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Assault on America, Day 258: For Trump and the GOP in 2020, it’s School Choice, stupid!

Trump on Education
Sometimes it’s frustrating watching a political debate, a game show (aren’t they the same thing?) or reality TV program where the participants are faced with questions or dilemmas with obvious answers yet they fail to produce the “appropriate” response in the time allotted, and, to make matters worse, don’t even touch on the real gist of the matter.

Shouting at the screen never produces the intended corrections, either, especially if the program was pre-recorded months or years ago and the person already lost his or her election -- or failed to make the bonus round on “Family Feud.”

Here's a fictional example: Establishment media debate moderator: “Candidate x, your opponent said this about the ever-present poverty problem in big American urban centers such as Baltimore -- ‘People don’t advance in the heart of the city because there’s little opportunity, rat infestation, trash everywhere and there aren’t enough government programs to help the people better themselves. If I’m elected, I’m going to make sure there’s enough food and jobs for everyone.’ What do you have to say to this?”

Candidate x: “Clearly my opponent is just blowing smoke. People suffer because of climate change. Melting icebergs and rising sea levels are destroying the quality of life in Baltimore and other locales, even if they’re nowhere near the ocean.”

NO!” you scream and if you’ve got one of those old foam bricks handy, you launch it at the screen towards the brainless bumbling loser.

Conservatives have been doing this for years (well, maybe not the foam brick part), irritated by a clueless political class that refuses to offer solutions that would not only solve many lingering problems in blighted areas but would also prove popular at the ballot box, too.

How about school choice? It makes so much sense yet the pontificating politicians rarely mention it in their campaign pitches. John Stossel wrote at PJ Media, “The establishment's new attack on charter competition is: Charters drain resources from public schools.

“It's a clever argument, but it's a lie. Charter schools are public, too, and Philadelphia, like other cities, gives charters less money than it gives to schools the city government runs. In Philadelphia, charters get only 70% as much. So government schools actually save money when a kid leaves for a charter...

“So why aren't more charters approved? ‘It would mean a whole lot less union jobs… The unions are not going to be for that.’ It's not just unions. Education bureaucrats love working in a monopoly where they are basically guaranteed jobs. Bad charter schools close, but government-run schools almost never do -- no matter how badly they treat kids.”

Stossel’s article features the story of one Philadelphia mother who was so exasperated with her boys’ fight-plagued public school she entered a lottery and eventually was able to enroll them in a charter school, where they learned to love reading and benefitted immensely from a faculty that even helped with homework at 10 o’clock at night. It’s a good and inspiring tale with a satisfying conclusion but you can’t help but suppose this lady’s situation wasn’t the only one where less well-off citizens in bad neighborhoods felt trapped and victimized by government bureaucracies.

Put it this way. If a politician polled residents he or she met on the street about their issues of concern -- jobs, opportunity, education, healthcare and crime would almost certainly rank high on the minds of real people. In the alternative it’s doubtful any of them would reply, “climate change”. Democrats and wishy-washy establishment Republicans try looking fashionable to the Starbucks-set by dribbling over a potentially warming atmosphere, but the folks on the ground would rather their children attend safe and discipline-oriented educational institutions.

It used to be public education was an inherently local issue where the school board’s preferences trumped the dictates of national teachers unions or federal scholastic bureaucrats. For decades pupils went to class, received a solid foundation in the fundamentals (reading, writing and arithmetic) and ingrained such basic cultural concepts as respect for the American flag and do unto others… and the notion of keeping your hands to yourself.

Unfortunately for all of us, somewhere along the line public schools morphed into today’s havens of politically correct nonsense where it’s considered more important to be “tolerant” of flighty things like gender identity (boys using girls’ restrooms) rather than grounding oneself in the necessities of success. And lord knows, if your kids attend a school where they’re afraid of what’s lurking around the corner of the hallway, it’s not a great learning environment either.

Couldn’t Republican candidates make headway with inner city populations by taking on the real barriers to progress -- the big teachers unions and the liberal education establishment? It wouldn’t risk a whole lot for GOP office-seekers to at least mention the subject when replying to questions on how electing them to serve would make citizens’ lives better. Charter schools are just the beginning. Vouchers and home-schooling are another means to get heads turning and voters listening to you.

