24 February 2009

Where is your patriotism, Utah?

Welcome to Jeopardy. Do Doo Do Do Do Doo Do Do Doo Do Dooo (you know the diddy)

The category is: Quotable Authorities of 2009

The Answer is -- "Greatness is never a given."

The tall skinny guy with the glasses, buzzes in with "Who is Danny Boyle?" No, any other takers?

"Who is Rick Wagoner?" Eh! Also incorrect from the regal black woman in the middle.

"Tina Fey?!" No! I know she's your hero, Ellen, but at least phrase it in the form of a question.



Seriously... the list of possible authors to this generic remark is seemingly endless. You may be surprised to hear, then, that the quote and it's orator are under scrupulous criticism in Bountiful, Utah.

The forementioned quote was displayed on a junior high school electronic message board as part of the scholarly mission of one social science faculty to connect students with prominent historic and current event figures. This particular quote was given by Barak Obama, our current President of the United States, during his inaugural address.

A group of parents decided that this quotation and, they add, any quotation of current politicians, are inappropriate. "Our tax dollars hard at work!" they begrudgingly proclaim on their anonymous protest flyer, alongside a picture of the electronic message board displaying the reference with Obama's animated profile.

The school remains confused. Shouldn't our students be aware of the declarations of the man who leads our country? Why would a "group" of parents choose to communicate this hostile and unpatriotic message in secrecy? What is it about this particular quotation that is offensive?

I'm going to go on a shallow limb and say that there's a chance that these protesters would not be so agitated if someone else had been cited on the same words. The political race this last November was very close and segregated. Even McCain acknowledged and discouraged in his resigning speech that there would be citizens, after the race, inclined to be unsupportive towards the competing party and elected official.

Checks and balances are part of our democratic system. It is important to analyze our leaders actions and have an educated opinion on policies enforced. This allows us to make informed voting decisions in later years and ensure the choice brings success in leadership to our nation.

Beyond the secret communications of disapproval, what kind of message are we sending to these junior high students if we proclaim a lack of patriotism in not supporting President Bush's decision to go to war, yet decline Obama five neutral words. I suppose I was under the impression that all parties would, at least, acknowledge that Barak Obama is our current leader; maybe give him a chance to sign a document or present the State of the Union before kicking him off our public electronic message boards.