We have many teachers telling kids the country’s gone to Hades. Because voters chose Donald Trump.
We have professors and college administrators coddling upset students. With safe zones. And grief counselors. And sympathy.
Please pardon me for my stupidity. But it seems to me that this election is a gold mine for good teachers. By good teachers I mean those who leave their political biases home. And those who use today’s events to urge students to think.
Here are good questions for a lesson plan: What just happened in our election? Why did something similar happen with voters in the UK?
Why does something similar brew in various countries of the EU? In France and The Netherlands in particular.
Why have Democrats lost so many governorships in the last 8 years? As well as control of state legislatures? As well as both houses of Congress? They hold as few elected offices as they have for almost 100 years. What is going on with them? Or with the voters they no longer have? This is a huge development.
How did Trump get to be President-elect? How did he vanquish two massive political machines named Clinton and Bush? How did he hog-tie 16 Republican opponents? He did this despite the war big media waged against him. In fact, he spat in their faces. He did this despite the education profession. Teacher unions spent millions to defeat him. Academia roared its disapproval of him.
Most Hollywood and TV stars openly despised him. Many prominent Republicans worked openly against him. Many others did so quietly. Conservative magazines and websites viciously undercut him.
Ohio’s popular Republican governor spurned him. He refused to help Trump through his network of political workers. Yet Trump won the state.
Meanwhile, he spent a fraction of the money those who opposed him spent.
So how did he pull this off? This guy who had never held an office? He had never run a campaign.
Students, let’s define extra-ordinary. Now, whether he is your hero or your Hitler, can you see how this man is extra-ordinary? He achieved what most politicians and political “experts” claimed was utterly impossible.
So how did he do this? How did out-think these guys? What did he see they did not? And why do you suppose he saw it and they missed it? Did his opponents have biases that blinded them to the realities Trump saw?
Does Trump represent a major movement in American attitudes? Will this election re-align the political parties?
To guide them a teacher might chalk a straight line across the blackboard. (Am I old? The last blackboard died 30 years ago.) The line represents the spectrum of political positions in America.
On the center-left we place Democrats. On the far left, Bernie and his Socialists. Beyond them, Communists. On the center-right, the Republicans. Further right, the Conservatives. Etc. The further left or right we go the more the people cling to ideologies. Closer to the center we find less ideology.
Is it possible, students, that Donald Trump plopped his campaign square in the middle of this line? In doing so, did he suck the oxygen from the right? Did he lure many from the left who did not share the ideology Democrats promoted? Did he win with Democrats near the middle who don’t lay awake worrying about trans-gendered bathrooms? Or political correctness. Or safe rooms. Or extreme green beliefs.
And why did Democrat voters move toward him? Why did they back off from Hillary? Why did Republicans flip the bird to many of their leaders to vote for Trump?
Pose questions like this to American students. Identify propaganda in their responses. Force them to think about this election. Get them beyond the blurbs from party spinmeisters.
This may turn out to be one of the most significant elections in our history. We should alert our young people to this possibility.
From Tom…as in Morgan.