What was supposed to be a unified Republican uprising against the “socialist” agenda hidden in President Obama’s speech to schoolchildren has turned into a full rout of Republican antagonists.  Tucking their tiny little tails between their crooked little legs, Republicans have found little comfort in the non-issue that was to be their battle cry of indoctrination of our “poor, impressionable youngsters.”

In Allen County, nine – count ’em – nine students were kept out of school by paranoid and close-minded parents intent on protecting little psyches against the big, bad presidential wolf.   Others – 85 to be exact – opted out of having their little tykes’ ears bombarded by Obama’s urging to stay in school, graduate, and contribute to the betterment of this country.  Those parents, rather than depriving their children of their day in school, wrote notes to teachers to have their kids sit out the speech.

What Republicans – and in particular, conservative Republicans – hoped would be an overwhelming protest against Obama’s speech to students to stay in school and get their education turned into one of the year’s biggest boondoggles for the ever-hopeful Republican obstructionists.

Now Republicans are trying to label the speech “conservative” in nature.   This strategy is laughable, and, to be quite honest, leaves me almost speechless.  I said almost because I am not totally speechless – just trying not to roll over laughing at what the Republicans are now trying in an effort to dig themselves out of a situation that makes them look totally assinine.

I guess the Repubs completely forgot about what a political speech to school children looks like.  But never fear, here is Ronnie Reagan’s entire speech to the school children of this country.  Perhaps Republicans should educate themselves in their party’s propensity to indoctrinate before they cry wolf – or would that be sheep.  Baa!

Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Students of John A. Holmes High School of Edenton, North Carolina May 13, 1986

As you know, my remarks are being broadcast live over radio and television to high school students throughout the country. While I was in Tokyo at the economic summit, I found myself thinking about all of you, and I decided that when I got back it’d be good to report to you — share some thoughts that I’ve been having about the future.

In general, conditions in our country are about as bright as this very bright afternoon. I was worrying when I put that line in there that it might start to rain, and I’d have to say something else. [Laughter] We’ve been working to take an economy that was in bad shape and get it moving and growing again; take our national defense and make it first-rate again after a long period of decline; and to restore reason, respect, and reality to our foreign policy. And I think it’s fair to say that we’ve made a good deal of progress.

Only 5 years ago our economy suffered from high inflation, high interest rates, mushrooming government spending, and steadily increasing unemployment. A lot of people couldn’t find jobs, and people on fixed incomes were finding it harder to buy the basics, such as food and shelter. Well, we got inflation down, interest rates down, and our economy created over 1\1/2\ million new jobs just last year alone. The poor are now increasingly able to dig themselves out of poverty, and that’s been good economic news.

The good news in defense is that our Armed Forces, which were suffering from neglect and low funding, have now made a comeback. Morale is up in the services, and the quality of our men and women in uniform has never been better — and I mean never. As a matter of fact, we have the highest percentage of high school graduates in uniform today than we’ve ever had in the history of our nation, even back when we had the compulsory draft. In addition, our nation has encouraged a more realistic sense of defense needs.

In foreign affairs we’ve kept our friends close and the lines of communication with our adversaries open. We’ve tried to give the world the sense that the United States has a coherent and logical foreign policy that reflects our respect for freedom and our opposition to tyranny.

The point is that all we’ve done has had, and will continue to have, a direct impact on your lives. And the fact is, it’s your future, not ours. And all that we’ve done, we’ve done with an eye toward how it would impact you. We want to make your future better, because tomorrow belongs to you. And since you’re the leaders of tomorrow, I wanted to talk to all of you as a friend about the things you’ll have to do to ensure a prosperous nation and a peaceful world. And I’m sure that peace and prosperity must be at the top of your agenda for the future.

You have some special responsibilities ahead of you — very important responsibilities. America is back, yes, but we still face major challenges in the world. And it’s your generation that will have to accept the primary responsibility for tackling these challenges. It’s important that you’re fit for the future and that you be all that you can be. So, go for it! In the area of education you have a responsibility to try to learn and care about scientific and intellectual inquiry. The world is an increasingly competitive place. And if we’re to compete, we’ll have to do it with brainpower — your brainpower. So, keep learning and hit those books.

