Friday, November 29, 2019

Mayor Pete Follows in Hillary's Footsteps

There are a whole lot of ways to lose to Donald Trump. We saw, in 2016, that the best way was to offer little to actually benefit those of us out here trying to make a living. Hillary Clinton had people who'd voted for Obama sitting out the election in numbers significant enough to leave us with the delusional narcissist who now occupies the White House.

I voted for Hillary against Trump, but I had enormous reservations about her policies. Why, exactly, did we need a Democratic candidate who said we'd never, ever have universal health care? I had lots of reservations about her educational positions, which were less than ideal. I also didn't much care for her position on open college, essentially that if we made college free, Donald Trump's kids would not pay.

Now Mayor Pete, frantically trying to position himself as a viable "centrist," has taken this very same position. This is a loser of a position, pretty much guaranteeing that no one gets the benefit, but it's bad on a level that's obvious to those of us who wake up every morning and teach in public schools. For one thing, the argument is absurd on its face. There is no way that rich people are going to send their kids to SUNY or CUNY when all they have to do is lay out a few hundred thousand for Ivy League. Donald Trump's children will get the most elite and exclusive education Daddy can pay for.

The argument is absolute nonsense. Neither Mayor Pete nor any sentient being really believes that Trump's kids are going to Queens College any time soon. This is just a shoddy argument to toss mud at candidates like Sanders and Warren, who want to help Americans who are actually in need. AOC calls it a GOP talking point, which I suppose it is, but they're at least as disingenuous as Mayor Pete.

This is exactly like saying we ought not to have public K-12. If we have public K-12, then Donald Trump's children will go to public schools. Here's the thing though--they don't. Neither did Michael Bloomberg's children. Or Joel Klein's. Or Bill Gates' or John King's, or any number of reformy demagogues who stand up and claim they know what's best for our children. They all sent their kids to schools with smaller classes where their kids got more attention from teachers, as opposed to Common Core crapola.

Does anyone believe that Michael Bloomberg would get up on his hind legs and declare we should have classes of 70 if his kids had to attend them? Does anyone think Donald Trump would send his precious Ivanka into a sweltering 99 degree trailer like the ones my kids suffer in? Does anyone think Joel Klein would allow schools like mine to be overcrowded by over 100% if his progeny had to fight their ways through the hallways?

I would love for Donald Trump's kids to take advantage of free college. That would mean his kids would learn alongside my students. While I'd certainly hope my students didn't come into contact with little Trumps (Who knows where they've been?), I'd be very happy to know that our children were learning under conditions acceptable to rich people. I'd argue that should be the case in K-12 too.

AOC argues that politicians only object to programs that help people, and she's absolutely right. It's sorely disappointing that "centrists" argue against universal health care, a living wage, and affordable college. These are programs most Americans support. The "centrists" take money from insurance companies, big pharma, and the reformies who oppose public education and vilify working teachers.

It's time for America to wake up, throw the bastards out, and reject the new bastards clamoring to take their place.
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