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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Teachable Moment

Back to school is around the corner and as a teacher, I am getting the usual pangs of anticipation and hope as a new year approaches. One thing we are not hearing a lot about during our current political reality, is how all of the dysfunction and meanness pervading our country right now, should be handled in the classrooms. I, quite frankly, am a bit worried about how to teach students the difference between good and evil without entering the arena of their own family dynamic and political perspective. After all, I actually work with teachers and other educators who support President Trump and it takes a lot for me to restrain myself and say to them how unbelievably inappropriate and ignorant their viewpoints are but I refrain. I have always made it a habit to teach students how to make decisions rather than make the decisions for them. It is hard, but it is right in my judgement. They may be able as they get older to guess that I am a left of center Democrat believing in compromise but they wont hear me define myself as such in the classroom. I never, however, refrain from modeling for them or teaching them about good character, respect for others and the avoidance of apathy. In the movie, "American President" Michael Douglas plays President Andrew Shepard who is dropping in the polls nearing re election. He finally decides to speak out against his fear mongering opponent Bob Rumson played by Richard Dreyfuss. In a famous line from his speech Shepard says "Being President is entirely about character". The teaching strategy that this example provides us as teachers is therefore the one I will use, without condemning party political affiliation or calling out the President by name. Instead I will teach students that we must fight against symbols of hate such as swastikas and KKK robes. We must respect each other and not use vulgar terms and expressions of disrespect toward women. I will teach that lying is bad and avoiding responsibility by blaming others is inappropriate. I will reinforce the importance of stopping bullies and speaking out forcefully against bigotry and hate. I will remind students that how they behave as young adults will shape who they become as adults, and I wont even have to mention Donald Trump, the most despicable human being, the most incredibly hateful and disingenuous thug, the most lacking in character of anyone to assume the office of the Presidency in a long long time. Maybe even forever. I will not squander this teachable moment. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Let It Fail

Article 2 section 3 of the Constitution says that the President "shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed". It doesn't ask for his opinion of the law or suggest he even have one. The President as any citizen, has the right to speak and share his thoughts, but he must enforce the laws that have been passed by Congress and signed by a President. We have today, a President who is boastfully, systematically and aggressively hoping that a law, "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" signed into law in 2010, fails. In fact, he is encouraging and helping it to fail. He is hoping it fails. He is willfully and systematically not enforcing this law. I personally believe that this rises to a high crime or misdemeanor, but that is just my opinion. Until such time as something changes with the laws that impact healthcare, it is his duty to do what he can to insure that this law is faithfully executed. If everything spoken about, written about and observed about Donald Trump is put aside, the one thing we should be most concerned about is his desire to hurt our citizens. He wants to do it deliberately to score some political points. In their worst days, no previous President would call for failure. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What about the country?

There is no time for I told you so. The man has always been a liar, a cheat and a very bad human being. He holds the office of President for now. But what about the country? We still have McConnell trying to push through a deathcare bill. We still have a Speaker who is too petulant and phony to stop supporting the President in the name of party. We still have many Republican leaders going with the usual approach of partisanship and resistance to compromise. The scandal that is unfolding in the White House which I would like to refer to as TrussiaGate, has a long way to go. It will eventually play itself out, but in the mean time, who is running the country? Who is protecting us from a terrorist attack? Who is coordinating the agencies of government? Who is getting out the message that things will be just fine? No one. We have a President so unhinged, so concerned with his ego and cable news and tweets, that he has no business being in charge. Yet he is. If this persists, the dangers will be worse than we even imagine. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?