We have to remain economically competitive, and that means being aware of two things: first, what makes economies tick, and second, what works in other societies. We’ve been trying very hard in Washington to make America even more economically fit by really overhauling our entire tax structure. When we came into office, the top personal tax rate that the Federal Government could put on your income was 70 percent. Now, you can understand, I think, that if you were getting up in those brackets — there were 14 different tax brackets, depending on the amount of money in each bracket you earned. And when you could look and say, “If I earn another dollar, I only get to keep 30 cents out of it,” you can imagine the lack of incentive there. Well, we lowered it to 50 percent, and the economy really took off. Now we’re trying to lower it yet again so that families can keep more of their money and so the national economy will be lean and trim and fit for the future.

And it’s your generation that will defend freedom from its adversaries. The biggest contribution you can make to that quest is to become a good citizen. Good citizenship is vitally important if democracies are to continue. Good citizenship means trying to understand the issues and great questions of your day. It also means voting. To vote is to take part in this grand experiment called democracy in America. It’s your right and your responsibility to take part. Good citizenship also might mean considering going into teaching as a profession. There’s a teacher shortage, as you may know. You could help ease the situation and give to others the advantages you’ve been given if you become a teacher yourself. And it’s also important that you stay in school. That diploma counts. And I just want to personally congratulate those who have overcome some disadvantage and who stuck it out and will graduate this year.

And part of being a good citizen, part of being fit for the future so that you can meet America’s agenda for the future, is seeing to it that you live your life with a clear mind and a steady intellect. And that means saying no to drugs. Nancy has traveled across the country talking to young people like you. And many of them have talked to her about the allure of drugs, about the drug culture, and the kind of peer pressure that you come under to experiment and try out drugs. But when you come right down to it, drugs are just a dead-end street. They have nothing to offer you. I think you also ought to remember we only get one set of machinery. If you wear this set out, you can’t take it and trade it in someplace for a used one or a new one. So, what you do now and early in your life decides how able you’re going to be to enjoy yourself when you get to be my age.

And I want to tell you, I’m enjoying myself. I’ve talked to young people from China to Europe to the islands in the Caribbean. And let me tell you, they’re incredibly bright and talented, and they’re going to create quite a future for themselves. And you can’t keep up or catch up if you allow your mind to be clouded by drugs.

Well, that’s more or less what I wanted to say to you today. I’ll be talking to many young people over the next few months, and I’ll be expanding on certain points and amplifying certain themes. But for today, before your questions, I just want to let you know that I have been thinking about you very much. You are a special generation, and you’re facing special challenges. And the biggest is to be ready for a future that will prove to be demanding and exciting. Soon, we’ll enter the 21st century, a time that’ll have more than its share of great wonders. The next 10 or 15 years may well be the most exciting and challenging in the history of man. There’s the continuing revolution in technology, the possibility of curing diseases that have stalked us from the caveman era. There’s the marvelous conquest of space, a rich frontier whose riches we’ve barely glimpsed. And there’s the struggle between the democracies and those countries which are not democratic.

All of these possibilities bring with them questions. And it’s your generation that will have to answer them. That makes you all very important, indeed. You have much before you. And all I can say is that you’ve begun brilliantly. Continue to pursue excellence. Be proud of your country and its heritage, and be proud of yourselves, as we are proud of all of you.

The President. Thank you all, and welcome to the White House, and thank you for coming. I want to congratulate all of you from John A. Holmes High School in Edenton, North Carolina, on your great achievements this year and on your upcoming graduation. And a special greeting to Rob Boyce, the principal of this fine school.

If you would like to read the question and answer session, here is the link.  Talk about indoctrination of our students – but, of course, since it was a Republican that presented this speech, the naysayers find it acceptable.  What hypocrisy.  But that seems to be the only thing the Republicans are good for these days.

