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Friday, May 27, 2011

"I Feel Like Joining a Socialist Organization!"

Before reading this column and getting your collective undergarments all bunched up, please read the disclaimer at the bottom.

"I feel like joining a Socialist organization!" is what an English teacher exclaimed in front of her class the day after Obamacare was shoved down our throats passed by Congress last year.

How do I know this? My youngest, a little Libertarian in her own right, was in the class. So this means the exhortation to join a Socialist organization took place at little ol' Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, New Jersey. Home of the Jaguars and at least one proud Socialist.

The day it happened I was outraged by the abuse of power this teacher demonstrated. If she had exhorted her class to join the Young Republicans or the Chamber of Commerce, or God-forbid a church, the school would've been consumed by every righteous journalist, political pundit and Statist in the country. Probably even Canadian people would have stopped by to express their concern.

I could have complained to someone but the teacher had the power. She could drop a failing grade on my daughter, she could refuse a letter of recommendation, she could do a lot of things to make her life miserable. This is a prime example of the dangers of institutional power. Knowing that my family is in the minority politically because we believe in self-sufficiency rather that state-inefficiency, I figured fighting the good fight was probably only going to end up causing my kid stress and strife she didn't need.

This my friends is that realpolitik stuff you learned about in college.

I kept my mouth shut, but I've just received my soon-to-be college freshman's first tuition bill, so screw realpolitik. The power has shifted. I pay this teacher's salary and I resent her using her bully pulpit to proselytize for something I am diametrically opposed to. I should have gone immediately to the administration or Board of Education and lodged a complaint. I didn't because we all know that public schools are dangerous places for people who buck the system, so really, where was complaining going to get me?

This teacher is safe to say pretty much anything she wants without reproach. This includes sharing her extreme political views to an English Lit class. This is not what I send my kid to school for. Trust me, my kid learns all the extreme politics she can handle right from dear old me.

I didn't raise a stink because I made a conscious decision to put peace ahead of principal, and now that all is said and done, I feel somewhat hypocritical for having done so. I guess I am part of the reason why public institutions in this country have become cesspools of wrongheadedness. Anyway, a teacher who would say such a thing to impressionable young people is a lost cause - a dangerous lost cause, but a lost cause nonetheless. Instead I put the fight and made my points about the idiocy of Socialism directly to the student I was most concerned about.

I hope I am not the only one who did that.

Disclaimer at the bottom: I disagree with President Obama on pretty much everything. I am, however, not a racist - that racism bit is your own thing and you need to expand your thinking. Likewise, you and I both know there are bad teachers in the classroom, just like we both know there are good teachers in the classroom. There are good and bad people in their jobs in every occupation except for gas station attendants and toll collectors, where of course all positions are filled with ill-performing people. So, once again, I like teachers (most of them), and I despise labor unions (especially public sector labor unions), so because I am taking a teacher to task for exhorting my kid to become a Socialist does not mean I am anti-teacher. Thank you.

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