First, let me just say that I watched at (meaning I didn’t pay close attention to, nor did I stay the entire time) the CNN Republican “debate” talk-fest yesterday and, not only am I not impressed, I’m downright fearful. Seriously. The last time around I figured that McCain was a nice-enough, fairly reasonable person so if he won, while I wouldn’t be thrilled, I wouldn’t be worried either. I wasn’t totally into his ideology, but he didn’t seem to be off his nut either (unlike Palin who was just a the right’s middle-aged version of Ann Coulter).
This time, though,these people are puppets. I want to see who has their hands up their arses, pulling the strings. The only one who seemed reasonable was Ron Paul, and the only one who seemed likable was Newt Gingrich. See my point? Sigh…
Here’s my new thought, formulated during this morning’s walk, I think we should look at the first time big business (that includes agriculture) got their fingers into education. I’m thinking it was the mid-to-late 80s, because we didn’t have our food sponsored by Taco Bell or Pizza Hut then, which it was when I first started teaching. I’m guessing, in retrospect, there was more to having ketchup count as a vegetable than we really realized. If you really look at schools you’ll note that anything your average engineer didn’t think was valuable was cut — home ec., art, shop, and even PE (they could do it on their own). Draw your own conclusions on what life is like for people who can’t cook, economize, run household budgets, etc. and for their children.
Then count how many times there’s been a call for education reform, including why schools let kids get fat. I think it would be interesting to explore.
I’ve said this before but if we want government to work, we need to make a couple of key changes. First, no candidate can run who isn’t prepared to answer, in front of a crowd of WHOEVER, questions lobbed by the audience. None of this spoon-feeding our candidates so they can “prepare” and be ready to wow us with their knowledge. I’m pretty sure they have advisers in their ears and they are just SAYING whatever. I have little faith they are knowledgeable about the process or the topics with which they teach. Like a football team, I want to see who will be part of the cabinet. That’s as important to me as the candidate.
Second, no more one year budgets. If a presidency is four years, I want a four-year budget (OK, honestly, I want a 5-year budget) that outlines where money is coming in, where it’s going out, on what does it need to be spent, and the ability to amend the budget as needed to account for windfalls and short-comings. I think that one needs to be able to project forward and plan always for success. I think a 5-year budget is key because then you don’t have your 2-year congressional candidates throwing favors to every moron on the planet just to get in, senators leave a legacy to whoever comes next meaning no promises of quick change for the sake of change, and the incoming president has both a legacy to uphold and one to consider when he/she makes the next budget with the help of Congress. I honestly think moving this beyond someone’s short-term goals and output will be vital to the health of the country and its economy.
Also, I don’t really get the need for a legislature to create too many new laws. Honestly, as a teacher I’m scolded if I have more than 5, and no one really wants to enforce them anyway. I really want to go back to always safe, always respectful, and always responsible. You hit someone’s car, you need to take care of it because you weren’t being safe, it’s respectful to take care of someone you hurt, and you’re responsible because it was YOUR fault. See. Judges would have an easy time. People would have to stop playing with loopholes in the law. “Well, you didn’t tell me… blah, blah, blah.” Just stare, then move on.
Truthfully we should only make a new law if we’ve pulled off and nullified two old laws. I’m sure there’s enough crazy stuff on the books that shouldn’t be there anymore. Get rid of it. So with each new law proposed, it has to come bundled with laws to pull off the books. I also truly believe the books should be checked to make sure there isn’t already a law prohibiting whatever it is, or at least one close enough to just amend. I mean really, why keep adding?
Finally, all new laws and budgets may only include ONE thing. No more bundling to appease other lawmakers. It should be that any 8th grader can read the proposed law and know whether it’s appropriate. I don’t want or need your hidden agenda. It just messes up my ability to have faith in the government.
As we go down this rabbit-hole of craziness towards the next election, keep these things in mind. After all, you’re being promised things by people who can’t even deliver them. It’s a three-ringed circus for a reason, you know.
(PS How can any president create jobs unless he or she has a business? Am I really to believe job creation comes from not paying taxes? Where is the research that supports that assertion? These are the questions you should be asking.)