Further, there’s no way Democrats would ever touch the subject (well, except for the odd and eccentric Andrew Yang, and he’ll never win anyway). They’re far too preoccupied with ensuring minorities keep voting for the same status-quo preserving losers who’ve enriched themselves over the years while their constituents continued to struggle with little hope of ever escaping the cycle of destitution. And education is a big part of the involuntary subjugation.

Many parents engage in a form of “lottery” in terms of the public schools they’re stuck with. No doubt some kids are fortunate to have teachers who are able to do their jobs despite being shackled by excessive budget-consuming administrators and mandates from liberals who couldn’t care less about teaching children versus scoring political victories in the name of “diversity” and the LGBTQ lobby.

Democrats dwell on surface issues -- translation, race and gender identity -- instead of homing in on achievement and advancement. The most notable “education” moment in the Democrat presidential campaign thus far involved Kamala Harris’s “I was that girl” jab at polling leader Joe Biden during the first party debate(s). But it wasn’t referencing how Harris might have received a better education because of decisions made by benevolent politicians, it was about how she was able to attend a better school because of a busing program.

That’s what she said. Anyone know the truth?

In other words, Democrats are fine with squandering huge chunks of district budgets sending kids to schools they don’t want to go to but can’t find it within their consciences to allow parents to decide for themselves. For if there were more charter schools, more private school vouchers and more resources for homeschooling they’d have a lot less power over people, wouldn’t they?

Smart Republicans should be all over this topic like ants on a mound of sugar, but they’re not. It’s like one of those “game show” answers where you scream at the TV yet no one seems to hear. School choice is the issue that could lead less-fortunate parents off the Democrat party plantation and into GOP-land as though there was a yellow brick road showing them the way.

Let Democrats obsess over inane giveaway programs and obscure concepts like climate change. Republicans and conservatives should know better, including how to be environment-friendly without being extreme. Chris Buskirk wrote at American Greatness, “[T]the Green Left owns the environment as an issue and it shouldn’t. Protecting our natural environment and promoting its vitality is a natural conservative issue. And it’s one that we ignored at our peril. We must do better.

“The environment is such an important issue for Democrats that they devoted an entire presidential debate to the subject. Republicans usually just try to duck the issue and, in so doing, dodge a legitimate responsibility and lose voters who might otherwise listen to them. The Right’s environmental politics should be more than a simple negation of whatever the Greens say. That’s insufficient and it’s lazy. It’s also a political loser that cedes all of the initiative to the fanatics...

“[C]onservatives have to stop being afraid of the issue and realize that they don’t have to accept the Green’s climate creed in order to believe that the preservation and appreciation of the natural world is an inherently conservative issue—and a political winner, too.”

Buskirk is 100 percent correct. Like with school choice, conservatives and Republicans would make inroads with Democrat constituencies -- in this case, younger voters -- by speaking with them on the things they care about. Buskirk suggests championing rational “green” solutions like reducing urban heat islands through reforestation, eliminating plastic in the ocean, and, moving away from bisphenol A (BPA), which is commonly found in plastic food and drink packaging and also in many cans used for food (and studies show is a health risk).

Conservation should be part of every conservative’s message, primarily because it’s in everyone’s interest to be good stewards of the earth. And it fits well within the confines of capitalism too, because contrary to the false assertions of liberals, we know trashing one’s own environment reduces property values and makes living spaces uninhabitable and undesirable.

That’s why we already have laws, regulator armies and courts making sure everyone plays by the rules. And what conservative doesn’t love the wide-open spaces and beauty of America’s national parks? To claim otherwise is absurd.

Conservatives love the earth every bit as much as liberals; we’re just not willing to completely junk history and learned experience by blindly following scientists with their own political agendas. “Climate change” is a scheme the red/green axis uses to gain control over people’s lives and take their natural rights away. Republicans should favor more freedom -- and responsibility.

Some political issues are such obvious winners they should be in the forefront of every conservative’s campaign pitch. School choice and responsible stewardship of the environment are two subjects the GOP could use to turn heads instead of permitting the left to control the narrative. Are Republicans paying attention?

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