Fine Structure

On Obama, Speeches, Hard Work and Responsibility

Let's stop for a moment and consider the recent political turmoil around Obama's speech at a school in Virginia today. For one, this paragraph:

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you're not going to be any of those things. But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won't love every subject you study. You won't click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

If this doesn't speak to one of the most important points that one should learn growing up, I don't know what does. I understand that most of the uproar over this speech was created by worst-case-scenario right-wing pundits who actually make more money by creating more controversy (not to mention before the text of the speech was released) but even now, after the speech is done, there will be detractors.

It is, in fact, these detractors of hard work and responsibility that threaten the fabric of the United States.

I'm not much of a pundit and my reach is really pretty miniscule compared to the opinion of someone like Phil Plait, so if you care about this kind of thing, go digg his post so that more people actually read the text of Obama's speech.

And, as always, I apologize for briefly making this my political soapbox. I understand some of you come here for strictly science content but this is something I believe is incredibly important to us as a nation going through interesting times. I usually ignore politics as something so far removed that I can't possibly make a difference, but this is really too important to ignore.