41% of Americans made Thomas Jefferson Proud

Congrats to Barack Obama.

Unfortunately for him his dreams of change and hope now must meet reality.  When he ascends to his media given throne in January the realities he faces will be much harder than he could imagine and thus he will be a one term President.  I guarantee that based on his proposals during the campaign and the stunning lack of knowledge most voters had about this man. 

As I say this don’t think it is sour grapes on my part.  While I do not support Obama and his “teach the world to sing in perfect harmony” view of the world,  I can admire, at least, his place in history.  I still believe in America and as John McCain stated repeatedly throughout the campaign, It will always be COUNTRY first. 

The most troubling thing about this election, however, was not the tit for tat attacks both campaigns had but what little information voters actually tried to find out about the candidates.  I can only assume Democrats once again love exit polls today as they were used by every network last night, and really throughout the campaign, to decide the winner.  Based on these exit polls, voters apparently showed up to vote yesterday for reasons other than issues.  A stunning 59% of voters, more than half for those who don’t know math either, cast a ballot based on something other than issues.  This includes Republicans as well as Democrats but mostly Democrats, since they filled out 64% of the exit polls to 34% for Republicans. 

What does this mean?

Probably for the first time in our history the voters elected a man based on nothing more than personality and rhetoric.  Never before, in recent history,  has a President been elected when the pundits were at a loss to describe what his agenda might be for the nation.  Voters seemed to not care about the what and why issue but rather solely focused on the who.  To me that is the scariest part of this election. 

Additionally, I read a report from CNN that stated race had nothing to do with this election.  This was the paragraph after they stated that 96% of black voters sided with Obama.  No not a factor at all!  Yes, some of the 59% who voted based on something other than issues were the ignorant among us who still harbor racist tendencies but let’s be honest, race was a factor but not in the way the pundits predicted.   But this is not to say that Obama should not be judged by the content of his character as Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted.  Obama attracted a wide range of support because of his life story, even if that story still raises significant questions. 

Thomas Jefferson spoke and wrote at length aboout an educated elecorate.  In his musings he advocated educating every citizen in America.  He stated that if we were ever at a crossroads in our history where the citizens were not enlightened enough to exercise their rights responsibly the remedy would not be to take those rights away but rather to focus on education as a cure.  After 59% of the people voted for something other than the candidates stands on issues, I would say that we are now at a crossroad in our history. 

http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1350.htm

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Parents Have A Choice

“Education is the civil rights issue of this century.”–John McCain

In his acceptance speech on Thursday night, Senator McCain clearly showed that he is committed to reform in Washington.  His proposals spoke to all Americans and gave them a clear idea of what he will do as President.  What was most important to me were the three paragraphs on education. 

Two of my three kids are in school.  They attend a private school where we pay the tuition monthly.  On top of the tuition we also participate in mandatory fund raising activities.  And like all taxpayers, we pay school taxes to our local public school district, money we never benefit from.  All of this is our choice and, while a struggle at times, is worth every penny.  The education they receive is outstanding and their teachers are some of the best in the area. 

John McCain has proposed offering this education to all students in all types of schools through the voucher system.  Public schools are failing across the country.  The growth of charter and cyber schools are a testament to that fact.  There are many good public schools as well but these are often separated from students who need them by residency requirements or transportation concerns.  Through the implementation of a voucher system,  parents would be able to choose to send their children to schools that have a proven track record of success,  whether that school is public or private. 

Under a voucher system, teachers and their unions would have to prove their worth to parents, not school boards.   In PA there is a new teachers strike every week.  These teachers walk out because their free health insurance is being threatened or their compensation is only being increased by a guaranteed 3% a year for the next 3-5 years.  Rarely, if ever,  have they left their schools because the quality of education or the quality of materials available to help students learn, is below expectations.  That is not to say that teachers don’t care about students, many do.  But too often unions and bureaucracies fight for the wrong thing, money. 

Sen Obama also supports education reform in the form of vouchers.  However his plan limits their use only to public schools.  Why?  Simply put, teachers unions have given him millions of dollars in support throughout his campaign and he does not want to aggravate those members.  Vouchers for use in public education will not solve the problem of failing schools.  His policy is simply throwing more money in a different direction.  And while vouchers are not the only component of his education platform, all of the other policy adjustments he has proposed are based on spending more money for the already failing schools and teachers. 

Personally, I would love to see education reform through the use of school vouchers.  Parents would finally be able to make a choice that would benefit their children without considering an additional expense ( in most cases).  Schools would have to reform in order to retain students, and like Senator McCain said, schools would have to answer to parents not unions.  But whether or not this reform happens, as a parent I will still make the choice of where to send my children to school, no matter the cost and sacrifice I have to endure because I know that education is the best thing I can ever give my kids.

Kennedy endorsement

So Hilary isn’t liberal enough? The Kennedys put their ultra liberal stamp on the Obama for Change campaign yesterday in a speech that went something like this–“change……change…….change…….Obama……change…..change…..”etc on and on.  How many times did he have to practice the word change? Ted Kennedy who has voted against change so often that he is one of the most entrenched Congressmen in the country. His solutions consist of money and more money.  He has led the partisan effort,with few exceptions, for the Democrats for decades. Add this endorsement to the “I did support the war before I was against it” endorsement of John Kerry and the “I never supported a candidate before now,but it certainly isn’t because he’s black” endorsement of Oprah and you have the making of the most hypocritical campaign of the election season.   

This endorsement was simply a political move by the Kennedys to get themselves reelected for years to come by hitching their wagon to a cute word that resonates with the youth vote. There is no substance to their endorsement and if Obama becomes President and tries to push through any of the programs he has endorsed, like school vouchers, the Kennedys will be the first to distance themselves from him.  The Kennedys and other Democrats will always vote to throw money at a problem and Obama does not have the guts to stand up to Ted Kennedy when enacting new ideas.

Published in: on January 29, 2008 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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