It is time, well actually quite a bit past time, that the hateful, angry and dishonest rhetoric that has surrounded the President's education speech and the debate on health care be called for what it is. The bullying must stop and no longer be rewarded. Reasonable debate must take its place. Now.
This is a plea for all of us to get motivated to change the climate of the debate and not to stop until we can see results. No more complaining - just action. The next time you are tempted to write a comment that shows concern about the flying insults, innuendos and false accusations, I challenge you to follow it up with either a positive letter of support to someone you admire, or to address the issue head on with the news sources who are profiting from publicizing the uproar.
Most of us know that the nonsense, hatred and lies must no longer dominate the debate on the important issues that face us. Discussions on Health Care and whatever new issues that may arise should not be allowed to become the bully pulpit for hate mongering, veiled racism and not so veiled threats against the presidency. We must get vocal, consistent, persistent and visible and stay that way until the nonsense is stopped. Email and call news sources and tell them that the extremist and the nutcases do not represent rational opposing viewpoints on any issue. People who chose to use name calling as a debate method are not relevant. There are other, rational and reasonable people who have good questions to ask and they should be the ones bringing opposing viewpoints to the table. We need all the rational viewpoints to be heard. Not only are we being flooded with useless commentary by those whose only purpose is to weaken Obama's presidency at any cost, we are missing out on hearing from conservative voices who could present points that could and should be considered.
As a starting point, President Obama's speech has been posted on the White House website. As most of us would expect, it is an excellent speech and as previously indicated, focuses on individual responsibility. He encourages kids from all backgrounds, no matter how difficult their situation may be, to take control of their own destinies and write their own story.
Though many people may be out traveling today on the Labor Day holiday, I hope that you will take the time to read the speech, see it, or view it later this week and then send a Thank You note to the President for taking the time to address school children and encourage them. I know his speech will be meaningful to many children all over the country. I am certain that it has the capacity to change lives and help children make the right decisions. It is up to us to create a framework where their good decisions can make a difference, lay the foundation for their efforts to succeed, and nurture the ground where their dreams can take root. Start by showing them that bullies of any age and no matter how influential will not be tolerated.