Conservative talk show hosts are in a frenzy, and this time they have the nation’s youth on their side.
In his continued push for American economic survival, U.S. President Barack Obama has jeopardized his popularity with young people by suggesting they learn math in school.
“Our children rank 32nd in the world in math,” the President said.Â “This is not acceptable in a global economy.
“We are every bit as smart as other countries.Â We just need to invest in education, reform our schools, and inspire our children to put in the hard work that is necessary to succeed in math.”
Conservative talk show hosts know that young people are the key to future listening audiences, and they can taste the red meat.
“This President favors public, government owned, government run education! That costs money!” cried Rush Limbaugh, who just signed a $400 million dollar contract for his radio program.Â “This one will bring Obama down!Â He wants socialize learning!
“Soon — there’s no telling what these kids will be thinking.”
Limbaugh urged his large listening audience to keep children home from school on days math is taught.
Fox’s Glenn Beck also sees the red flag.
“Math!” Beck screamed, as he jumped from one table to another during taping of his show.
“He’s a socialist, communist, Nazi dictator, just like Adolf Hitler,” said Beck.Â “Today, he wants our children to learn math!Â Tomorrow, it could be history, or even art!Â Next thing you know, he’ll want them to go to college!”
Beck, who never went to college, sees education as “the ultimate proof that a person is a communist.”
The conservative’ “oppose everything” strategy that, until now, has played well with Bubba, may finally reach a younger audience — pay dirt for Republicans.
“Obama’s efforts to control health care costs, avoid another great depression, and withdraw from Iraq appeals to progressive voters who already have fixed political views,” says Dr. Jill Heckstrongermash, Professor of Political Science at UNCDB.
“But these economic issues don’t excite children,” she says.Â “And they will be voters in a few years.
“Math, however, evokes a visceral response from a huge demographic.
“The majority of school children fear math in general.
“When you start talking about calculus and trigonometry, you’re scaring the hell out of most high schoolers.
“That’s why talk radio wants to keep this story alive,” said Heckstrongermash. It’s a huge opening for the Republicans that could pay dividents for years to come.”
Last week, a few of my Facebook friends updated their statuses by informing the rest of us that the current President of the United States is “just like Hitler.”
To me, (and anybody else who is modestly informed and even the least bit rational) that’s big ol’ matza ball, hard as a rock, and impossible to swallow.
I remember people, on blogs, saying the same about George W.Â I was no fan of W’s ways, but that was beyond the pale also.
I decided it was my responsibility, as a concerned citizen, to correct this weird assertion.
I don’t know much about history, but I do know that anybody can compare anything to anything else and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.
I took a lot of history in college, but I wasn’t that good at it.Â I’m no scholar in any subject.
But what a foul thing to say.
So I said so — and I tried my best to use tact, restraint, reason, and respect.
What came back was a flood of angry garbage.
Veering off the subject (surprise! surprise!) I got into a discussion with one guy about whether or not all this talk was inflammatory.Â That led to a discussion about whether the term “Jewish Capitalism” was inflammatory.Â Then I was told that if I knew anything about Judaism — my religion — that I would know we did not read the whole Bible, only the “toro” (his spelling).Â This — from a person who was accusing me, from the outset, of being a socialist.
I wonder what he would have said if I had admitted that I was really quite fine being a socialist, and informed him that — whether he likes it or not — a proper interrogation would uncover the fact that he’s probably a socialist also.
He claimed his statements were not inflammatory.Â Those who took it that way, he claimed, are too sensitive.
Sensitivity, in this context, was not a virtue but a character flaw.
Being sensitive to diversity — well…that’s another issue — too far out there for this conversation.Â I couldn’t bring that up because I didn’t want to deal with the rebound.
In my view, we don’t get to choose what’s inflammatory.Â We kind of know.Â And, we get to choose whether or not be inflammatory or not.
I could have been inflammatory by pointing out, more directly, the level of ignorance within this whole conversation.Â Both sides.
The bottom line was that all the folks in this discussion are repeating what they hear Rush Limbaugh say.
Ironic that they repeat his words and then defend them as truth and deny the inflammatory, offensive nature of the comments.
Inflammatory statements aren’t very effective in public discourse — but it’s good business.
It’s obvious, just from the clips I see on the news, that offending people is Rush Limbaugh’s business plan.Â Why not admit it?