In other words, Greer is basically claiming to have saved American civilization.
The real reason for Greer's shift is probably this article in the Orlando Sentinel which fiercely mocked Greer for engaging in his own indoctrination program. It turns out that Greer regularly visits Florida classrooms to pitch Republican political talking points.
All that this means, however, is that Jim Greer has a lot in common with Ronald Reagan. Both are right-wingers who tried to (using Greer's words) "indoctrinate" Americans' children.
As for President Obama, not so much. This morning, he wasn't trying to indoctrinate -- he was trying to inspire America's children to excel in school. And he wasn't doing it because excelling in school will usher in a new era of socialism, he was doing it because children studying hard today will help make our country an even better place to live tomorrow.
We need more of that kind of attitude from the GOP. Whatever happened to country first? Instead, they're stuck in crazy-land, following Glenn Beck's every utterance and boycotting a speech about staying-in-school.