By Scott Tibbs, September 29, 2009
The discovery of a disturbing video of children in a government school being instructed to sing praises to Barack Obama has many conservatives in an uproar, and even some Leftists are saying that the song was inappropriate. The video, from B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, New Jersey, features students singing lyrics like "red, yellow, black or white, all are equal in his sight" that are strikingly similar to a line from the popular Christian song "Jesus loves the little children" and have raised concerns about children being indoctrinated in government schools.
There is a long and ignoble history of tyrants developing a cult of personality for themselves. Joseph Stalin, who was responsible for the murder of an estimated 30 million people in the Soviet Union, is an example of this. North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Il is another example. Totalitarian regimes have a long history of glorifying individual leaders, and that often leads to horrible abuses of individual liberty and human rights.
No, I'm not equating President Obama to Communist tyrants who have been responsible for genocide. What I am saying is that while it is proper to respect the office of the President, it is completely inappropriate to elevate the man for adoration, especially having children in a government school sing praises to Obama. While Obama is not in the same class the tyrants mentioned above, the cult of personality represented by this video does present disturbing similarities to the cult of personality that surrounded Stalin and surrounds Kim Jong Il.
Furthermore, it is completely inappropriate for students in a government school to be taught to sing praises to any politician or political party. Students are supposed to be taught basic facts and skills needed for a well rounded education such as mathematics and English, not shameless partisan political propaganda. Partisan politics have no place in any instruction plan, and those administrators and teachers responsible for this shameless video should be disciplined by the school system and forced to apologize to the parents.
Predictably, Leftists are whining that conservatives need to denounce similar incidents, such as children being taught to praise the utterly incompetent FEMA for the response to Hurricane Katrina. First, that was obviously inappropriate and also merits strict discipline of any government employees involved. Second, that is a classic Tu Quoque logical fallacy – justifying indoctrinating government school students because of something Bush supporters did. That is not going to fly, people. Childishly pointing fingers and whining "he did it too" is not an intellectually sound response.