Thomas Jefferson once said, "To compel a man to furnish contributions
of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is
sinful and tyrannical." In 2008 his
words are more than an apt description of the relationship that many of our
nation’s educators have with the teachers’ unions. The fact that public school teachers in most
states have no choice but to pay tribute in the form of dues to the unions is certainly
tyrannical and therefore un-American.
The California Teachers Association (CTA),
the state affiliate of the nation’s largest teachers’ union, the National
Education Association (NEA), frequently backs controversial measures which many
of their members, as well as mainstream America, do not support. The CTA
has recently been active in such areas as the promotion of same sex marriage
and advocating that Communists be allowed back in the classroom to teach our
children. At the same time, the union is fighting the passage of SB 1105, which
would get rid of teachers who have committed a misdemeanor sexual offense. The
unions never bother to ask their membership for input on whether or not they back
such controversial measures, but agree or not, teachers must fork over their money
to the union.
Held in Washington
this July, the yearly NEA convention saw the usual dazzling display of nonsense,
silly at best, un-American at worst. While
in loopy mode, the organization’s “representative” assembly (whose members are
elected in a rather arcane way and as such, essentially represent themselves) found
themselves debating whether or not to recognize Norwegian Constitution Day. Never mind that our fourth graders’ math
scores are lower than those in Lithuania, high school dropout rates are soaring
and so many of those who do make it to college need remediation. And they call themselves the National Education Association!
Tiring of the inane, the NEA gets down to serious business -
attacking our foreign policy and slurring the brave men and women in our armed
forces. There is a movement within the
NEA to establish a peace academy, while other unionistas are trying to drive
popular Junior ROTC programs from our nation’s campuses. Also, Congress will be receiving a nastygram from
the NEA, imploring them to rein in our war effort in Iraq. The subtext here is clear – that if only the
U.S. weren’t so belligerent, the world would exist in eternal bliss. And of
course the NEA couldn’t promote such blatant anti-American blather without the
money that it takes from hard working teachers.
In-state tuition rates for illegals? It exists in several states now and the NEA
will be lobbying hard to ensure that this becomes a national phenomenon. This means that a student who illegally
crosses the border will pay less for a college education than an American
student who crosses state lines for the same purpose. Patriotic values seem to be non-existent at
Last February, outgoing NEA president, Reg Weaver told The Hill that his organization planned
to spend $40-$50 million on candidates who will advance the NEA agenda (loosely
translated – liberal/left Democrats) in the 2008 election. Republicans will get a very tiny fraction of this
money. No matter that about one-third of
the NEA rank-and-file is Republican. The
union will take their forced dues and give them to Democrats.
Veering from the union party line can easily incur the wrath
of the apparachiks. Speaking at the recent convention, Barack Obama was booed
when he suggested that a merit pay system may be worth a try. Once again, the NEA collectivists showed that
anything smacking of individualism, competition and capitalism, all
well-established American values, is foreign to them.
Hence, we have a despotic union that forcibly takes
money from teachers and spends it on an agenda that runs counter to the values
of many of them as well as those of the American mainstream. I strongly suspect that if Thomas Jefferson
were alive today, he would be firing off impassioned emails with the
Declaration of Independence attached in an attempt to inspire and energize
teachers and all fair minded Americans.
There is a sinister oppressor in our midst and the consent of the
governed is nowhere to be found.