One of our greatest heroes during the Revolutionary War was a guy named Benedict Arnold. To paraphrase John Kerry: “Arnold was a hero until he wasn’t!” Arnold was an entrepreneur and businessman in Boston and when the Revolution broke out became a prime mover in the conduct of war against England. He was at the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga and was wounded severely during the Battle of Saratoga. In effect he was judged a hero by his peers for his combat actions and valor in the face of enemy fire.
But Arnold had the one flaw brings so many men down. It’s his sense of hubris; excessive pridefulness and arrogance. He believed no other should stand beside Washington and nobody else was better qualified to take Washington’s place should he fall. Arnold was the essence of egotism, selfishness and self-centeredness. He believed nobody could beat him. But he was wrong his personal avarice for recognition and the desire to be paid for his efforts superseded his loyalty to his new country. He sold out West Point for a Major Generalship and thirty pieces of silver. Luckily he was found out and his plot unraveled causing him to run for England where he died alone and reviled through the duration of American history.
The problem with people like Arnold is noted in the fact they’re very evidently self-involved and as such are almost chameleonic. They can shade themselves so as to blend into the surroundings. They appear in public in one guise and in private skulk about pursuing whatever it is nourishes them and consumes it with delight. It’s the nature of the beast for politicians to be of this specie.
Now, we have an interesting turn of the worm so to speak. As the protein is fed into the grinder the meat changes from its original integrated structure to a shredded, totally dissimilar looking mass with an integrity all its own. And that integrity isn’t noted as being a good thing or a bad thing; it simply is what it is. While a pork butt may be pork it in no way looks the same after ground up by the system and slipped into a casing as sausage. Politics does this to people. In some cases, it takes good people and changes them drastically out of self-defense. In other cases it takes people who appear to have integrity and exposes them as being duplicitous and without honor.
David Vitter is running for governor of Louisiana. This was and is a given for a man known to have higher ambitions. When I first came to know him he was serving in Washington and conducting Town Hall meetings in my area. I went to see him and took my son with me. I saw a man in a suit speaking from a conservative stance. I was privileged to speak and proceeded to tear Congress a new butthole and instructed Vitter to return to Washington and tell his colleagues “We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore.” From there I ran into him at a couple more conservative get-togethers and developed an appreciation for the values he espoused. That was then.
This is NOW.
Vitter, in his drive to harass Bobby Jindal and show that he (Vitter) is different from his arch rival, has “turned his coat” and endorsed Common Core, the theoretical educational reform movement having no track record of either success or failure and lacks practicality. Nobody knows whether the damned thing works or not. All we do have is advertising and political posturing backed up by BIG MONEY like Bill Gates produces (along with others) and the drive of one man to slam his political enemy for personal reasons.
Vitter learned if you use the word “education” and toss in a few other tried and true keywords like “non-profit”, “Foundation” and “pursuit of excellence” and you’re halfway toward closing the sale, before anyone even asks what you’re selling. It also allows him to show himself as the anti-Jindal and as such more representative of the Progressivism needed to move our state ahead.
Vitter and the Governors and lobbyists populating the National Governors Association know this; it’s Politics 101. Ever hear a campaigning political candidate tell an audience education wasn’t one of his top priorities or he’d cut education spending? Almost any time a local or state level government wants to push through a tax increase they make it a point to pledge some of the money will go to education. It’s a true statement as far as it goes, the new revenue goes into the general fund, and education gets some of it.
From a political standpoint, Common Core has something for everyone; make that something for everyone that counts.
In the short term computer suppliers, software suppliers, educational publishers will make a fortune. Think Bill Gates; he’s spent at least half a billion dollars, that’s $500 million promoting Common Core. Some of those funds find their way to politicians.
Common Core makes it easy to teach young people political correctness. Hitler and Stalin both understood the value of using their educational system to shape young minds. Common Core was enough to make the globalists drool in anticipation. Vladimir Lenin said: “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”
The non-stop data mining: From kindergarten on to the time they finished college, every detail of their lives could be recorded and put through computer algorithms using over 400 data points. Not just school records, but their families’ religious and political views; how often their parents voted, who they hung around with.
By the time someone leaves school the government could know exactly how every young adult in the country thinks. Armed with that data, government and big business could “guide them through life’s choices”. Or put another way, everything from employment and marriage to financial and purchasing decisions could be controlled by gentle nudges from Government and selectively targeted advertising by big business.
This means control, power and more money than anybody can use in a lifetime.
Vitter has come to embrace the “dark side” of big money. He’s catering to the shakers and movers wanting to push Common Core as a way to allow the “moneyed special interests” to construct a legacy and with that legacy assume a Pyrrhic form of immortality. You’re still dead but some grandchild might learn of your philanthropy. So what? Who cares?
Vitter forgot his constituency put him where he thinks he is. But, he’s forgotten some of us know where he came from; and what he said, and what he saying now is diametrically opposed to what he’s told us in the past. Vitter forgot there are curious moms, interested in what their children learn in school, and how it’s being taught and they’re asking questions, and they’re watching: closely.
Remember when I said Common Core had something for everyone important? It hasn’t taken the Mom’s long to figure out there isn’t much in it for their children.
The political spin doctors told moms the standards were a huge improvement over current standards. That was true in a few cases. “Rigorous instruction standards” and “accountability” have been touted; but they never really defined what that means. Then there was “Internationally Benchmarked”, but refused to say what countries or standards they were benchmarked against.
They said the Standards were approved by 45 States, trying to give the impression State Legislatures approved them when they didn’t. They said the standards developed critical thinking. That’s true in a way; kids are taught to criticize anything doesn’t fit into the current far left political narrative. Trust me on this, politicians will never use Common Core Math to calculate donations or their paychecks and benefits.
Vitter appears to have turned his coat and sold out for personal gain, both political and financial. He thinks he can’t lose. Anything is possible but I’d refer him and his associated advisors of an old adage: “when Momma ain’t happy; ain’t nobody happy!”
I personally know of over 14 Thousand conservatives, both Mommas and Poppas ain’t happy right now with Vitter’s rejection of their interests and his endangerment of their kids. They don’t like being lied to; ever.
That coat Vitter appears to have turned had better be made of Kevlar because this isn’t going to be forgotten or forgiven anytime soon.
Thanks for listening.