Monday, September 07, 2009

The Arrogance

Obama's messianic arrogance is unparalleled and appalling. He now wants to cast his spell on the children of America by imposing this personality and socialist worldview on the state-run schools. I have never seen anything like it in my life time. However, Italy and Germany saw similar things in the 1930s...


Ray said...

Another view:

BJS said...


Obama released the text of the talk. In it he encourages kids to stay in school, get good grades, and work hard. He makes the case for personal responsibility and not make excuses when it comes to pursuing their education.

That doesn't sound much like a politician trying to "cast a spell" and impose a "socialist worldview," unless one sets out to interpret anything he does that way.

I am surprised to hear you say you've "never seen anything like it in [your] lifetime."

In 1991, 18 years ago, President George H. W. Bush made a similar address to schoolchildren that was broadcast nationally and shown in nearly all classrooms. (I remember it, I was in 6th grade, I believe.) It was good. He encouraged us students to work hard in school. The speech must have slipped your mind.

I have this strange feeling you won't claim that Bush was trying to brainwash children, cast a spell on them, or indoctrinate them into a political philosophy in that talk.
Rather, I bet you'll think he was just being a good president, using his platform to encourage our nation's students to do well in school.

And you'd be right.
And that's the same thing Obama is doing here. This should not be controversial in the slightest. That is has been made into a fake-outrage is, sadly, more telling of the state of conservatisim than anything else.

When the conservative "movement" goes looking for a leftist-socialist-conspiracy under every rock, the world stops taking you seriously. When you cry wolf 10 times, we are much less likely to listen on the 11th.

Unknown said...

Please see Al Mohler's comments on this at: I find his take on the matter much more reasonable than Dr. Groothius'.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Did you read the Herbert Titus article?! There is much more going on than the platitudes. It is an agenda to get Obaha's ideas insinuated into the curriculum. That is the point. The platitudes are the raw meat given to the dog so that the burgler can do his work.

I have nothing against President's addressing school children. You missed the point. The issue is Obama setting up a curriculum and exerting too much influence, which is his pattern of statism.

Please consider more carefully what I am saying and why I am saying it before jumping to conclusions and accusing me of being an ideologue.

Tom said...


I'm an old friend and I credit you with helping me see that a thinking Christian is not a contradiction in terms. That was a turning point in my life and for that I owe you.

That said,I can't quite believe what I've been reading on your blog. I'd ask you to take a step back and look at what you are claiming about Obama's talk to kids. He's following a tradition set by both Reagan and G.H.W. Bush: as the President of the United States he's talking to school kids to encourage them to work hard and stay in school.

How can that be bad? He's a black man raised by a single mother who can talk to minority kids who come from dysfunctional families and tell them to work hard and they have a chance to get ahead. He's encouraging them to not look to rap music, sports, or reality TV as a way to get out of poverty but to count on education. What here could you possibly disagree with?

Might you please reflect carefully and prayerfully on what you've been saying about our President long enough to see that, at least in this instance, there is no great conspiracy going on? Is it really not possible that the President just wants to encourage kids (particularly kids in single parent homes) to do their best and stay in school?

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


You have missed the entire point as well. A talk to kids is fine. Obama reads a mean speech, so it will seem inspiring to some.

Encouraging them to pledge to support the president and giving curricula to the schools to that end is something else. Apparently, some of this has been rescinded given the outcry against the demogogery and arrogance of the original plan.

The speech is not the main thing; the plan behind the speech is what concerns me. Did you read the peace by Titus? The one by Mohler (mentioned above) makes some of these same points.

Being a liberal, you don't see the danger of statism. Obama's entire mode of operation is undermining the Constitution and setting up an authoritarian elite. Read Mark Levin, Liberty and Tyrany on that. Consider all the "Czars" he has appointed, the take-over of much of banking and the American auto industry, and his desire to take over health care.

These are not paranoid concerns, but very real. We should be warned and take action.

Tom said...


Maybe I did miss the point. Maybe BJ did too.

And maybe you should think that there is something amiss in the way you are making your point if BJ and me are not able to follow.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

I want to know if you and BJ read the piece by Prof. Titus. This detailed the whole program of Obama, not just the speech, which is really only the tip of the iceberg. You also have to put it in the context of Obama's overweening arrogance, pride, and attempt to transform the country into something it has never been: an autocracy.

Tom said...

I read as much of Titus' piece as I could take. It seemed to me little more than long-winded accusation backed up by very little argument.

Jeremy said...

First, regarding Bush I's speech in '91, the Democrats went nuts. The Washington Times led with a front-page headline decrying Bush's use of the school children as props in an attempt to indoctrinate them. To top it off, the Secretary of Education had to go before Congress to testify about how the speech was paid for. I guess the Democrats thought that it would be improper to use federal funds to give such a speech.

As it turns out, the themes of Bush's and Obama's speeches were strikingly similar. I want to know when the current Secretary of Education will be testifying. Should it not be the case that what was good for the Republican goose is good for the Democrat gander?

Of course, the cynic will say that the entire fiasco serves only to display the hypocrisy present in both parties. True enough. But we all know there will be no headline of the kind Bush faced. No Secretary of Education will be called on the carpet for using tax-payer dollars to pay for the speech. So, before we get all crazy calling Republicans hypocrites, let's through the Dem's in that mix too, because if anyone forgot how Bush's speech was handled, it's the Dem's.

