It Isn’t the Elections, It’s the Consequences - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
It Isn’t the Elections, It’s the Consequences
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Stacey Abrams addresses the National Press Club, Nov. 19, 2019 (Al Teich/Shutterstock.com)

On Thursday at the Federalist, Joy Pullman had a good piece on a subject which has begged for discussion ever since the surprising results of the Nov. 2 elections. It’s a subject which has made appearances in columns within this space, but perhaps not with sufficient emphasis.

So we’ll correct that right now.

Pullman’s piece had to do with something the libertarian pundit Kmele Foster, who’s a cohost on the popular “The Fifth Column” podcast and has been a Fox News contributor as well, said recently.

Foster isn’t a bad guy. His opinion on Critical Race Theory stinks, but it stinks in the way libertarian opinions often do when they run into the wall that is the 21st century Hard Left. We’ll let Pullman put in her perspective on the question…

… While discussing to what extent public opposition to this form of racism fueled Republican success in last week’s elections, Foster again claimed “there is zero evidence that this particular strategy [of banning CRT in schools] is working.”

“In practice, these bills create a great deal of uncertainty about how curriculum should be constructed and what constitutes a kid being made to feel uncomfortable or being told they should feel shame on account of their race,” he claimed.

He cited a school board meeting in which teachers questioned whether they should now teach “the other side” of the Holocaust. “That is a direct result of these idiotic bans” of critical race theory, Foster claimed. Later he also noted that Texas lawmakers are asking state institutions to report whether they are using public resources to buy and promote anti-American and racist books, claiming that’s a prelude to book bans.

For one thing, even if Texas lawmakers do take action after they gather this information, they will not be “banning books.” They may refuse to expend public resources on certain books, but that is not banning them. Actual book bans, actual censorship, would mean what happens with successful full-bore cancel operations from the left: The person with the book is unable to publicly publish or distribute it, even on his own time and dime.

Pullman notes that all this “other side of the Holocaust” stuff isn’t a good faith argument. It’s smarmy leftist trolling, and insulting smarmy leftist trolling at that. It’s revealing, though, and what it reveals is the Left’s insistence on having critical race theory — and critical theory in general — insures they aren’t going to surrender on this.

And Foster is correct that elections won’t fix that. What will fix it is something he definitely is for. And so is Pullman, and so should you be.

Pullman says to do away with CRT will require the same thinking which imposed it.

Critical race theory’s hold on the U.S. education and corporate systems is the poisonous fruit of a poisoned tree. To root it out will require a lot more than state and local bans. It requires of the right exactly what the far-left is doing: Systemic thinking.

That means not taking an isolated, whack-a-mole approach that lawmakers might prefer so they can just pass some patch on the problem and send voters home with a pat on the head. It means making a comprehensive, holistic assessment of how so much of American local, regional, state, and even national leaders participate in and even condone open, government-supported racism.

She talks about the flaws of the civil rights laws passed in the 1960s, correctly noting that when disparate impact was brought into the equation as a metric for anti-discrimination laws it was the opening of Pandora’s box that ultimately led us to CRT being infused into everything.

Because if you go looking for racism, especially the amorphous “systemic” kind, you will always find it. Racism, the way the woke Left wants to define it, is a self-licking ice cream cone. It’s a perpetual motion machine. And it isn’t applied in good faith by the people using it.

Most people get this, and most people are disgusted by it. In Virginia, it finally became front-and-center enough to turn an electorate from solidly blue to reddish-purple. It seems well understood that this is going to happen all over the country for the next couple of election cycles because ordinary folks are tired of being lectured to by obnoxious losers and grifters like Ibram X. Kendi, Stacey Abrams, Robin D’Angelo, and Shaun King (who is white).

But what’s also true is that despite the warnings from people like James Carville, the Democrats and the Hard Left in particular are most certainly not going to change their ways in response to a bad election or two. Even Carville, so you understand, is not telling his party that the use of the race card and other bad-faith anti-American political tactics has to stop. He’s all for using those; he uses them himself. Carville hasn’t stopped calling all conservatives racists, and he never will. All he’s saying is that the messaging on things like CRT has to be more understated so the folks won’t be so agitated by it.

And they’re not listening to him anyway. What was the result of the Virginia elections? Every left-wing pundit, columnist, reporter and political hack took to the airwaves and internet to deny Critical Race Theory is even taught in schools. We can talk about whether this gaslighting is going to work, perhaps in another column. The point is, if they wanted the indoctrination to stop because it’s bad politics and it’s losing them elections, they wouldn’t deny it’s happening, they’d stop pushing it.

