Michelle Malkin is one of a handful of conservative commentators—including Glenn Beck and David Barton—who have taken up the issue of Common Core as an all-out crusade. On the main point I agree: Common Core is the first step in the federal takeover of education. At best, it is a dangerous federal intrusion into education, even if not so up front, and even if it does not succeed in a full take over. But the current crusade against it is flawed and self-destructive.
My problem with Malkin and others on this issue is that they don’t seem to be aware of the contradiction inherent in their position. They want public education in general; they just want to keep the likes of Obama out of it. And herein lies the problem. Public, tax-funded, government-controlled education is by definition socialism. And once socialism is in the premise, the socialists will win in the conclusion. And conservatives will look quite silly arguing against something that is nothing but the logical conclusion of the system as designed. And that’s what’s happening here: Malkin is arguing against something that is already at the root of the thing she wants to preserve and protect.
Let’s be clear: public education forces people, willing or not, to pay for a service. (We just had a Supreme Court case about this issue with ObamaCare, remember?) Some people pay more than others. Some people pay way more than others. Many pay nothing, yet all get equal access to an expensive service. Some are forced to pay and yet do not even use or want the service—but they are forced to pay anyway. There is a word for this: wealth-redistribution, or, socialism.
In the case of education, the socialism is even more explicit than in, for example, ObamaCare, because the government actually owns the means of production. It could be said that public education is the most socialistic institution in American life.
There is no way around it. Defenders of public education are de facto socialists. This means that on the issue of education, Michelle Malkin is every bit as much of a socialist as that other Michelle. (In fact, she’s more so in practice. At least Mrs. Obama sends her own children to a private school.)
I have heard from many people at the local level “fighting Common Core” in their county or local school board. Almost every story is the same. The local officials may not be crazy about the standards, or about the possibility of further centralized controls in the future, but they find a way to suppress the tough questions, or sugar-coat the reality because of one factor: they want the handouts from the government and related foundations.
Parents and local activists, for whom Malkin stands to speak, are bewildered at how quickly Common Core appeared with full-tentacles, entrenched in their local schools, and defended by local boards. I am not.
Common Core has succeeded—and I predict will continue to succeed—because it is designed upon the premise of the buy-off. Money is dangled; public educators salivate. Few apparent strings are attached. The offer is so good. What tax-funded institution would not take that? That’s what publicly-funded institutions do—they take public funds.
Someone said that politics is the second-oldest profession. Well, it is much akin to the first. That kinship is pretty evident in the wide open welcome school districts have given to the Common Core handouts.
Everyone knows the schools will grow dependent upon, or addicted to, the increased revenue. And thus, in the future, continued handouts will be contingent upon meeting further requirements. Everyone knows this. But conservative and Christian parents live in a particular type of denial when it comes to tax-funded education. They accept socialism here. In fact, they are worse than socialists: they are socialists who believe they can get something with no strings attached. They believe they can still stay in control after taking the crack.
The level of denial approaches delusion in Malkin’s recent conclusion:
We parents of school-age children . . . . not the Obamas or the Bushes or the Gateses or educrats in Washington, are our children’s primary educational providers. Control over our children begins and ends with us.
This is strong, adamant “fight Common Core” language. But anyone with a modicum of education beyond that provided by the government will be as amused by it as I am. In terms of its grip on reality, it is somewhere near the orbit of Pluto. Common Core or not, the moment you drop your child off at a public school, or that child steps on to a school bus, that school system with all of its socialistic strings attached is that child’s parent.
In loco parentis means something Michelle. It means you do not have control. It means you have relinquished control. It means you have chosen to give control over to educators, principals, school boards, state and federal educrats, the Gateses and all that—and you know what their political bent and values are.
Unless you home school, there is no way you can claim that you are your child’s “primary educational provider.” The claim otherwise is laughable. At best, you could have a school board dominated by conservatives. But even then, they’re still dedicated to a system of socialism. And that system can never morally, politically, or economically rise above the nature of what it is.
And in my opinion, those who continue to defend such a system have no right to complain with it grows bigger than them, and then turns and bites them. It will bite them, and devour their children.
You won’t see me out there engaging in the fight to save public schools from Common Core. I do hate Common Core, because I oppose socialism in all its forms. I oppose Common Core because I oppose public schooling. I don’t see how anyone can distinguish the two in principle. I wish Mrs. Malkin, Mr. Beck, and Mr. Barton would consider this problem more seriously.
Instead of fighting against one socialism in defense of another socialism, take your crusading axe to the root.
So here’s my remedy: If you want to get out of Common Core, get out of public school altogether.