Second, yes, Obama reads a good speech, and yes, the speech that was published and then read was inspiring--all full of Regean-esque personal responsibility language. Good for him. Kids need to learn to be self-reliant and responsible for their own actions. However, (a) I'll be damned if Obama actually believes a word of what he said, and (b) we have access only to what he actually said, not to what would have been said had there been no conservative outcry.

Why think that either (a) or (b) is the case? Well, context. Despite resigning, Van Jones is a self-avowed Communist. Although he was never formally vetted, it turns out that Obama had been watching his career for several years--back to his days in Oakland (according to one senior Obama advisor). His days in Oakland were some of his most radical and revolutionary days. Regardless of no formal vetting, Obama purposefully put Jones in the Whitehouse, knowing full well what the guy believed. Obama spent 20 years in Wright's church. Denying that he didn't know anything about Wright's racism after 20 years borders on irrationality. He lied about knowing Ayers. Then he said he met him once. Then he said he worked with him on a board. But he also launched his political career in Ayers's living room. Mark Lloyd, the new Diversity Officer in the FCC, installed by Obama, has praised Chavez's revolution, and he thinks that there should be no private communications outlets. He is also no fan of free political speech. By now, we all surely know about the science czar's approval of coerced abortions and the forced sterilization of women. Obama has converted stock in banks obtained via TARP to voting shares, effectively taking them over. He has taken over GM and Chrysler. That these companies have been brought under the direct control of the Executive branch is evidenced by both the pay czar and the auto czar (now the manufacturing czar). Now he wants to install a government controlled health care plan. Is all this not evidence of a radical socialist agenda?

So, given an ample amount of evidence toward Obama's radical worldview, I really think (a) is the case. If (a) is the case, then that alone is reason enough to suspect that the speech heard was not the speech planned. He was very likely working on a speech that reflected his true values. So (b) would be true as well. But, alas, (b)is nothing but speculation, but I think it has some presumption in its favor.

However, in the end, children being educated by the government do not need Obama brainwashing them. Those very public schools are doing a great job of brainwashing without his help.

David said...


I kinda don't get it. Because Obama has some connections to the radical left, therefore he doesn't believe that students should take responsibility for their education? I must be missing some subtle insight here.

BJS said...

Doug, Yes, I read the Titus article. It is entirely based on speculation as to the President's motives.

You write that the speech "is an agenda to get Obaha's ideas insinuated into the curriculum." But that's only derived via species ASSUMPTIONS about his motives.

Sure, if you assume the absolute worst motives for your political opponents, then just about everything follows and anything you point to will count as “evidence” for your position.

That's the tricky thing about such bad reasoning and conspiracy theories: even when you AGREE with what someone is doing on the face of it, you point to even it as evidence that they are actually just trying to trick us.
OF COURSE, he'd say that, you argue -- he wants us to believe that... but he really doesn't.

This is insane.

Your position seems to be boiling down to this: If President Obama is in favor of X, and I agree with it, then he's actually lying. If, on the other hand, President Obama is in favor of Y, and I think that is wrong, it is further evidence that he is evil.

What an interesting position you've set up. To wit: Anything Obama does, he's wrong.

... This is a very dangerous road to go down.
Once you assume, across the board, the absolute worst in the motives of your political opponents, there is no longer any rational discourse or engagement. I pray you turn back.

You mentioned Mohler's piece making similar points to yours.

No, it did not. It explained that some bureaucrat somewhere down the line came up with some teaching aids for the speech, one of which said, "What can you do to help accomplish the President's Goal?" Which is a politically stupid thing to say, admittedly, because people jump on it as somehow confirming these fears you have. The goal in question? Getting more kids into college. The material asked the kids how they can help meet that goal. Pretty terrible, I know.

You missed the far and away most important part of the Mohler article. Mohler writes:

"this controversy smacks of disrespect for the President and, by extension, disrespect for the presidency itself. Both fly in the face of Christian responsibility to pray for those in authority. Respect for our government, though never as an end in itself, is part of our Christian responsibility. This controversy threatens to sow seeds of permanent distrust and suspicion in the hearts of the young. In an age of rampant cynicism, this is inexcusable."

Read that last part again because it's exactly right:

This... is... inexcusable.

He's absolutely right when he says that "the controversy is a national embarrassment."

You wrote: "These are not paranoid concerns, but very real. We should be warned and take action."

Dr. G, I love you and respect you and so I am sorry to have to be the person to tell you this so frankly, but, YES, they ARE paranoid concerns. When you take the President talking to children about staying in school and then draw a line from that to German/Italian Fascism (as you did), well, sorry, but that is a paranoid concern.

The President encourages kids to stay in school… he must actually be trying to brainwash the kids to be socialists… therefore, Mussolini/Hitler.

I shake my head in disbelief.

I tell you this because I respect you so highly and I know you would want me to show you to be in error if I honestly believe you are.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Your harsh language is inexcusable, BJ. I may be wrong, but my convictions come out of my knowledge of Obama's beliefs and strategy (Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals"). He is a bad and dangerous man. Following his campaign should have told you that. You judge a man by his ideas and friends. For Obama, both are abysmal. He cannot be trusted, given the evidence of his life.

The discussion is over on this one.