Saturday, October 25, 2008

They Just Don't Get It!

William Flax

The saddest thing about the present political campaign is a common demonstration of abysmal ignorance of the Constitution, the dynamics of social & economic interaction, and the realities of human nature, by most Democratic and Republican candidates for Federal Office. Let me illustrate:

Take the subject of Federal involvement with civilian education. Consider what has been said and what has not been said.

You have not heard either Presidential candidate even try to explain what in the Constitution, they were sworn to uphold, authorizes any Federal Role in Education. Yet they discuss a Federal Role as though there was such an authorization. There isn't.

You have not heard either Presidential candidate even try to explain what benefit there could possibly be, in having a layer of Federal Bureaucracy interacting with State and local bureaucracies, making it ever harder to make critical decisions with respect to the precise educational needs of any particular child. Layers of interactive bureaucracy can--and do--waste an enormous amount of money; they can never contribute anything meaningful to local education.

But then, you have not heard either Presidential candidate even acknowledge what everyone who has ever sat in a classroom knows: All children do not have the same aptitudes. Some have trouble with one subject, others with another; some with most, a few seem gifted in all--but to different degrees. What a classroom needs is a certain flexibility--freedom on the spot--to do what is most helpful to each child--given that child's strengths and weaknesses. That is hardly a subject that will benefit from the intrusion of an intimidating Committee or Bureau in the District Of Columbia.

Yet as sorry as McCain is in going along with the fantasy that unconstitutional Federal intrusion can do anything constructive, Obama is yet worse. In the last debate, he showed himself even more delusional on the prospects for equalizing educational achievement than McCain. Of course, Obama's rhetoric evokes fantasy; his grasp of reality a close parallel to the "Emperor's" wonderful "new clothes." But while we can laugh at the man's intellectual pretensions, his callous indifference to the Constitutional strictures can never be legally or morally accepted.

Similar comments might be made on the subject of a claimed Federal Role in health care, housing or local law enforcement.


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