Barack Obama: Children Lack a “Hunger to Learn” and Parents Must “Turn off the Television” and “Video Games”

While talking at a forum in a hall in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Obama told parents that “we’re not instilling the hunger to learn.”  He mad the point that “it’s not all about money,” saying that children in China are going to school in dilapidated buildings, with outdated text books but they’re performing well because “they are hungry.”

Harrisburg teacher Jesse Rawls Sr. asked Obama, “How can we get inner-city kids to buy into education?”  Obama responded by saying, “The only reason I’m standing here is because I got a good education.  We need to change the attitude of kids … [and champion the idea] that everybody is our responsibility.”

He then detailed his plan that would “Identify ‘at-risk’ parents when they go to the hospital to deliver a baby, teach them to read, and encourage their child to get a good education.” (

While discussing the importance of reading at a young age, he said that “government can’t do everything,” and he told parents, “Turn off the television, turn off the video games.”  He told parents, “don’t go to school and cuss out the teacher” when a note is sent home from the school about their children.  He said that motivation must be given to students, especially 9th graders, who show a great lack in interest as they transition over to high school.  He said that the mentality that “education is poured in your ear” and the students don’t have to do anything is utterly false and believing that mentality will have terrible consequences.

I’ve gotta say, I agree with Obama here.  And this “it’s the parents’ mentality” is a pattern of his.  Back in February, he told a crowd in Wisconsin, “We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.”

My favorite quote from his whole speech was “government can’t do everything.”  I just wish he would use this mentality when it came to health care.  I like McCain’s plan of allowing people to get health care plans from other states (pushing for more competition between companies) MUCH better than either Clinton’s or Obama’s plans.  For more on McCain’s positions about health care, see here.

Anyway, I do like the fact that Obama is saying that it’s the parents’ job, not the government’s to make sure that kids want to learn.  The fact that he said this right as these stories, where parents weren’t doing their jobs, makes me feel a little happier about Obama, although I’ll still never vote for him (unless he were pro-life, then there’d be the chance, but I’d still vote for McCain over him):

America has got to get this problem of out of control kids under control, and it really does start with education.  If kids are dedicated to education, they won’t go around plotting to stab their teacher, or flushing their newborn babies down the toilet (or even getting pregnant at all!).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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7 Responses to “Barack Obama: Children Lack a “Hunger to Learn” and Parents Must “Turn off the Television” and “Video Games””

  1. europeanview Says:

    Hey, I’m coming from the other end of the political spectrum, but some things seem to be universal if you are a decent peson. I happen to agree with you here and like your rants. I disagree with the health care part, but I am European and universal healthcare, very good healthcare for everyone, is simply a standard here.

  2. inkslwc Says:

    The thing about America and health care is that Americans are greedy. You think communism failed in Europe, try it here. We’ll have more lawsuits than we have now. I think the health care system DOES need to be reformed, but we can do it while still keeping the government out of the system somewhat. Start with tort reform. Everybody makes mistakes, including doctors, and although they SHOULD be held accountable, be reasonable. These out of control lawsuits are what’s killing the system. Also, open the market up for more competition – let people cross state lines to get health care. I would like to see the next President try and reform the system before simply revamping it.

  3. blogitforu Says:

    i cannot wait to find find out who will win

  4. ilgabbiano Says:

    they perfectly agree with how much it sustains Obama
    from Italy

  5. nicolleshanman Says:

    If there is no focus on family values initially, then Obama’s argument fails every time. His economic plan encourages individuals to run for a handout as well, so why would anyone be motivated to be successful in education? A house of cards is a house of cards. When I hear him speak, I am always reminded of that beautiful commercial of the car where they put it together with products that can just recycle back into the environment. It looks and sound like a ‘neat’ idea, however upon greater scrutiny, it falls apart.

  6. inkslwc Says:

    I agree – but this is a good step over some other things I’ve seen from politicians who just say, “Ban the violent video games!”

    His economic plan will be a disaster – We’re teaching our kids, “Go ahead, buy stuff you can’t afford, because when you’re broke and killing the economy, the government will bail you out!” – you’ve got people buying overpriced houses that they can never afford because banks gave them loans that they never should’ve been given. People got adjustable rate mortgages hoping that the market would play out in their favor, which WOULD allow them to afford the house, but you can’t take a risk and when you lose, hope the government bails you out.

    The same thing happened in the Great Depression – people invested, lost, and went to the government to fix their mistakes. (Now, banks did the same thing irresponsibly with money that they shouldn’t have, so the whole situation wasn’t the average citizen’s fault – but there was still that mentality of “Take the risk – you’ll win BIG!!!”) – and that’s the mentality we’re getting into now.

  7. Christine Cunningham Says:

    I agree that we have to get our children back in line and interested in reading, math, science and the arts again. We need to break them away from their computers, calculators, video games and all their other doo-dads and get them thinking for themselves the way we had to when we were young.

    Sure we whined about it, but in the end it made us stronger, more capable individuals. I can do long division in my head. Kids today can’t do simple addition in their head.

    We also need to get them out into the fresh air and get them moving and exercising. Far too many of our youth are suffering from adult health problems like type 2 diabetes and obesity. It’s ridiculous! It’s also difficult.

    In todays world where many households have both parents working, or there is only one parent perhaps working more one job and everyone is still living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet….well, what are we supposed to do?

    I mean, I agree we shouldn’t go cuss out the teacher when a note is sent home about our children, but the government has cut all of the after school programs, there are hardly anymore P.A.L.’s around, you can’t find a network of neighborhood moms to take turns watching each others kids because they’re all working. So, tell me the answer, please. Does anyone know?

    I think Barack has the right idea, but how can we implement it? If we haven’t got the time now to take off of work and spend it with our own kids then how are we going to “champion the idea that everybody is our responsibility”? How?

    As a Christian I already believe that. I really do. It breaks my heart that I am unable to help everyone that I want to help on a daily basis, especially my own family, but as each day passes it is getting more difficult.

    The price of gas just reached $3.29 per gal., milk $4.15 per gal., potatoe bread $1.96 per loaf, 1 1/2 dozen eggs $2.94.

    My gas tank is just over 13 gallons and it cost me just over $55.00 to completely fill it. That is insanity!

    How is a father of two supposed to support his wife and children if he works someplace like Walmart for minimum wage and has to drive to work.

    I’ll have to stop writing now because I can see I’m getting off on a real rant, but that’s where this line of thinking took me. From one thing to another it just gets worse.

    I can see Mr. Obama certainly has his work cut out for him should he be the victor. God bless the winner whoever he is.

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