SIX WEEKS?

3/29/13

 

SIX WEEKS?

 

We know others have had the same thought for the past four years, but just for fun let’s focus on what the Republican Party says it wants.

Smaller, cheaper government.

Better but cheaper education, without an Education Cabinet post.

Less intrusion into citizens’ lives…for example, no gun registration that could later be used for the tracking of guns and the people who have them.

Restrictions on what makes a citizen able to vote.

Immigration reform largely without a path to citizenship.

No unions.

Abortion reform, i.e., no legal abortions, regardless of what the Supreme Court has ruled.

Opposed to all this are goals that are hugely expensive and intrusive.

A more grandiose and more expansive Defense system.

A tighter, more expensive relationship with Israel.

A Republican president and Senate (which by itself, for them, nearly wipes out any savings in any governmental department they also seek.)

More boots-on-the-ground along the Mexico/Texas/California Arizona border.

Vouchers in place of Medicare.

Vouchers for private schools rather than tax-payers’ public schools. And keep in mind that each of these vouchers if used by a family for student tuition to a private or parochial school subtracts from the public school system’s budgets across the country.

Medicaid returned to each state’s jurisdiction.

And those are both only partial lists.

So today let’s focus on just two of the Republican goals. The first is the death of abortion. The second is the voucher for tuition plans that allow families to withdraw their children from “failing public schools,” and allow them to enroll at their pleasure in private schools.

In reverse order.

Public education without any argument has made this country great.

That people with excess money want more for the children is neither unnatural nor surprising, but what has been offered in our public schools for more than a hundred years is basic to everyday living: being able to read, write, think.

All we need do to understand the success of these public institutions is examine countries where they don’t have the same determination, ability, or even the simple goal of a literate society. Today’s number one example is, of course, Afghanistan. Followed in short order by any number of sub-Saharan countries in Africa.

Conversely, look at Japan and China to see simply how successful children of these civilizations are when they reach our own public and private schools. They are literate, driven, determined to learn, achieve and prosper.

Once again, conversely, look at the chaos of Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles or Philadelphia.

It is true that during this time of fiscal austerity, public school budgets have been cut across the country. This may please grown-up Republicans, but no one else. In order to keep public schools open at all, cities and states have had to increase property taxes, sales taxes, not to mention cutting athletic programs, music, art, and even language courses.

And while we as a nation seem concerned about where on a sliding scale our kids fall in terms of literacy and learning abilities that may later help them earn a living, we seem only interested in the numbers. Is the US number eight or sixteen on a list, or farther down? How shameful, that the richest country in the world cannot educate its children more completely.

What is it about the Scandinavian schools, the Japanese schools, even the schools in Singapore that has helped move them past us in teaching children to read, write, and eventually become molded into society so easily?

The answer is that these countries have taken as a model OUR OWN SYSTEM and improved it. They have become dedicated to education for all citizens of their lands, not simply the rich. True enough, some of these school systems abroad are part of a cradle-to-grave plan with which many Americans are not entirely comfortable. But what matters here is that they are successful.

Public education in this country is responsible for many titans of the Internet, most of our finer writers, a goodly portion of entrepreneurs, scientists, technicians of all sorts. Without it, the United States would be at the bottom of all those lists we love so to read.

We swear what we want are bright, educated young people who can walk this country into the future happily. But like so many other American goals, we seem not to want to pay to do this.

And as we noted earlier, every family withdrawing children from a public school system in favor of a private one is impoverishing that public school system, making success in the public venue even harder to achieve.

As for abortion, at the moment this is a legal procedure here in the United States. Ideally, there should be fewer or none at all but that, alas, is not taking reality into account.

We don’t mean to pick on impressionable young people who are ill-equipped to survive in today’s rough world without children of their own, children who they believe will have to love them unconditionally.

We’re not talking only about teen-age pregnancies here, especially insofar as figures for the numbers of these generally two person families, mother and child, are shrinking.

Abortions are legally available for any female from twelve to fifty or even sixty. The reasons for these operations are as varied as the people who need them.

Republicans who swear they want less government intrusion into the lives of American citizens have thrown their weight, state by state, into intruding into the lives of women and intruding into the space between women and their physicians, their husbands or boyfriends, and are hellbound to condemn, imprison, isolate “women” and their doctors from what they clearly consider God-fearing society.

As most people have heard by now, the state of North Dakota this week passed three bills making abortions nearly impossible to get in that state. According to the state’s governor, these bills will assure that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision will have to be re-argued.

But what, we ask, about the women in need today for medical procedures that will assist them with pursuing their own lives and their own freedom to pursue happiness?

And, finally, what are men doing making these decisions in the first place? Republican or Democrat, a man does not get pregnant. Male state legislators can have no conception of what is it they are consigning women to have to bear.

And if this single issue doesn’t put the Republicans in a no-win situation with female voters throughout the country, we can’t imagine what would.

How can a man legislate against a woman who may not even know yet at six weeks’ time she is pregnant?

But they do and they will.

We think women, using their mystical medicinal legendary powers, should make sure that every male legislator in their state comes down with an instant case of kidney stones.

 

 

 

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