Day two of the Republican National Convention has ended. In all fairness it was better than day one. But that is like saying that a foot of snow is better than a blizzard. The Donald was officially nominated as the party’s nominee for President. There were several speakers, and aside of his own children, only two even mentioned the nominee’s name.
Ryan talked about policies but never said what they were. Christie went after Hillary Clinton, what new? Dr. Carson claimed that Hillary and the Democrat Party were in league with the devil. The night’s “theme” was “Make America Work Again”. However, no one spoke about what that meant or how they could complete that theme.
Donald Trump, Jr. gave probably the best speech of the night. But, it was also the perfect example of the simple-mindedness of the whole Trump campaign. In order to make my point, I am going to focus on one small fragment of his speech.
In his speech, he said that “education used to be the elevator to the middle class but the elevator is stuck on the first floor.” In total fairness, he is correct. Many people around the country have complaints about public education. It needs to be fixed.
However, what has caused education to decline? What has caused our public schools and the elevator to be stuck on the first floor. Well, the answer is Republican education bashing and politics.
Just look at the realities of the world. Republican controlled states have slashed public school funding. In some states, like in New Jersey, over a billion dollars have been slashed from education budget. Teachers pay have been frozen in many states. In North Carolina for example, teachers went four years without getting a pay raise.
Additionally, Republicans have taken education out of the hands of professional educators and placed in the hands of “local” boards. This has resulted in curriculum being changed. Creationism instead of evolution in science classes for example.
They have started to privatize schools which has NOT resulted in better education. Rather, it has simply reinstated segregation. This privatization comes in two ways. Paying a for-profit company, usually with very stringent “Christian” curriculum and “vouchers”.
The idea of vouchers has been around for years. If you want your child to attend a private school, it was always your responsibility to pay the tuition. Now, with these “voucher” programs, the state will give you money to pay that tuition.
The reason I call this reinstating segregation is because this all came to fruition over the desegregation laws. The best way to segregate schools is to let the racists attend private schools with taxpayer dollars. Especially when the “approved” private schools set standards that poor people of color cannot meet.
Then, there is the Charter School sham. Again, these schools segregate against minorities and disabled children. Charter schools have limited enrollment and almost none of them offer the type of classes needed by children with disabilities.
As a result of these Republican policies, there is less money for Public Schools. Public Schools are not getting the upgrades to their facilities they need. They don’t even get enough money for school supplies. Teachers, who are way underpaid by Republican controlled states, are forced to spend money out of their pocket to provide proper school supplies. That is criminal.
Paul Ryan in his speech said that “our policies work”. My question is “work for whom?” Your policies have all but stripped this country of a good public education system. You claim that education is the elevator to the middle class and then gut the very education system that is supposed to provide it for everyone.
Whole segments of our citizens are being denied proper and good public education. Those segments are always poor. They are always people of color. And, they are people with special needs. Republican education policies have cut them off from getting the education they need to “ride the elevator” to the middle class.
Now that their policies have gutted funding for public education, vilified teachers as what is wrong with public education and effectively denied a proper education to millions of our children, they want you to believe that it is because these children are “lazy” or are “looking for a handout”.
Republican policies have been disastrous for our country. It has been Republicans who have been screaming for “free trade” agreements like NAFTA and TPP that gut American Jobs. It is Republican policies that has gutted education funding. It is Republican policies that give tax cuts to companies who move their factories overseas. It is Republican policies that caused the 2008 economic collapse.
Maybe that is why we have not heard a single idea from the Republicans at this convention. Maybe that is why we only hear negativity from the speakers at this convention. The Republicans are stuck in 1899. They don’t want any taxes. They don’t want Social Security for our senior citizens. They don’t want to ensure citizens have a right to health care.
All they want is to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. They simply want to bring back the days of the Robber Barons. When Paul Ryan says “our policies work” he is not talking about working for you. He is talking about working for the top 1% of the economic plateau.
That is your choice. Do we continue down the road of disastrous policies offered by Republicans or do we move forward and fix our problems. Remember, conservatism by definition is against moving forward. Conservatism wants to maintain the status quo or go backwards in time.
I for one want our country to move forward. Which is why I cannot support Republican candidates. They created the current status quo and quite frankly it sucks for everyone except the rich. I am more fearful of their policies than anything else. So their fearmongering does not help get my vote.