For decades, too many Republicans assumed that the Left's obsession with the education system was positive. If people publicly proclaim they care about education, schools and kids, we have a bad habit of assuming the people who say they care about education, actually care about education.
Youth outreach is crucial for any political party. Frankly, the Left did something really smart forty years ago, they decided to focus on schools. (Maybe they were all watching Yuri Bezmenov? If you have never seen this interview from 1985 with the Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov talking about "ideological subversion" and the "media" & "half-baked intellectual" educrat class, you probably should. We found the clip. Watching this clip may be the best introduction you EVER get to brainwashing. Or, you can just continue to live the reality!)
Most Republicans are, by nature, optimists. Most Republicans are also inherently decent people. Decent people always have a metaphorical Achilles' Heel, we always assume other people want to do the right thing. We care about clean parks and streets, so we assume that people who claim they are "environmentalists" actually care about the environment. It has been a very hard growth-curve for a lot of "conservatives" to accept that a lot of Leftwing "environmentalists" don't actually care about the "environment." (Now, of course, we can just look at the horror of San Francisco and realize that some of the most strident "environmentalists" in American don't even care about their OWN environment. They're just interested in power and virtue signaling.)
In 2023 we have to face facts, and start stacking the facts up against what people "say."
Democrats --mainly very Progressive Democrats-- have controlled the public K-12 system in California for decades. And yet, at the most basic level, California public schools are failing to teach the educational basics. 52% of the kids currently trapped in California public K-12 schools can't read at grade level. California's public schools keep nose diving towards mediocrity. Meanwhile the state of Mississippi's public education system metaphorically confronted reality --the Mississippi state public education system was consistently one of the worst performing education systems in the nation for decades-- and decided to do whatever was necessary to improve reading scores.
The media is now calling Mississippi's success the "Mississippi Miracle." The reality is that Mississippi's "miracle" was the result of a simple decision to focus on phonics and promote phonics based instruction. Theoretically, the head of a failing education system should be interested in the basic, science-based, relatively simple approach Mississippi took to successfully teach more kids the basic skill of reading. But, the California educational establishment remains blissfully uninterested in Mississippi's success. Why?
Well, it could be that the Leftists who have dominated California's public K-12 system for longer than I have been alive simply have different priorities. Yes, California's public K-12 schools are failing to teach millions of kids the educational basics. But, they are successfully turning a generation of kids who --because they failed to get adequate educations that would lead to decent jobs-- into street protestors. In Los Angeles, in the season of masks and shutdown, the teachers' union boss, Cecily Myart-Cruz, said the quiet part out loud. After declaring that "learning loss" wasn't real and it didn't matter if the "babies" didn't know math, she said "they know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup." (Click here to read the original article.)
So what can we do? The damage seem so obvious now. The Left has baked "insurrection" into the system and we, as tax-payers, have paid for a generation of trained agitators to hit the streets in a semi-illiterate angry mob.
Well, as usual, there is good news and bad news.
If you are one of those Republicans who has gotten into the habit of believing the Leftist talking-point that the Left "owns" the youth vote, I have good news for you; The Left is wrong. Even in the blue lake of Marin where the average 76 year old Republican has a 43 year old Progressive "child," there are actual young Republicans. There are currently more than five hundred Republicans under the age of 22 in Marin. They're the wild ones, the rebels, the Constitutionalists, the realists who are tired of indoctrination. Maybe, they are the saviors of our Republic.
However, I also have bad news. If you are one of those Republicans who parrots the talking point that "young people are liberal until they grow up" I have bad news for you; Assuming your 43 year old "Progressive" son is going to "naturally" out-grow his knee-jerk Leftist politics is a huge assumption.
It is obvious --based on evidence-- that the Left flips out when Republicans get smart and focus on the youth demographic. Offer a scholarship to "conservative" high school kids? The Leftist apologists will shriek "Fascist" and howl with rage. It is a smart strategy on the part of the Left. The New Left is well aware that the Republican base doesn't like to confront a Leftist hissy-fit head-on. (A forty-three year old man having a hissy-fit is a horrible example of what happens when we don't encourage adults to act like adults.)
It is tough being a young Republican these days. The future looks harsh. The present is bizarre, the teachers are --too often-- nuts. And the last three years have been depressing. Young Republicans need a dose of hope. We all need a dose of hope, we also need to feel less alone.
We, as Republicans, need to get more active. We don't have the option of building a time machine and going back to the 1980s and diving into the weeds of the education system. But, we do have a choice to do something today, and tomorrow, and every day going forward. We need to start building back now, to prop up our American dream for future generations.
Because, we owe it to the kids we abandoned to the Leftist indoctrination centers. And, we owe it to ourselves.
Because we have a chance of winning. The Left is really, really, really scared that our message --a message of genuine hope, individualism, free speech and opportunity-- is actually really appealing to young people.
The Left hates us when we do outreach. The Left REALLY hates us when we do youth outreach. So, maybe we should all double down and do MORE youth outreach?