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Sunday, January 3, 2010

addressing the President

In planning my 1 year blog-o-versary which takes place later this week, my mind has become a virtual university of blogging theory. I am reviewing what worked in the past year and what didn't. What new ideas I have for the blog and what old ones never quite materialized. One idea I had has to do with the fact that many people in the blog-o-verse talk about hot topics. Chasing headlines has not been what I did here in year 1. In fact, I have been thinking for a while that blogging about cold topics would be nice .

The problem however is that some hot topics are cyclical and even though one issue had cooled considerably by this summer, in early fall it reached another boiling point. What I am referring to is President Obama speaking to students. The students I was planning on writing about was the Notre Dame graduating class of 2009. However, on the day after Labor Day, Obama addressed school children and was met with controversy, once again.

I decided I would wait a few more months and let the memory of the angst that preceded the latter speech die down. Like the Cold Topics idea, I have also wanted to have a segment in this blog called "Dave handles the tough issues". Now this may not seem like a tough issue to you, but in a moment you will see why it is one to me. It has to do with my relatives.

The University of Notre Dame invited President Obama to address the graduating class of 2009 and to receive an honorary degree. Many people were in an uproar because of the obvious disparity between their views on many issues, specifically those on abortion.

It may seem that this is a tough issue because of the divisive nature of the abortion debate. What really makes it hard for me is that issue seems to pit Notre Dame against President Obama. This is where my relatives come in.

My Mother is the biggest Notre Dame fanatic in the universe. So much so that Lou Holtz thinks she needs to tone it down. My Dad and sister both went to Notre Dame (that's how they met) but she takes it much more seriously than those 2 combined. If I am planning some party for my kids (2 of which had the gall to be born during football season), I check the ND website for the football schedule before sending her an invitation. If you don't believe that? look at my folks cars replete with Notre Dame banners, and vanity plates.

Speaking of cars, let's speak of my my Mother in Law. A nice Irish lass herself. Whose families hail from the lands of Cork and Kerry thus her maiden name of Corkery. Unlike, my mother, my MIL has actually lived at Notre Dame, when my FIL attended grad school there. But Golden Domer paraphernalia does not hang off her car, what does is the 2008 Election slogan: Hope. Not Fear. Obama 2008.

My mother in law loves Obama and my mother loves Notre Dame. So How do I tight rope this issue to make sure that my family has places to dine on the Holidays? I will tread gently, beginning by telling you my opinions before I watched Obama address the graduates and then some thoughts after watching it.

I do not agree with Obama's views on abortion. I have not voted for him in some part because of these views. I have written him and shared my opinions on the issue with him. However, I agree with Notre Dame inviting him to speak. I would gladly have President Obama address my children (which is why my children "attended" his speech to grade school students via the internet in September.) He is my president, not because I want him to be, but because God ordained it. I have enough respect for the position to know even being in the audience to hear him say things I disagree with would be a great honor.

Now as for the speech, now that I have viewed it. (Here is a link if you have not and desire to do so). I feel that I benefited from listening to hearing him speak at Notre Dame. Here is the President of the United States admitting to making changes in campaign policy due to the heartfelt letter of someone who disagreed with him. Here is a staunch supporter of abortion advocating less pregnancies and more adoptions. Perhaps he was just telling them what he wanted them to hear, it wouldn't be the first time a politician that. I think when you can have any sort of agreement from both sides of a divisive issue that this is a good thing.

Now quickly on to his address to students to kick off this 09-10 school l year. I was shocked at all the negative attention it received. While I disagreed with the stir the Notre Dame invite garnered, I at least understood it. This school flap, I did not get. Imagine this conversation:

A: I have an idea let's impeach the president.

B: Why should we do that? What high crimes and misdemeanors has he done?

A: He spoke to school children? What did he tell them, deface public property, slaughter sheep dogs, root for the White Sox?

B: No, stay in school.

Now, I understand that there was some objections to the teaching points that his staffers wrote for his speech. I also understand that the context of those questions was much easier for me to understand once I saw the speech.

Almost one year into the Obama presidency there may be legitimate reasons for his detractors and even his supporters to be concerned. His advisers may need to get him a new dictionary because it doesn't seem he understood the meaning of the word stimulus. He had only the support of his party on health care reform after portraying himself as a unifier. I am sure that many other people could you tell you what they think is wrong with the Obama Presidency, I am just saying speaking to students should not be on that list.

Next Time: The New Year in Review

1 comment:

  1. I really apreciate your stance...I appreciate the thought you've taken in writing this...
    I don't know if ... perhaps you are aware of the fact that most people, including myself, were not upset about the President just plain old speaking to the children. But the curriculum and video that were to precede his talk... He IS the President... It is good for a President to encourage students to stay in , study hard and so forth...
    the video... the I PLEDGE video that was to be played in classrooms nationwide before President Obama spoke,was concerning, it is in my opinion very fascist in nature... IN MY humble german opinion...

    here is the link

    please also note that many schools opted to not teach the curriculum due to parental concern, as is their choice... But as I understand it, the curriculum was to have the children decide what their pledge would be..before the end of the day, before they could talk with mommy and daddy... and would they too pledge their lives and service to
    not to America...
    Not to a flag...
    but to a single president...
    and that...was the issue...
    people were concerned with...

    When in the HISTORY of this country have we ever pledged our life to a man?

    I was not concerned that a President wanted to speak to my kids...

    But that all this other stuff was being added TO that... My parents and grandparents lived in NAZI Germany... They have lived through the nightmares that followed...

    Many people in America come from very scary places, and remember...
    and this video...
    is off...

    so I agree with what was written in your post... though I think... that many people missed what so many of us were ACTUALLY upset about...

    blessings to you and yours
    I really hope you receive this in the love with which I have written it... I am not angry... I do find it ... a bit frustrating I suppose to be so misunderstood.. :) love to you all


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