A high school teacher in Aurora is being investigated for pointing out the obvious. He suggested that there might be parallels in the tones of Bush's State of the Union Address and Hitler. To be fair, Bush doesn't have the same commanding presence that Hitler did, or flair for fashion. Still, I imagine that the history teacher's probably right, even though I've never sat through an entire speech by Bush, and I've only seen clips of Hitler's speeches. I'm just taking my cue from the slippery moral slope we've been sliding down...in a luge.
I know no one wants their kids to have to listen to teachers shove their political views down kids' throats, but I don't see anything wrong with creating a classroom environment where issues can be discussed, or students' worldviews challenged. One of my favorite teachers in high school was Dr. Zakaria, a Republican who felt the Vietnam war was right, that the politicians had botched it. He taught Social Studies (or was it History?). He would rail against Kennedy, and tell stories of having to walk the president's dog. As an officer in the military, this was insulting. Rather than feel threatened by his sharp opinions, I knew we were lucky. Here we were, a bunch of high school students in Tucson, AZ, listening to a brilliant man who had fought in Korea and Vietnam, and had opinions about it. Would the class have been better had he left his opinions at the door. Not at all. Did I grow up spouting his views? Nope.
Americans need to stop being babies.