Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is a little off the subject of MY life...

This is obviously not a political blog. However, I do have some concerns I'd like to address. I will start out by saying that I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I tend to like some things about each party. Without going into detail about my beliefs, I could describe myself as either a very conservative Democrat, or a very liberal Republican. Make sense? I am alternately very happy with the job our president is doing and irritated with him. That being said, I have to say that I am worried about our children and the future of our country. Not because of what our president is doing, but because of how "we the people" are responding to him and to each other. Most of us seem to have drawn a line in the sand and said, "This is what I believe in, it's not up for discussion, I will defend my position to anyone anyway I want to, without regard to their feelings and without listening to any other position."

My concern is that our children aren't seeing the adults respectfully debating the issues. They are seeing talking heads on television bashing each other and calling each other names. If you look at the comments after any news article (political or not) online, you see what I consider the most vile person of all: the one who hides behind a computer screen and says things they would NEVER utter to another person's face. The most shocking to me however, was Rep. Joe Wilson yelling at the President and calling him a liar. Now, whether you think he is lying or whether you simply disagree with the President's plan is not really the issue. What Joe Wilson showed us is that the "Jerry Springer" way of handling disagreements has now affected us all the way to one of the highest levels of our government.

My daughter, who is a senior in high school, was not allowed by her principal to listen to the President's address to the students. I honestly don't know why she made that decision, especially considering that most people in academia tend to lean a little more to the left. (Which is fine by me.) My fear here is that her principal wanted to avoid offending someone, so she just made the decision that none of the students would hear his address.

We have reached the point in this country where we can't mention God in school because someone might be offended. Now we can't listen to our President for the same reason. I don't understand. How will our children learn to respectfully debate issues with each other if we don't practice it? How will our children learn and grow and maybe even change their minds about issues if they haven't been taught how to have an open mind and listen to others' whose opinions might differ from their own?

We used to tell our children; "Stand up for something or you'll fall for anything." I am afraid our children will fall -not because they didn't stand up for something- because we wouldn't allow them to listen to anything.