EMBEDDED WITH THE PROTESTERS
With a well-synchronized pro-"choice" rally in full throttle last month in Washington, D.C. - co-sponsored by America's largest teacher union, National Education Association (NEA) - it occurred to me that a former teacher-turned-writer, and a native Washingtonian at that, might make the perfect "embedded" journalist right here in the Nation's Capitol.
Expecting to hear at least a few well-thought-out arguments, on April 18 I passed myself off as just another 60's-era radical, darting among the noisy sea of aging hippies, student zealots, anarchists, and even a gay rights activist here and there, asking questions. Behold the composite results, verbatim:
Me: How'd you hear about this rally?
Protester #1: School bulletin board.
Protester #2 (high school student): My teacher.
Protester #3: An NEA flyer.
Protester #4 (another student): Planned Parenthood.
Protestor #5: NOW [National Organization for Women] leaflet.
Protestor #6: ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union].
Me: Did you come with a group or by yourself?
Responses: A group - via vans, minibuses, and Metrorail [subway].
Me: Who put the announcements on school bulletin boards to get the students involved? I thought just teachers were demonstrating.
#2: I dunno.
Me: Who funds Planned Parenthood?
#4: Uh, parents?
Me: And the ACLU?
#2: Environmentalists, I guess....
Me: Just how strongly do you feel about the freedom to choose abortion?
#4: Oh, I hate Bush. He didn't really win the election, you know.
Me: Really? I wasn't aware of that. Wasn't there was an investigation -.
#4: Oh, that was trumped up. Gore won.
Me: I see. How'd you find out?
#4: Everyone knows. Even our teachers talk about it.
Me: Speaking of teachers, I used to be a teacher.
#2: No kidding.... What'd you teach?
Me: Among other things, debate team and rhetoric.
Me: Debate team and rhetoric.
#2: What's that?
Me: What's what?
#2: What you just said.
Me: Well, both debate team and rhetoric involve speaking skills.
#4: Oh, like drama.
Me: Um, no. Rhetoric's a cross between philosophy and speech. Debate hones your knowledge of history in the context of current events.
#4: Debate does what to knowledge?
Me: Hones it.
#2: What's "hone"? Where'd you say you taught?
Me: Southern California - Los Angeles area. I also taught in a suburb of Houston, where NASA's Johnson Space Center is.
#4: Houston's in Texas, right?
Me: Last I checked. But back to this march. Aside from who won the election, why is abortion rights an issue?
#4: Because Bush is going to get a lot of women killed who don't want to have babies.
Me: He is? What about birth control, or just not being sexually active?
#3: Oh, come on ….
Me: Well? How is the President interfering with birth control and abstaining from sex?
#3: Those are not feasible options. Really ….
Me: Humor me. Why aren't they feasible?
#2: (giggling) Because, you know, stuff breaks and sometimes doesn't work, and you forget …. You know. (turning around) Hey, Mrs. H____, we are getting community service credit for this, aren't we? Response muffled.
#5: Besides, the UN is supposed to deal with that, not Bush.
Me: How's the UN supposed to deal with it?
#5: Hey, you're the teacher. They have whole teams to provide free birth control to undeveloped countries.
Me: What does that have to do with abortion in the USA?
#5: Well, yeah, but Bush wants to force people to get married, and he's trying to pass a law against gay marriage, and -.
Me: Huh? I'm sorry. I'm a little confused here. I just want to know why you support abortion.
#6: You're not for Bush, are you?
Me: I thought the rally was about "choice," not Bush.
#4 (squealing): Omigosh! She is for Bush. I bet she's a Bushie!!!
Me: I'm just an embedded journalist here.
#4 (still squealing): You mean you were inside Iraq?!
Me: Um, no. Inside Washington. I was being facetious.
#4: Being what?
Me: Facetious. Kidding. Joking….
#4: Oh.... You talk funny, you know that?
Me (walking away): Well, enjoy the constitutional right to vent your spleen.
#4: To what? Bent what?
Me (shouting to be heard): Vent. Vent your spleen - uh, air your grievances ... sort of.
#4: Uh, yeah. Well, you too.
Me: Oh, any of you heard of someone named Vladimir Lenin?
#2: Sounds familiar, but sorry, I don't know 'im.
Me: Well, if you run into him, say that Education Secretary Rod Paige sends his congratulations on a first-rate job.
#2: Wanda Page. Sends congratulations to um, John Lennon?
Me: No, no. Vladimir L-e-n-i-n. Gotta go; get some more interviews.
#2: (writing) Okay, Wanda. Bye.
Amusing? Perhaps. But this little exchange carries strategic lessons for conservatives in the upcoming election.
With assorted leftist political intervention groups (PIGs) lobbying on behalf of education policy - the ethically challenged teachers unions, assorted feminist organizations, and the ACLU - plus a predominantly left-leaning bureaucracy still firmly established within the education establishment, the "defunct" Marxists of Soviet-era notoriety continue to mold successive generations of Americans into the useful idiots of Lenin's dreams, continually aiding and abetting the enemies of freedom.
These large, well-funded entities are undermining every conservative Republican candidate, by helping to ensure that educators and their students toe the liberal line. Until the leftist hammerlock is broken and dismantled, we will not have schools that reflect our founding, constitutional values; we will not promote academic excellence; and teachers who would take our side on the issues won't be given the opportunity to do so.
When everything from teacher training, to textbooks to standardized test questions systematically twists what our nation stands for, it's America itself that gets left behind.
© 2004 Beverly Eakman - All Rights
Beverly Eakman is an Educator, 9 years: 1968-1974, 1979-1981. Specialties: English and Literature.
Science Editor, Technical Writer and Editor-in-Chief of official newspaper, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1974-1979. Technical piece, "David, the Bubble Baby," picked up by popular press and turned into a movie starring John Travolta.
Chief speech writer, National Council for Better Education, 1984-1986; for the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Commission on the Bicentennial of the US Constitution, 1986-1987; for the Voice of America Director, 1987-1989; and for U.S. Department of Justice, Gerald R. Regier, 1991-1993.
Author: 3 books on education and data-trafficking
since 1991, including the internationally acclaimed Cloning
of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education. Executive
Director, National Education Consortium. Website: BeverlyE.com
"...Marxists of Soviet-era notoriety continue to mold successive generations of Americans into the useful idiots of Lenin's dreams, continually aiding and abetting the enemies of freedom."