Thursday, January 06, 2005



It is obvious to any objective observer that conservatives are the new progressive movement in U.S. politics. It apparently cuts across party lines, though the Democrat leadership is having trouble seeing it, as do some liberal Republicans. The facts are the same, regardless of ideology. Let's start with education: liberal "progressive" reforms started around 40 years ago, leading to a federal Department of Education being established in 1980. Education in the U.S. has been on a downward spiral through this whole period. As the "progressive" (welfare state supporting) Democrats encouraged parents in housing projects not to pay for private schools, but to let the state educate their children, the results have proven worse than the disasters that the housing projects have become. Wasn't the idea of subsidized housing so that parents can afford to send their kids to better than public schools? It was in my neighborhood, and at my old Catholic school in Manhattan. Most of the kids were from the Amsterdam housing project, right behind Lincoln Center. Here's where the conservative idea of vouchers enters the equation: Had Presidents Nixon or Ford been bold enough to suggest it back then, St. Paul's the Apostle School might not have been replaced by a hi-rise condo. The point is that there were, and still are many deserving schools that are willing to take in kids whose parents are willing to apply for the chance for a better education. With vouchers, public school overcrowding can be alleviated, as well as a host of other problems with our education system. The liberal ideology has run the educational system into the ground in the US, to a point that exceeds China's "cultural revolution" disaster. The Chinese realized it was destroying their country much faster than we have caught on to our own liberal subversion. It is time that true "progressives" accept that the liberals are on the side of stagnation, clinging to a failed ideology. Let conservative ideas have a shot at solving the problems in education. Besides vouchers, we conservatives like competition, discipline, and accountability, with rewards for excellence. There is also the fact that a voucher will take about half of what the public school spends per student, leaving the public school system with more money for the kids who stay in the public school system.

Look at the recent history of the US education system, and give me another reason why it's gone wrong, or a better solution. This is the first of a series of posts deconstructing the myth of liberal "progressiveness". All comments welcome.

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