Soon, To A Re-Education Camp Near You!
By Kelley S. Willis
I've been thinking about the hatred and suspicion Republicans
have for anyone who does something for reasons other than
money, and how this continues to underlie their true attitude
towards public education. And today we get to see it underlined
again, by Secretary of Education Rod Paige, the Salesman from
Houston, when he calls the largest union of teachers in the
United States "a
Remember how the Republicans turned "terrorist"
into the cue word for a Pavlovian response from Americans?
Remember how Republicans arose and howled about the use by
two of the 1500 public entries at MoveOn.Org's "Bush
In 30 Seconds" ad campaign of comparisons of Junior to
Hitler? Do you seriously think that Paige's comments were
not vetted by a White House campaign office? That the head
of the Education Department, which the Republicans have been
trying to eliminate since the Reagan Administration, would
open his mouth at a Washington function for a Governor's convention,
and just be speaking off the cuff, is preposterous for anyone
from this most on-message White House.
From Junior to Paige to Rush and all their fellow-travellers,
they hide behind the children, they claim that teaching is
an honorable profession, even an exalted one (hell, teachers
need something to compensate for the poor pay, long hours
and work that no CEO could do, let's "exalt" them),
but as soon as they organize, by God they're terrorists!
Does anyone really wonder why we can't find enough teachers?
Why is it, in this era of saturation neo-con media, 24-7 on
every AM station, on FOXNews, MSNBC, CNBC, and even on the
old-line broadcasters, that no one except the most thick-skinned
and driven become teachers? Why do neo-cons and the neoRNC
fear teachers so much? Because they're the last front that
hasn't bought the neo-con, the new swindle,
that Ron Regan was the Second Coming, that doing anything
for any reason but money is anti-American, and that questioning
the GOP is a crime.
Because (let's be honest) Republicans don't want public education
to recover. They've done everything they can to kill this
common experience, this public institution, this bastion of
people learning and exploring and helping each other, because
that is so antithetical to their concept of America.
And they sure hate the fact that teachers see through them,
and organize against them, and spend dollars against them,
and rail against their attempts to set the bar lower by shoveling
creationism, and school prayer, and intelligent design, and
eliminating funding for anything that a corporation can't
use directly in an office drone. So out with art, with music,
with phys ed, with recess...defund construction, defund maintenance,
and (as exemplified by Gov. Bush's crony capitalism in Texas)
get a handle on the teacher's retirement funds, and skim off
the top while reducing the value of the rest, so those damned
teachers have even less to donate to the battle against Republicans.
No wonder Paige calls them terrorists; this is their true
feeling. They're the people out there creating more little
terrorists every day, in every class in every public school
in America. Because a terrorist is someone who isn't a Republican.
You heard them say it!