By Mary Grabar
I would like to thank Mary for allowing me to post her work. The title is added. This appeared here. Please go to the original post for the added links. For some reason I had trouble reposting it all here. RK
"From each according to his abilities." Surveys on knowledge of civics show that young people especially attribute the source of this statement to the Founding Fathers. College Democrats tout President Obama's "Pay as You Earn" college loan repayment plan that would cap student loan repayments at 10% of income and forgive loans after 20 years. I heard a similar proposal for home mortgages last week on WRFG by a spokesman for Occupy Our Homes. It's not fair that homeowners should pay for something that has decreased in value. Banks ought to lower payments to reflect the current home's value. But what about the payment the bank had made to the seller?
The purpose of law is to enforce contracts. But under our new values of "fairness," contracts are to be violated for political benefit. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac step in, and make sweetheart deals with the banks (nevertheless, the ignorant Occupiers will blame the banks and not the corrupt government system). One of Obama's first orders of business was to put student loans under the purview of the U.S. Department of Education. So who will pick up the difference between what students borrowed (for an increasingly useless education at an indoctrination center) and what they pay as they earn? Oh, yes, the plumbers, and other hardworking people from whom wealth will be redistributed. This is creeping communism, not that students would understand that given that some don't know the word or simply associate it with a "red scare." It's no wonder Obama is desperately trying to recapture the youth vote, visiting more college campuses than any presidential candidate in history. He's promising candy to a generation educated in tolerance and global citizenship, and whose hope is that though they may work as a barrista or community organizer, they will be required to pay no more than they are "able," determined by the government to be 10%.
Speaking of young people, I spent three days following around throngs of these misguided and miseducated youth in Tampa as they chanted Marxist slogans and demonized Republicans meeting at their convention. My wrap-up, "School Lessons from the RNC Protests," appears in Education News. It's my debut there, and I share good company with Will Fitzhugh, who has written for Dissident Prof. My previous three articles on the RNC protests are in PJ Media.
As I write this, our embassies in the Middle East are under attack, and four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya, have been killed, apparently, by Islamic terrorists. President Obama is being criticized for failing to secure our embassies on the anniversary of 9/11 and for refusing to interrupt his campaigning by cancelling a fundraising trip to Las Vegas.
Yet, even as this is taking place, college students using the new Norton Reader or other textbooks are discussing Obama's "New Beginning," Cairo speech, delivered on June 4, 2009, as an example of high Ciceronian rhetoric and evidence of Obama's supreme diplomacy skills. If they use this textbook they will not learn about the historical errors that riddle the speech or the foolishness of canonizing a presidential speech during a president's first term. But love clouds judgement, and the professoriate is in love with the president.
To add a little context, students should read Tina Trent's post, "What Presidents Used to Say When America Was Attacked." She discusses the new Dissident Prof Press book, "A New Beginning," or a Revised Past? President Barack Obama's Cairo Speech.
In it, historian Brian Birdnow and I offer a realistic and honest appraisal of the speech. If they can get beyond the endless discussions about an obscure film maker who is being blamed for the rioting by offending Muslims, students can also see history taking shape right now. As I write this, Fox News is rebroadcasting clips of Obama's Cairo speech. There are other lessons to be learned too--about ego getting in the way of realistic political appraisals, of a dangerous elevation of an American president to kingly or demigod status, as the Arab Spring turns into our Arab Winter. The English professors would do better by their charges to teach George Washington's Farewell Address, and leave the analysis of the Obama presidency to political science classes--after the elections.
Let me know if you'd like me to speak to your group or if you'd like a copy of the Dissident Prof Guide Book to review. We hope that it will help the student faced with the task of answering the biased topic questions in the textbook, or just anyone who wants an understanding of the numerous misstatements and rhetorical sleights of hand that pepper this speech.
Finally, an overdue thanks go to Marty Slann and Al Rufty for their generous contributions to the Dissident Prof Education Project, Inc.