01 Sep 2008 A Fairness Doctrine for Schools? by Bob Parks
The next time the liberals control the White House, there is little doubt that changes at the FCC will bring about a new “Fairness Doctrine” that mandates that privately-owned, ratings-based talk radio have an equal political balance.
In short, liberal hosts and shows will be imposed on talk radio no matter how unpopular they have proved to be in the past under free market conditions.
If, on the other hand, as long as conservatives hold onto the executive branch, there is ample justification for seeking a similar policy of fairness when it comes to government-run schools.
Similar arguments apply, but with more credibility. With talk radio, liberals argue that differing viewpoints need equal representation on the publicly-owned airwaves. They discount, however, that private broadcasters pay for the transmitters, staff and other necessary operating expenses themselves. That is not the case with public education, in which taxpayers bankroll the lion’s share of school expenses.
In these government-run schools, liberals dominate. For example, Tim Bueler – who went to Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park, California – told WorldNetDaily that a teacher called President George W. Bush and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger “idiots,” while others regularly generalized conservatives as greedy, sexist and racist.
Classmate Keith Butler told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, “We’re being brainwashed by the liberal bias of teachers. It’s everywhere.”
Eli Pariser of the leftist MoveOn.org recognizes this indoctrination and hopes to capitalize on it. In a recent YouTube fundraising pitch, Pariser announced his intention to register 500,000 new young voters, bragging, “my generation is totally behind” the liberal cause. He added:
And here’s the cool thing. We just won’t tip this one election. We’ll bring in thousands of folks who will keep voting progressive for election after election after election. What we’re talking about is changing politics for the long term.
This braggadocio from Pariser reveals what the left seems to love when building their constituency: control and ownership. This starts in the classroom.
On the other hand, if the majority of schoolchildren were steadfast gun-lovin’, Bible-totin’, conservatives, leftist faculty would probably be losing their minds. They’d likely be lobbying state agencies to have parents arrested for political and emotional abuse. But, since they can currently conduct one-sided presentations to young skulls full of mush with no real life experience or frame of reference without much resistance, they are content.
But they’re also lazy cowards.
How hard is it to indoctrinate those lacking the skills to offer a reasoned retort? How hard is it to abuse a position of authority to label political rights and wrongs? How hard is it to turn impressionable students into know-nothings liable to exercise their newfound ideology in nonproductive ways such as violent or hateful protest?
In hijacking our government-run schools, liberals are proudly duplicating themselves, but in an irresponsible manner. As exhibited in recent World Bank and political convention protests, this new breed of young zealots lacks regard for peaceable assembly and debate. Now they are being recruited to be an electoral trump card.
Why aren’t there more conservatives on school faculties? Truth be told, conservative individualism drives many conservatives to more lucrative fields – but out-of-sight should not mean out-of-mind.
If the left can hold the public airwaves in such high esteem, then conservatives can similarly demand that our publicly-funded education system be free from ideological brainwashing. Conservative concern about bias in public education has at least as much merit as leftist concern about Rush Limbaugh’s domination of talk radio.
As a parent and someone who works with kids, I have no problem with young people hearing the progressive line. My problem is how the left seeks to silence conservative content. The left acts as if they are too scared to debate. It’s easier to preach to children who have to respond as programmed or be vindictively punished via their grades.
Rush and Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham don’t punish liberals in this way on the radio, and liberals shouldn’t be allowed to punish children in the classroom.
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Bob Parks is a member of the national advisory council for the Project 21 black leadership network and operates the Black and Right web site (http://www.black-and-right.com). Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21 or the National Center for Public Policy Research.