Meaning that the leftists who have infiltrated the education system from kindergarten through graduate school and control it almost completely aren’t going to respect CRT bans. Foster is right in that respect, as Pullman notes.

Passing a ban won’t work. Mass firings pursuant to a ban might work. But the fight to come over CRT bans will be trench warfare. The teachers’ unions will go to the mattresses every time a GOP-dominated school board fires a left-wing nut who’s indoctrinating kids into the idea that white American babies are little Klukkers in training. It’s wrestling with a pig — you get dirty, and the pig likes it. And eventually, the anti-CRT folks will run out of gas and lose, and the Left will only intensify what they’re doing.

You don’t get anywhere with trench warfare. You need a blitzkrieg. What does that look like?

Well, for one thing it should be the project of the Republicans who are going to win these elections to smash the teachers’ unions by whatever means necessary. The easiest way to do that is to pass Paycheck Protection laws in every state with a GOP legislature and governor. Paycheck Protection laws mean that state and local governments will no longer serve as dues collection agents for public sector unions; if the unions want to collect dues they’ve got to get their members to set up direct deposit with their banks or some other kind of auto-billing.

That means getting teachers to voluntarily remit dues. And everywhere it’s been done, teacher union membership falls off a cliff, because most teachers aren’t all that crazy about having the Randi Weingartens of the world representing them.

Break the teachers’ unions and their influence on politicians in legislative settings, and all kinds of things now become possible — the structural things Foster is talking about.

With more than 11 percent of the educational market now comprised of homeschoolers of various stripes and another 12-15 percent, if not more, comprised of kids in private schools, it’s obvious that people with the means to escape the government-school monolith are choosing to do so quickly. How much faster do you think it’ll happen if the Republican pols in Virginia and other states who see this red wave driven by education actually follow through on the perceptible public desire for money-follows-the-child education finance policy? When a quarter of the market is willing to come out of pocket for their kids’ education while still paying to fund government schools, what happens if they actually get that money back?

And who do you think that quarter of the population votes for? A hint: it ain’t Democrats.

This falls under the revivalist banner, sure, but it’s really old-fashioned interest-group politics. By bringing in money-follows-the-child, your voters get to pocket thousands of dollars which are now being spent to benefit the other side’s voters.

Democrats see politics in exactly this way. That’s why they’re for all kinds of destructive policies which clearly don’t make anything better. Those policies put money in the pockets of interest groups which monolithically support the Democrats, and so they’ll fight to the death to keep those policies going.

You make $5,000 per student per year available in educational savings accounts or some other similar program, and that quarter of the population escaping from public schools becomes a third, or two-fifths, or even half. Make $8,000 per student per year available, and the number could be two-thirds or three-fourths.

And what comes from that? Probably a whole lot of microschools.

Microschools are the perfect conservative response to the educational challenge. A microschool is a small business. It’s a teacher or two who loves what she does but can’t stand working in the Soviet-style, bureaucratized hell that a government school is built to be, so she hangs up a shingle like a lawyer or accountant would, rounds up a couple of dozen kids and gives them individualized instruction at a space she rents in a strip mall or something.

And instead of making $50,000 per year, she starts making $100,000. And if kids in her school are disruptive, she sends them packing. No bureaucrat tells her she can’t.

And by the way, if Republican policymakers really want to fly their freak flag, they’d go after the teacher certification scam which bars entry into the profession. Everybody here is aware of the fact that the education majors on practically every campus are the ones with the lowest aggregate SAT and ACT scores, right? And yet people who are actual mathematicians, scientists, engineers, writers, and so forth get frozen out of the teaching of our kids. It’s insane.

Do you really think decentralization and competition, small business, couldn’t fix CRT in our schools? Of course it can. If nothing else, an open, decentralized marketplace is a whole lot harder to infiltrate and capture than a closed bureaucratic system is. It isn’t an accident that the Left has gravitated so completely toward institutions which are the sole occupiers of their space — like in academia, Hollywood, and government bureaucracies.

You probably didn’t attach too much meaning to it when Crazy Bernie Sanders was on TV bitching about all the different kinds of deodorant on the store shelves, but when you blew that off you missed something. That was the Big Reveal in a little package.

What’s important isn’t that we elect a bunch of Republicans to Congress and to state legislatures for the next couple of years. What’s far more important is that those Republicans we elect be made to understand they’re being elected to move the damn ball forward. No more failure theater, and no more cowering in the face of nasty leftists like Randi Weingarten making threats about beating them in the next election.

No more standing athwart history, yelling stop. It’s time to grab history by the throat, put a gun to its head, and calmly and politely direct it where we’d like it to go. Doing that takes a whole lot more than just winning an election or two.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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