Yesterday I took to my Facebook page to write about my feelings of disillusionment with the state of the US and our structure of governance. Today I think it will take a blog to provide a specific explanation. This will be a post guaranteed to cause consternation among many, but hey, I've never shirked from creating a stir. Before I continue, I will say I wholeheartedly believe that everyone is entitled to an opinion about what I say and the causes I support - whether good or bad – because I put my opinions out in the public sphere. I don't begrudge anyone their say, because I freely provide my own. I will also say wholeheartedly that I’m not meaning to call anyone out or point the finger at anyone specifically in this post, but it will more than likely be construed that way because I will quote a specific comment made by a specific individual. Now, to the point.
I believe funding for education should follow the child and not be given, carte blanche to schools. I'm not going to go into the myriad reasons why I believe this, but suffice it to say, I’m a free-enterprise kind of a gal and I think the free market concept should extend to education. Anytime the government extracts money from an individual for a 'public' cause, socialism ensues, and socialism on any level squashes excellence. It has to. Everyone has to fit in a box and if you're too big for the box, too bad for you. Of course, this riles supporters of 'free' public education for myriad reasons, but mainly because administrators, teachers and even parents have been trained like Pavlov's dogs to start salivating copiously once the 'funding' bell rings. We Americans - like the Romans before us - cannot be content to go backward. We must go forward and forward always costs more. This philosophy explains why the Roman Empire bankrupted itself into oblivion and why America is on the same track.
There are a number of people who not only dislike this concept, but dislike me personally for suggesting such anathema. One such person publicly told me yesterday,
"Good luck getting this legislation passed (Education Savings Accounts; ESA’s). All of those parents and teachers who helped you so much last year with repealing common core (even though press from your group claims only 4 of you were the ones who made it happen), will be working against you on this bill during the upcoming session. We care about all children, not just our own, so this bill is unacceptable to us.”
Okay, WHO helped ME? I think I was completely taken aback for a bit. I mean, I know we all have bad days and sometimes we say things we shouldn’t or didn’t mean, but that really threw me for a loop. In fact, that one thing really made me start questioning why I would even continue to be involved in education or even politics at all. I couldn’t help myself and I responded. I probably should have left it alone – I probably shouldn’t be recounting the story now, but I’ve encountered this kind of thing too many times in too many people over the last year to let it drop this time.
My kids have been out of public education for four years. Common Core had literally no effect on me or my kids after the second year I began studying it in 2009. My fight over Common Core was NEVER about ME personally. I stayed on the topic of Common Core for over five years - even after I brought my kids home - because Common Core was wrong PERIOD. It was wrong for Oklahoma. It was wrong for the system of educating Oklahoma’s kids because it took too much control out of the hands of parents. The fight over Common Core was about a system of governance as much as about children. I’ve read enough history to know that once government subverts the power of the people, democracy as we know it is finished and the Republic is fallen. This is why I fought Common Core.
I happened to stumble upon Common Core because, as a former public school teacher and scientific researcher, I decided to use the tools I had in my toolbox and the experience I had accumulated to try and enlighten others who might not be paying the kind of attention I suddenly found myself paying to a topic I had never really thought of much before 2009. I didn’t fight Common Core for travel opportunities or to get my name in lights – for 15 minutes of fame. Yes, God allowed me to make contacts with people from all across the nation over a total of five years I wrestled the issue. Yes, I was able to spread the Common Core message to the public in a number of different ways across a number of different venues, but ‘fame’ wasn’t even a single one of the reasons why I continued to try and educate anyone I could without pay, while I homeschooled my kids, while I still had to maintain a household a farm and a garden. Who would do that? Who would leave their children and husband at the drop of a hat to drive all over the state or fly all over the country for Common Core ‘fame’? Who would constantly tell their kids to put their own needs and desires on the back burner while mom talked on the phone or did a radio interview just to get a little piece of that Common Core ‘limelight’?
No one (I would hope), and certainly not me. Why would the press have talked more about ‘four people’ than the others out there writing letters or coming to the Capitol for a rally? Could it have been because we’d (ROPE - me, Julia and Lynn) talked and talked and talked to everyone we could for years and years and years before others finally woke up to what was going on? Probably. No, YES, realistically.
This whole “circle the firing squad” thing INFURIATES me - especially if you call yourself Christian and you’re the first one to pull out the musket. It’s no wonder our country is in the shape it’s in. We’re a bunch of spoiled rotten little babies who have to have everything their own way and if we don’t get all the accolades and attention for the time we feel we’ve put into something, screw it. We’re finished playing. We’ll take our ball and go home!
Well guess what. If we’ll all follow the prompting of the Lord, then EVERYONE will have a job! EVERYONE will have a role to play. EVERYONE has the hands and feet of Christ. Why is it that it can only be ‘my’ feet that are the most important? It reminds me of the scripture where James and John are asking Jesus which one of them will be at His right hand. WHO CARES? You’re standing there with JESUS for Pete sakes! Are you really going to split those hairs?
Yes. It’s human nature sadly. Just as surely as James and John wanted to go to fisticuffs over who’s chair was going to be in the better position after death, we’ll wake up from a full night's sleep in a comfy bed, full of ourselves, believing our fight is over a chair and not the whole of eternity. None of us should fight for what we believe in for accolades or position or for any other reason than we heard God’s prompting and decided to put down our nets and follow Him. Gut check. If you’re doing ANYTHING to help ANYONE for any other reason, you’re flat wrong and you need to breathe in a little humility and start over again fresh in the morning.
I’m not perfect. I never said I was. I’m as human as the next person. But I want to do the right thing. I think others do to. Hopefully, this will be just the reminder we all need to re-focus our efforts. If not, it’s time to sit back and watch what happens. God has it covered and he doesn’t need hands rolled into fists or feet prepared to kick fellow warriors, he needs those of us willing to die to self to accomplish his will. Let’s make that our legacy - not how many people we can shoot in a circle in the shortest amount of time in order to come out on top.