In researching the Common Core Standards it becomes clear, quite quickly, that it isn’t a one sided issue. This is not just a Democrat versus Republican debate. There truly is a little something for everyone to hate.
And then, in a weird twist that makes you feel as though you’ve walked into a strange sort of “opposite world,” you will find Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee both touting the virtues of the Core. Jeb Bush is actively pushing for education reform through the Common Core and if you follow the money, you will see that Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Educational Excellence was paid $500,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a large force behind funding and pushing the CCS. Just think, only a half million dollars to buy a prominent republican’s support for these ludicrous standards. Selling out our children comes cheaply these days, I guess. Now, translate these differences of opinion to the regular folks, like you and I. Assume we are taking a close up look at the issue and have pinpointed what we can agree on.
Looking at the conservative side you will see concerned parents and teachers who are frightened by the ever-encroaching governmental control over their lives, and especially their children’s’ lives in the classroom. They also dislike the money that corporations, and government alike, are making on the backs of their children, with seemingly no concern for those children, only the concern of the bottom line.
On the progressive side you see much of the same worry with parents concerned about the all-encompassing government takeover and the corporate involvement purely for profit.
Now let’s zoom out and take a look at things from a wider angle. The more you watch and read the more things usually make sense. However, in this instance, the more you watch and read, the more the motives behind the agenda of some Core opposition become unclear. And that is where the two sides that are waging this war against Common Core have a sticking point.
For example, the further right you travel from the middle you will see things like “one world government” and Agenda 21. Concern about the current administration’s seeming obsession with the Global Development and preparing our children for the “global economy.” Hear me: I am not saying Agenda 21 is not real. I’m saying it’s a big bag of worms that some people refuse to even look at. A lot of Americans are not ready for this scary premise because it’s just too hard to imagine America giving up her sovereignty to the will of the United Nations, wherein the UN will have a plan and implement it in your community in an attempt to push a One World Government. Over 600 cities in the United States have signed on to the UN’s way of doing things. Most citizens in those cities do not even realize that their local governments are agreeing to rules and regulations dictated by a UN-based organization regarding property rights, social justice and wealth redistribution.
The further to the left you travel on the spectrum you begin to see that people are very concerned about the corporate involvement in education. And you begin to wonder, especially with the amount of vehemence they argue with, are they concerned that the corporations are making money at the expense of our children’s education? Or are they really concerned at the corporations making money at all?
The people who hold to the “corporate takeover” premise refuse, in a lot of instances, to see that the Common Core is very much tied to government strings. If it is not then, someone please explain the Race to the Top funding, which the feds tied the implementation of the Common Core to when doling out the 4.35 billion dollars in the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for the purpose of almighty education reform. The bribery of the “adopt the Core and get out of No Child Left Behind” maneuvers are quite blatant.
The funny thing is that these same people who refuse to acknowledge the government’s role are the same people who called for a Twitter and White House hotline bombardment with the message being: Fire Arne Duncan. Last I checked Duncan was head of the Department of Education, a federal government agency in all its glory.
The different sides need to realize that their different ideologies are actually their strength. They can appeal to so many different people on so many different levels. And therein lays their biggest weakness also, because when you bring groups of politically diverse people together to fight one cause, you inevitably begin to discuss the fundamentals.
The progressives call the conservatives crazy because they may believe in inalienable rights given to us by the Creator that gives us the right and duty to direct our children’s upbringing including education. Perhaps these conservatives don’t believe in a deity at all but staunchly believe in small government.
Those same conservatives question the motives of the progressives because they don’t seem to mind the government overreach, they just don’t want those evil companies making money, seemingly, for any reason. As with most progressives you will find a high tolerance for big government. They like having the government there to direct things for the “greater good.” Take, for example, gun control. It’s okay to take away guns from law-abiding citizens, for the “greater good” of the people. Taking away the guns will reduce crime, right? It will certainly reduce the rights of the people to protect themselves from some crazy criminal or, perhaps, a tyrannical government.
So can these two diverse groups come together? True Common Core Warriors hope so. It will take all hands on deck to defeat a monster that is this big. Big government and big money always have a big advantage.
The first thing to do in working together is to not denigrate people for their beliefs. The silent majority is pretty tired of being stifled when speaking about their traditional values. They are not “flat earthers,” racist, sexist, right wing zealots, as many in the party of progressivism would have you believe.
In fact, some of the absolute vitriol and pure hatred coming out of the proudly proclaimed progressives mouths (or fingertips) on Facebook threads is purely shocking. I performed an experiment last night. A man who was a very, very left leaning progressive was complaining about the “tin foil wearing” crowd in one Facebook group. These “tin foil wearing” people are outnumbered in this group but they had the “floor”, so to speak, at that time. This man was going on and on about the right wing voice being too loud and how could right wingers not see that this is a teacher issue, not a government issue. As if parents should have no say! I never took a side. I never professed to be right wing and I only tried to tell him that this is not a one sided issue and it’s not about right versus left. And because I never did come out and say that I was a radical lefty, he called me names and mocked me. The only thing I said that came close to a “right wing rant” was to tell him that conservatives were not hijacking the progressives cause, which is what he believes anyone who is not a progressive is doing, and that said conservatives were not going to do anything mess up those lefty’s crusade.
I did not name call or bash the left’s point of view, though I sorely wanted to. They said, very clearly, that conservatives have done much damage to society. Conservatives have told them to shut up and not teach LGBT issues in school because it offends our (sic) god. Which, apparently, in their minds, we promote and push the gospel in public school every day. And there is the difference between conservatives and progressives. Conservatives realize that pushing God in public schools is not okay. We don’t ask to be able to do that. We just ask that no other issues relating to religious beliefs be pushed in public schools either. Progressives want to actively beat you over the head with their beliefs.
Conservatives have to take the high road because, let’s face it, we are the voice of reason, most of the time. We don’t resort to name-calling. We are very tolerant of whatever hatred they spew about us. The only thing we want is to not be mocked for our beliefs.
In that vein, do not call a progressive a commie. That doesn’t bode well for the cause. Instead, remember the term “useful idiot” that was given us by Vladimir Lenin in describing naïve citizens in the West who promoted the cause of Russian Communism. This term can also describe citizens in the United States who have been cynically used by the hardcore left for a cause they are unwilling to understand. Let me be clear: not all progressives are useful idiots and not all useful idiots are progressive. There are plenty of useful idiots willing to tow the party line in all political factions. It will require respect for each other. I don’t have to respect your opinion, but I do respect your right to have that opinion and I will listen to it up to a point.
Do not follow the lead of the folks in government. First, most of us can agree these people couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag. Second and most importantly, remember: The people in the higher echelons of government promote divisiveness. They want us to be at odds. Because while we are arguing with each other over whether or not gay marriage is constitutional or the farce of climate change they are busy screwing things up.
People against the Common Core need to rally. They need to stay single focused on what they are doing which is ridding the country of yet another sure to fail education reform. After Common Core is gone, then we can hash out these seemingly insurmountable issues–because when Arne Duncan dismisses the opposition to the Common Core as nothing more than wing nuts, he’s talking about all of us, Left, Right and Center.
Let’s show Arne and his federal government cronies what America looks like when she takes back control.