"The argument for liberty is not an argument against organization, which is one of the most powerful tools human reason can employ, but an argument against all exclusive, privileged, monopolistic organization, against the use of coercion to prevent others from doing better." Friedrich August von Hayek
Meet Kelley Williams-Bolar, the latest in what appears to be a growing criminal class from Massachusetts to Ohio, from Missouri to California. Parents across the country are becoming criminals for simply taking their children's education in their own hands and, well, we can't have that now can we? Using her father's address, Ms. Williams-Bolar enrolled her children in a superior public school in a neighboring district. This woman, with a heretofore unblemished record, was arrested, charged with lying about her address and falsifying records, convicted and jailed on two felony counts. Ohio Governor Kasich granted clemency, thereby reducing her convictions from felonies down to misdemeanors (thereby allowing her to continue working on her own teaching license.) Similar arrests have been carried out in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Missouri, where parents await sentencing for skipping their school zone boundaries. Meanwhile, in California and Massachusetts, school districts are hiring investigators to follow children home from school to see whether or not they actually reside in the district. Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have enacted new address-verification systems to keep "illegal students," out.
Seems to me that what we have are not "illegal students," but rather, "undocumented scholars." If the left has no problem with open borders, free schooling and in-state tuition for those who are here illegally, it boggles this imagination why an American parent can't enjoy similar approbation of educational alternatives. I wonder, in passing, where Gov. Perry's heart resides on this topic? If reality finally prevailed over Mr. Gorbachev and his henchmen, thereby allowing freedom to overcome the concrete and weaponry of the Berlin Wall, why can't the apparatchiks of the educational establishment see that parents are desperate to overcome the bureaucratic wall to a quality education for their children? The answer of course, is power and privilege; …the monopolistic power of the teachers' unions and the privileges which that power grants at taxpayer expense. Liberals searched the emanations of the penumbra of the Constitution and found a heretofore unknown right to dismember the unborn, but can't find any right of a parent to choose their children's school. Evidently, the unborn don't enjoy union protection, so they're out of luck as are children who are being locked into school systems that fail them and fail the nation.
Of course, the President's children attend a fine private institution in the Washington DC area, the same school that the Clintons' daughter attended. But when it came time to continue the voucher program that allowed other DC parents to send their children to high performing schools, the President's party voted a big Soviet-style "Nyet." Last week, the President counseled folks to "stop complainin'." In an interview a few days ago, the man who can't seem to pass a golf course without playing a few rounds, who jets from one vacation spot to the next, who lectures taxpayers to drive smaller cars while he tours about in a bus with an entourage of 40 SUVs, said that America is becoming "soft."
No, Mr. President, the American people are not soft. You are. It is you who does not believe in the robust and strong stuff of human freedom and individual liberty. It is you who is taking us down the road to a "soft tyranny" where we become mired and bogged down in the muck of ever-growing and overlapping regulations that choke the life out of industry and entrepreneurs. It is you who is soft on liberty, soft on the rule of law, soft on the Constitution, and soft on the defense of this country physically, intellectually, and morally.
You won't find "soft," in the small businesses who have to make gut-wrenching decisions just to be able to survive. You won't find "soft," on the part of small business owners who put in 14 hour days, 7 days a week, in order to meet payroll, meet their customers needs, meet the regulatory requirements of an out of control government, pay onerous and punishing taxes and fees, and hopefully have enough left over to provide for their own families only to be castigated and vilified by the class warfare rhetoric of an economically illiterate ideologue. And "soft," isn't a word to be used to describe parents like Kelly Williams-Bolar, who risk everything in going against a corrupt system to provide for their children. These people are strong, sir. Stronger than you'll ever understand. Take the chains off of them. Let them enjoy the freedom you enjoy, through vigorous and empowering initiatives to help their kids to a better future. They have the strength to pursue and enjoy the American dream, if only you and your comrades will remove the heavy boot of government and it's unions from their throat. Until then, don't tell me we're soft. And don't tell me that anything you do is, "for the children." We know better.
(Note: Photo is from the Akron Beacon Journal, through AP)