Marybeth Hicks

On the surface, the president’s school-day speech read like a parental lecture. (Or maybe one from a well-meaning but boring uncle.) But beneath the pep-rally rhetoric, Mr. Obama wove himself seamlessly into the lives of America’s children.

“Now, your families, your teachers and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need. … I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books and the equipment and the computers you need to learn,” he said.

The speech would only have been misleading if he had stopped there. But the president went even further, playing the role of uber-father and benevolent disciplinarian by stating his expectations for the school performance and behavior of America’s students.

Problem: The president of the United States has no business setting such expectations.

Unless we’re a socialist country, that is, in which case the government reserves for itself the proper education and formation of its children. In that case, not only will Julia’s education be launched at Head Start, but she’ll also be tracked for her likely academic success and her choices will be limited to those established by the state.

The essence of that school-day speech, like the “Julia” theme, struck a disturbing chord with those of us whose ears perk up at the sound of our liberty fading into oblivion.

In a free society, the government’s role is to serve and protect its citizens while we, the people, exploit our freedom and make the most of our own lives.

The president’s vision of Julia’s life reflects a puny and offensive view of American women. It’s all reassurances of so-called “reproductive health” — because surely all women think with their uterus — and after that, it’s a pat on the head and a government check and congratulations on a great life.

It’s no wonder Julia can’t smile.

Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).