Thursday, September 10, 2009


I'm ashamed and embarassed by my country this week

The uproar over President Obama's address to the school children of the country mortifies me.

I'm a parent and a grandparent. I read the text of the message. It was perfectly appropriate, particularly as a message from a real-life father with children of school age.

When did Americans get so cynical and stupid? The President asked kids to work hard, study, take responsibility for their futures, wash their hands, and respect themselves and others. It told them that their circumstances are just that-- they are not excuses for not caring, not trying, and not believing that they are capable of shaping their own futures.

It's called self-respect and-- dare I say it?-- old fashioned patiotism, people.

Personal and civil responsibility.

It was a concept that John Kennedy invoked with his famous "Ask not what your country can do for you. . ." (which I clearly remember hearing live--and being inspired by-- when I was a student) and other presidents from Ronald Regan, George HW Bush, FDR, TR, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and so many others from all sides of the political aisle have espoused for as long as we have been a country.

What happened to us?

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