"There is no red state America, there is no blue state America; but there is a United States of America."
"Americans...sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America."
"And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too."
--President Barack Obama
Why on earth are people complaining about the President of the United States of America giving a speech to school children about the importance of education? Whether or not you agree with the President's vision for America's future, he's the President!
Laura Bush agrees. "I think there is a place for the president ... to talk to schoolchildren and encourage" them, she said. Parents should follow his example and "encourage their own children to stay in school and to study hard and to try to achieve the dream that they have."
President Reagan gave a televised address to schoolchildren. So did President George H. W. Bush. (Watch them here.) Now Obama is going to do the same.
Here's the full text of Obama's planned speech, addressed to students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. "And that's what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself. Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide."
If you think it's appropriate for Presidents to be able to speak to schoolchildren about the importance of staying in school and working hard, let your school administrators know.
Patriots may disagree vehemently with various policy positions taken by politicians. But patriots respect the office of the Presidency.
If you, like me, want a shot of respectful, bipartisan patriotism, have another listen.
And this, too:
"These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to [President-Elect Obama] tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.
I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences, and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.
Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that."
--Senator John McCain