Roger L. Simon

Obama's School Days: the I's have it

Some conservatives are getting all riled over Barack Obama’s speech to school kids, urging them to wash their hands, stay in school, etc. I agree with my PJTV colleague Joe Hicks that this is way over the top, even if the Democrats did the same thing (and worse) to Bush 41 when he spoke to students in the early nineties. So it goes in our “sophisticated” political culture.

Still, banal as it is, something depressed me while reading the speech on whitehouse.gov. And then I realized: there was the I-word again, dominating the penultimate graph:

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

“I’m working hard…. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you.” I… I… I… What is it about this man that he can’t keep himself out of it? Or even use “we,” since, theoretically, everyone in the government would like students to “get serious.” Is this “Big Brother” or just a personality glitch (disorder)? Or are they the same thing?