If you haven’t heard, Kentucky was (and still is, due to contested results) the site of one of the nation’s most closely watched and contested elections this week. The incumbent, Republican Matt Bevin, won his seat in 2015 in a bit of a landslide, considering that his predecessor was a Democrat. The state was deeply in debt at the time, with teacher pension programs that were underfunded and in danger of collapsing, due to a failure of previous governors and general assemblies to properly fund the retirement system. Bevin ran on a promise to fix the system, and passed a bill that was designed to do just that—but the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned it.
Bevin made a mistake—well, it was a mistake in the sense that it prevented his certain re-election in a state that voted 65-35 for Donald Trump in 2016. He attacked the teachers in Kentucky, likening them to “thugs.” He blamed sexual abuse and shootings on them. When they called out sick en masse to protest him at the statehouse, he said they just wanted a day off.
So what did the teachers do? Well, they did they always do—they indoctrinated the children.
My son’s school held a “mock election” on the day before the “actual election” in which they invited kids to cast a vote for governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Let me provide some context. At the top of this page, you’ll see an image that shows the actual results of the gubernatorial election in my county. Bevin, who ended up losing the statewide election by about 5,000 total votes, or about .3 percent, won our county by roughly seven points—not the landslide you would expect for a Republican in Clark County, Kentucky, but a healthy margin.
But in the mock election, the 5th and 6th graders of Clark County voted to elect Bevin’s opponent, Andy Beshear, by a margin of 71-29. When the school posted the results of the exercise on its Facebook page, the responses from parents were so full of anger and vitriol that the administrators deleted the post.
According to my son, they talk about Matt Bevin at school all. the. time. And not just in Social Studies, but in Math, and Science, and English, and Art.
Matt Bevin is the devil, and he’s making it harder for us to do our jobs!
So naturally, the kids, who want the approval of their teachers, voted against the man the teachers all demonize on a daily basis. They don’t know much about politics—they’re 10 and 11 years old. They only know what the clergy of their school tell them. They believe what they’re told to believe, and in most cases, that’s in direct opposition to what their parents believe. In other words, the opinions of their teachers are more powerful than the opinions of their parents.
This is hardly surprising, of course. Kids spend more time with their teachers than they do with their parents, and the majority of teachers are activists first and educators a clear and distant second. They believe the popular mythology that being a teacher is some sort of sacred profession, making them impervious to criticism. They think it’s massively unfair that they “work so hard” and yet are paid so little (average Clark County teachers make considerably more money than the average Clark County resident). It’s no wonder that the young adults of America think Socialism is a good idea. Their teachers have been telling them that it is for most of their lives.
I asked my son who he voted for, and he said, “Bevin, of course.” But I doubt the majority of his tween friends are as politically-minded as he is. We talk about politics in the house—maybe not every day, but we talk about them. We talk about why conservative principles make sense. We talk about individual freedoms and why individual accountability and responsibility is important. (And, it should be noted, he went to a Christian private school until last year.) Based on the results of this mock election, it’s clear that not every similarly minded parent in the county is having the same conversations.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not the world’s biggest Bevin fan. He’s a bit of a carpetbagger, having been born and educated outside of the South. He was a bad candidate, one that not even a last-minute visit from The Donald himself could fix. And in Kentucky, even the Democrats are pretty conservative, so it’s not like a vote for Beshear is a vote for Hillary or Bernie. His father was a Blue Dog Democrat governor—but he also ran up a good amount of the debt that Bevin has spent the last four years trying to fix.
The moral of this story? Don’t trust your kids’ teachers to reinforce your values. They’re much, much more interested in giving their values to your children, instead. Talk to your kids about what they’re learning at school, especially on political and social issues, and don’t be afraid to engage with them in discussion about it.
We can’t trust these people to educate our kids. They’d rather indoctrinate.