My response to Brandon Givens’ column today: Republicans’ Definition of Freedom is Contradictory
It’s the Republican, what is best described as anarchist, coalition of libertarians and Christian fundamentalists that are nearing success in dismantling our democracy through what must be considered abuse of the poor and near poor.
Brandon, you lay the facts out there clearly and they cannot be denied.
Unfortunately in recent years many Democrats with the misbegotten notion that it is conservatism that represents the ideology of most of the electorate find if not seek candidates who will compromise their Democratic values. Polls, example gun control, show this to be a myth.
The examples of the results of these egregious policies heavily funded by corporate entities are all around us. Just last week a commentary in JAMA outlines how we, rich and poor, are sicker and die sooner than those in even marginal economies. Our children are murdered in their strollers and classrooms. What children who survive are growing up poorly educated and without curiosity or scientific insight enough to preserve the climmate
Wages as percentage of GDP have soared for the rich while flat-lining for the middle class. Who can consider the results of perpetual wars waged by Republicans without shame and tears of sorrow.
By the way Medicare and Social Security are insurance programs funded by forward paying beneficiaries; not taken from the general fund.
Let’s sing the praise of public schools.
There is no doubt the anarchist coalition of racists, fundamentalist Christians and libertarians are approaching full success in destroying the public school system in the United States; a program of education that made one country of the millions of immigrants from over the planet who deluged the 19th and 20th century United States; a mission which created and sustained the most fruitful and productive middle class the world has seen.
Never mind the why of the suicidal agenda. Where are the defenders? Where are the voices of protest?
I can be one and hope to arouse others.
When reflecting on past memories it is a rare person who does not recall one or a few individuals that stand out as having directed their lives positively. How often is that individual a teacher?
For me it is several individuals and now, with the distance of age, I can also appreciate the entire process of public education that really made possible not only for my brother and me to flourish and appreciate the joys and the ideas this complicated world offers; but it also brought to our parents pride and confidence in their effectiveness, a hope and a future and I know added to their successes in later years.
Early on my family was poor among the many poor of the Dust Bowl. Our poverty and lack of work for our father was blamed by the Republicans on laziness and lack of personal accountability and the liberal intellectuals considered our poverty the result of defective genes.
But the public schools and the marvelously talented and dedicated teachers working with a nationally shared vision for education knew better. They recognized the mind and the heart of each little child, found potential and developed it.
The teachers in our town were about more than just rote multiplication tables and Dick and Jane and competition. They were citizens who worked at lowered wages during the Depression. It is an often ignored secret that teaching is a calling and most teachers would pay to work and most today endure and succeed in the face incredible and unnecessary obstacles.
And they helped out beyond the classroom. One of my brother’s teachers created the design for Tulsa’s most famous landmark, The Boston Avenue Methodist Church. One of my teachers, a field biologist, researched and compiled the reference book of a census of the flora and fauna of Tulsa County. The reverence for public education in our town is exemplified in the high school I attended now still treasured as an Art Deco masterpiece.
This is what public education is about. It is not about training a compliant unthinking unimaginative work force with “Christian” values.
Our democracy will evaporate once the shared vision and mission becomes subservient to the demands of profit fragmented into the wants and wishes and prejudices of each parochial community. I hope there are sufficient numbers who will protest and preserve access to a joyful life for all our offspring.