When I was in High School there use to be a rule with extracurricular activities that you had to keep a “B” grade point average and have no “D” grades. A few weeks ago I was sitting on a plane with a very nice woman on her way back to Denver, CO. She was telling me that her daughter was a school teacher. We had a long discussion about how education has changed over the years and that expectations have dramatically dropped for the students. One thing she mentioned was that in her daughter’s school they allowed a child to participate in extracurricular activities (sports) despite having failing grades. I was dismayed because those sorts of administrative choices most certainly reflect in society as those generations of kids are released into adulthood. I thought of how the current mantra of “fairness” in education encourages teachers to pass over achievement and individual success. Our educational system has done away with the goal of exceptionalism and has adopted the goal of mediocrity at the same time rewarding it with allowing extracurricular participation, annual promotion to a higher grade and eventually a diploma.
I think this idea is pertinent to the political debate we are currently enduring. We currently have a President who is President solely because he’s likeable and popular, not because of some great achievement or effort on his part. He is held up from the throngs of folks around him who do his homework for him every day, while he plays golf in Hawaii or parties in Las Vegas. The debate stripped away the ability to look off of someone’s paper in the exam or buy a well-done essay off of a pal before school, reflecting the amount of work you personally have put in. We just witnessed the President of the United States going to take a test with very little preparation. One of the major messengers to the youth of America, Jon Stewart was disappointed that Obama didn’t “do his homework” by studying and practicing for the debate. He dedicated his show last night talking about his frustration on Obama’s poor presence at the debate. He even decided to have a “private” conversation with President Obama:
“I know you probably dread having to spend 90 minutes having to debate some knucklehead from Harvard all night, believe me I know. But you know Mr. President everyone has parts of their job that they don’t like as much, but they still have to do those things if they want to keep those jobs.”
Stewart even had to dust off a segment called “Polish That Turd” to show how everyone else had to clean up Obama’s mess as a result of his laziness. Democrat surrogates spent the day creating their best spins on why Obama did so poorly in the debate. My personal favorite was when Governor O’Malley said that Obama was practicing “a dignified reserve”. To this Stewart responded, “Save dignified reserve for Maggie Smith having tea with the queen!”
You see the problem is there’s a reason a person is rewarded for their achievements. There is a reason there is a First place and Last place. There is a reason the vetting process is based on a person’s accomplishments. On the other hand there is a reason our country is falling into the crapper right now too—Americans have forgotten to reward achievement with their vote. Will the poor debate performance and terrible record show the nation that Obama is the least shiny turd they ever “bought into” and convince them to let go of the turd they’re holding onto so tightly?
“If I didn’t have a clear sense of the direction he [Obama] wanted to move the country and someone had a more logical sense of where to take it”
Tomorrow is another day for Jon Stewart and the nation, once his tantrum and frustration with Obama subsides (like the stink in the bathroom) he will come out swinging again for his favorite turd joining the throngs of people across the nation working overtime to polish their turd of a candidate.