Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Democrats and School Choice

Democrats are reflexively against anything that gives parents more freedom to rescue their school children from the maw of the failed public education system.  RedState ponders how this may have influenced the elections in Georgia and Illinois this week.
My friend Roland Martin put one of these on my radar. In Illinois, prominent black ministers around the state cast their lot with the GOP. They encouraged congregants to abandon Governor Quinn in Illinois and support the Republican. That made a real difference in the metropolitan Chicago area, where the Republican this time outperformed prior Republicans.
Another one that is a real surprise to me is Georgia. But it is abundantly apparent from the turn out data and the anecdotal evidence. Black voters were turning out for Democrats in early voting. In fact, I’m told that privately the GOP saw Democrats outpacing them in early voting around the state. But on Election Day, black voters stayed home. 
One might wonder why Democrats are so adamantly opposed to school choice when it seems so popular with urban blacks, a big part of their base.  My answer: #unionism and #feminism.

At the end of the day, the teacher's unions donate far more money, "the mother's milk of politics" than the already locked up votes of blacks appear to be worth to Democrats.  The public school system is a way to recycle tax dollars into campaign cash.  Charters and their ilk are often non-union and upset this apple cart.

The more overlooked issue is feminism.  Charter schools are seen as a threat to the public school systems in the white suburbs.  In order to be free to "lean in" and "have it all" suburban moms and especially the core constituency of single moms need the free baby-sitting of the public schools.  Never mind that charters can also provide that function, the mere threat to the established order of government provisioning to their offspring is viewed as a threat by many such Moms. (Married women are far more likely to view the government as competitor for the family resources because married men are outperforming economically, so it makes sense for married women to reduce the competition for resources from the government.)  And don't forget that the public schools are a jobs program for women, much more so than men.  Not to say that there aren't great teachers, but reform of the schools is always attacked as a threat to the "middle class" as if the government creates the middle class.

Finally, the public schools serve as a great propaganda outlet for the left.  The left always is seeking to influence the culture, especially through the schools and universities.  Charter schools threaten the leftist union control of the message.  If you haven't noticed public schools getting more authoritarian with zero tolerance policies and the suppression of free speech, you're not paying attention.

So poor black moms hoping to "win the lottery" and get their kids out of poverty?  Sorry, we Democrats already haver your vote. Or do we?

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