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Is Michelle Obama Bad for Kids?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Will Michelle Obama's efforts as first lady help or hurt American children and the nation in which they live?

When speaking about her "Let's Move!" program to fight childhood obesity, Mrs. Obama often explains her vision of government as parent -- the Big Mother who will teach children the important things their derelict real moms and dads do not.


Big Mother made an early appearance in 2009, when Mrs. Obama talked to bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Their fate isn't set yet," Mrs. Obama said. "We still have everything in our power because the other beautiful thing is that kids change quickly. Their habits are easily broken. They are so malleable, and they're waiting for the right information, the right opportunities, and once they have it, they just go."

"Many of the children in the public schools, they take this information, they understand it," said Mrs. Obama. "They apply it to their lives, and they push their parents and their families to be different. That's one of the reasons why we start with kids oftentimes. They are ready for change sometimes when we're not."

How young are the "malleable" children Mrs. Obama wants the government to teach lessons they can "push" on their parents?

How about "little itty-bitty babies"?

In June, Mrs. Obama visited CentroNia, a daycare center in Washington, D.C. She went there to announce the "Child Care" division of "Let's Move!"

"Our full-day program for children from birth through age 5 lays the foundation for school readiness by working to develop the whole child in a dual-language environment," says CentroNia's website. Its 2010 annual report says the center received 36 percent of its 2009 funding from government contracts.


At this government contractor "for children from birth," Mrs. Obama said she saw babies eating fish at a family-style meal and talked about how these meals developed the babies' "souls."

"I mean, one of the things we watched upstairs -- babies, little bitty babies eating salad and fish and strawberries and mashed sweet potatoes, and loving it, because that's what they're used to eating," said Mrs. Obama.

"And they serve their meals family-style," said Mrs. Obama. "Babies. Little itty-bitty babies, right? They were serving themselves, using the tongs, learning manners, having conversation -- not with real sentences or anything -- but all the expression that goes along with sitting at the table and having a glass of milk and passing the food.

"The ritual of sitting down and reintroducing that activity into the life of kids, it also helps them balance what they eat, because ... the meal isn't just about feeding yourself physically," said Mrs. Obama. "It's about feeding your emotional soul."

Again, this practice is designed to change the family via the school.

"Just like the songs that they sing here start to echo throughout their homes, all of these healthy habits that the kids here are learning will also find their way home, and these young people, as small as they are, will become leaders in their own homes, because they're going to ask for things that their parents never knew they would even try," said Mrs. Obama.


In October, speaking at the White House, Mrs. Obama again stated her view that government schools will shape the next generation in a way akin to what parents once did.

"When many kids spend half of their waking hours and get up to half their daily calories at school, you know that with the food you serve and, more importantly, the lessons you teach that you're not just shaping their habits and preferences today, you're affecting the choices they're going to make for the rest of their lives," she said.

"That's why we start with kids, right?" she said. "We can affect who they will be forever."

Mrs. Obama's defenders will say: Hey, wait a minute. She just wants these schools and daycare centers to teach children to eat the right foods and exercise.

But that is not all Mrs. Obama and her husband are trying to do.

When Barack Obama was an Illinois state senator, he supported S.B. 99, a law to strip all mention of marriage from the state's sex-ed classes and mandate those classes begin in kindergarten. In a presidential debate in New Hampshire in 2007, Obama agreed with John Edwards that it was OK for a second-grade teacher at a public school to read students a story about two princes entering a same-sex marriage.

A little reported section buried in the massive Obamacare legislation authorizes grants to states and organizations "to carry out personal responsibility education programs." The issues these programs are authorized to teach about include "dating, romantic involvement, marriage and family interaction" and "parent-child communication."


What kind of marriages and families do you think Obamacare grantees will teach children about?

Once American public schools -- which had children only part of the day, and starting only when they were 5 years old -- worked with parents to teach children the same basic values they learned at home: Love God, love country, love family, know the history of our nation and civilization, aim to become a hardworking, self-sufficient individual.

Little, itty-bitty babies who eat "family-style" meals at government-funded centers will not only learn government dependency but also the false morality that will keep them there.

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