President Obama speech of hope and encouragement to students at Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA

President Obama delivering his speech of hope and encouragement to students at Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA (AP Photo)


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Democrats, Education, President Obama, Republicans and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Andy says:


    Thanks for posting Reagan’s 1986 speech to America’s school students.

    What a double standard it is for such a small, vocal group of paranoid parents to take issue with President Obama’s speech, but probably would not think twice about President Reagan addressing their own school children.

    As usual, a group of angry, sore losers on the right, want to act belligerent and cry wolf over any HINT of validating Barack Obama as President.

    This much billed “controversial” speech Barack gave to students this past week, was nothing more than an educational pep talk – encouraging children to stay in school, graduate, work hard and contribute to society.

    So…… after hearing/reading the speech, was it the Nazi-style dictatorship indoctrination , or Communist manifesto, some conservative commentators billed it as/ranted about ?

    Or…… were these conservative radio/TV blowhards just exaggerating and stoking the flames of xenophobia once again ?

  2. Iceironman says:

    Ok, one last time, wasnt the speach that gathered most of the attention, it was this

    President Obama’s plan to inspire the nation’s schoolchildren with a video address next week erupted into controversy Wednesday, forcing the White House to pull out its eraser and rewrite a government recommendation that teachers nationwide assign students a paper on how to “help the president.”

    Presidential aides acknowledged the White House helped the U.S. Education Department craft the proposal, which immediately was met by fierce criticism from Republicans and conservative organizations who accused Mr. Obama of trying to politicize the education system.

    White House aides said the language was an honest misunderstanding in what was supposed to be a inspirational, pro-education message to America’s youths.

    Among the activities the government initially suggested for prekindergarten to sixth-grade students: that they “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” Another task recommended for students immediately after listening to the speech: to engage in a discussion about what “the president wants us to do.”

    Still waiting on an investigation (from

    When Bush spoke to students, Democrats investigated, held hearings
    By: Byron York
    Chief Political Correspondent
    09/08/09 7:11 AM EDT

    George H. Bush, 41st President of the United States (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)
    The controversy over President Obama’s speech to the nation’s schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush’s speech — they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.

    Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president’s school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president’s political benefit. “The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props,” the Post reported.

    With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students,” said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. “And the president should be doing more about education than saying, ‘Lights, camera, action.'”

    Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush’s appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech. “The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC,” Ford began. “As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event.”

    Unfortunately for Ford, the General Accounting Office concluded that the Bush administration had not acted improperly. “The speech itself and the use of the department’s funds to support it, including the cost of the production contract, appear to be legal,” the GAO wrote in a letter to Chairman Ford. “The speech also does not appear to have violated the restrictions on the use of appropriations for publicity and propaganda.”

    That didn’t stop Democratic allies from taking their own shots at Bush. The National Education Association denounced the speech, saying it “cannot endorse a president who spends $26,000 of taxpayers’ money on a staged media event at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C. — while cutting school lunch funds for our neediest youngsters.”

    Lost in all the denouncing and investigating was the fact that Bush’s speech itself, like Obama’s today, was entirely unremarkable. “Block out the kids who think it’s not cool to be smart,” the president told students. “If someone goofs off today, are they cool? Are they still cool years from now, when they’re stuck in a dead end job. Don’t let peer pressure stand between you and your dreams

    So lets grow up a little and quit name calling

    • Lewis Allen says:

      ” Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president’s school appearance.”

      What’s your (or York’s) point? Are we supposed to think that the Republicans are somehow more noble in their criticism because they criticized Obama’s speech before even hearing it? Give me a break.

  3. Iceironman says:

    Lewy, not the speech, see below

    White House aides said the language was an honest misunderstanding in what was supposed to be a inspirational, pro-education message to America’s youths.

    Among the activities the government initially suggested for prekindergarten to sixth-grade students: that they “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” Another task recommended for students immediately after listening to the speech: to engage in a discussion about what “the president wants us to do.”

    Still waiting on an investigation (from

    Now, I have been patient and am trying not to insult intelligence, but if you cant get this after 3 postings, then you may have needed Obamas speech 20 years ago before going completly IQ less. Now, again,


    If you dont understand the outrage of having your children asked how they could help bush, fine, but my children are not to help Obamas socialist agenda. Or support groups like he supports like ACORN.

    Do you get it or do I need to type slower.

  4. Ice:

    We all understand you can’t accept the fact that Obama gave a great speech. His original plans to include writing letters to help the president was just fine.

    You are living in the past when you keep throwing out ACORN and other leftovers from the Republican “swift-boating” attempts. Time to move on – Obama was elected almost a year ago, and he was elected by a large majority.

    And, tone down your insulting remarks. You don’t have to treat me or my other posters like babies.

  5. Iceironman says:

    The reason for the remark was based on fact. I have already said it was a great speech.

    You think my children being ordered to write how they can help the president is fine, I dont.

    And Acorn is not in the past, when they are running a scam that no one in the media will present to America, there is a problem. There is also a problem if you dont express outrage over what the group is doing with our tax dollars.

  6. Ice:

    Again, when you make accusations, you might want to include websites where the info can be found. I have already checked out the prostitute issue. See my response under the “Ask not” post.

    Do you not realize yet that all news and all information is colored by perspectives? I can find articles from right-wing groups that argue ACORN is misusing tax dollars. I can find other articles that say they aren’t. It all depends on your own view and whom you choose to believe.

    If I ever decided to listen to FOX news, I know what I am in for – a bunch of right-wing hooey. Fair and balanced, my foot.

  7. Iceironman says:

    No Charlotte, you are being dishonest. Acorn is dishonest. If you find any conservative based group getting 6 billion of govt money, that has done this let me know. I will stand beside you and fight them. For a lady who says she questions everything, you dont. you dont question anything. YOu go with the flow of the left wing. “colored by perspectives” No, you are ignorant, this is colored by fact.

    I must say, it is over for this country if you cant admit acorn is corrupt.\\

    If I saw a repub raping a young lady and then said “It all depends on your own view and whom you choose to believe.” YOur quote. It is on tape, no debate. I would not make excuses for the scumbag repub. But you do. Way to support America on “Service” Day. you better wake up;

  8. Andy says:


    Your statement:

    “It is on tape, no debate. I would not make excuses for the scumbag repub.”

    Well, since you brought it up, there’s been a number of “scumbag repub(s)” in the news lately:

    Nevada U.S. Senator John Ensign has an extramarital affair with one of his female campaign staffers. After the affair has ended, it is learned Ensign has his parents make payments of almost $100,000 to the woman. Keep in mind, Ensign called for then President Bill Clinton to resign after Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Ensign stated, ” He (Clinton) has no credibility left.”

    Kind of hypocritical don’t you think ? Senator Ensign states Pres. Clinton should resign, but when his own credibility is on the line, Ensign refuses to step down.

    Gov. Sanford of S. Carolina is yet another Republican public servant who touted his Christian, conservative values at any chance he could get, BUT was caught secretly flying off to Argentina to have a tryst with his girlfriend.

    Gov. Sanford also refuses to step down, and had the gall to state, “I think I now know what Sarah may have been feeling,”

    And lets throw in the latest Republican congressman to get caught, on tape, bragging about two (count em TWO extramarital affairs) he was having simultaneously. California congressman Mike Duval is caught talking with a fellow state congressman on the details of the affairs.

    Guess what ? Congressman Duval is just another married, “champion of family values”, Republican politician who got caught with his pants down. I believe Duval was taped saying, “I’m getting into spanking her.”

    I’ll spare talking about Senator David Vitter from Louisiana, but when I hear the next Republican politician talk about his “Republican, family, Christian values” I’ll try to keep from busting out laughing.

    • iceironman says:

      Andy, I couldnt agree more, we should throw the scumbags out of office for being hippacrites, because if they will cheat on their wives, they will cheat the American people.
      Its all about credibilty and honesty.. That is why the Acorn thing, with all of their govt money makes me so mad. And Charlie Gibson of ABC didnt know anything about it in an interview this weekend. He is either lying, or is seriously neglecting his job in the media. The media should serve to take down all govt employees and hold them to high standards but they wont do it.

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