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There was a time when Cops and Teachers were held in esteem. Cops for their courage to stand against the evil in the world and teachers for enlightening the young through education. But no more. Each of these professions is under attack from opposite political spectrums. And each is doing its utmost to demonize critical and noble jobs.
How did this come about? When we let unregulated money into the political system (i.e., Citizens United), the incentive to focus on being re-elected at the expense of doing the right thing became paramount. Politicians became addicted to the money from sources they no longer had to explain.
A second cause of this has been the demonization of education. Those on the ultra-right constantly criticize the “elites” because of their level of education. They promote the common man’s rise to office as a solution to all our problems. Problems that are so complex most people cannot define the problem, let alone craft solutions, or even understand answers we may already have. While the common person may be the nation’s bedrock, I think we want the most intelligent people with high levels of integrity serving in government.
No one wants the common man as their cancer doctor. You want the most brilliant, most experienced doctor available.
With our level of success falling in our schools, they look for a simple cause. It must be the teachers and their evil unions who are intentionally poisoning our schools in pursuit of their leftist agenda. A “leftist” agenda that seeks to promulgate understanding, compassion, breadth of experience, embracing the many cultural roots of this country, and a factual reading of history.
This castigation of teachers’ unions as the main engine of this decline in education ignores the foundation of the significant success many Americans once enjoyed as union members. It started with sending manufacturing off-shore to avoid paying living wages to American workers. It gained traction as stockholders and management gained a larger and larger share of the profits at workers’ expense.
Think about that next time you get a coffee at the counter in Starbucks and the “barista” turns the screen toward you with the 20% tip helpfully highlighted. It’s not that they are greedy. Its management getting you to fund workers’ wages to maximize corporate profits.
It has now set its sights on teacher and police unions with similar vengeance. It all boils down to control. Control the teachers; you control the minds of those in schools and future voters. Control the cops, and you can get away with anything. And make no mistake about it, it is about control and power no matter how “noble” their exhortations may seem.
The gap between the lower and middle class and those at the top of the economic ladder has far outgrown the semblance of a fair and equitable American dream and has become an engine of greed. And this drive to reduce costs and maximize profits comes at a higher cost than it seeks to reduce.
When teachers’ unions fight for fair wages and working conditions, they are castigated as greedy and stealing from the very students they are supposed to educate. But our society has come to embrace ignorance and demean proper education. There is an unwillingness to fund education since those in power encourage demeaning the value of such education. Not everyone need have a college degree. But everyone should have, at a minimum, a fundamental literacy in the basics, reading, writing , math, and civics. It is this last one, understanding government and the function of law, that those in power fear the most.
What it all comes down to is this. An educated public might see through this scam perpetrated on America and use their vote and knowledge to change the system. Next time you hear some politician decrying the quality of education and blaming the teachers for it, keep that in mind.
Don’t think Civics has a value? Consider this. The average turnout percentage of voters in a Presidential election year is 55%. 45% of eligible voters don’t bother going to the polls. 45%! Nothing would be more of an anathema to those who have sacrificed so much for this country than the apathy of millions of Americans who cannot be bothered to vote. And nothing is more beneficial to those in power than such apathy.
Now, on the opposite political spectrum, the left is equally guilty of ignoring reality with their idiotic and naive war against the police. They hold some misguided concept of a police free Utopia. As long as there are people, there will be those who seek to take advantage of their fellow humans and the need for those who would stand against it.
The overwhelming majority of those who choose to become police officers do so to join a noble cause. There is no more extraordinary act than a willingness to sacrifice your life for the betterment and protection of others.
And make no mistake about it, there is the real possibility they may die just doing their job. Whether they serve in the busiest precincts of New York or Chicago or in the sparsely populated areas covered by just one or two officers for hundreds of square miles, each carries with it the potential for an on-duty death.
Now, many will spout statistics about how the risk of death is higher in other jobs—police officers are not one of the ten most dangerous jobs in America—the fact remains that those deaths, while tragic, are often as a result of accidents or equipment failures.
Police officers often die at the hands of others who are committing a crime. And those police officers willingly run toward danger, not try to avoid it. While a logger may know their profession is inherently dangerous, they aren’t forced to interject themselves into dangerous situations. On the contrary, they do everything they can to avoid such incidents.
Cops do not have that choice.
Yet today, we face a crisis of our own making with a shortage of those willing to accept the risk inherent in being cops. And this shortage is directly related to the demonization of the police by the media and the ultra-liberal.
That they are bad cops goes without saying. Just as there are bad teachers, firefighters, doctors, lawyers, members of Congress, liberals, conservatives, and every manner of human in this world. They threaten our way of life, but they are not representative of any class or group as a whole.
They are a symptom of a more endemic problem. One with its roots in history and human nature. And one that is best overcome by recognizing its complexities.
Endemic racism, not just between one group and another but across the entire spectrum of people, is something best neutralized by both education and a societal emphasis on tolerance. No one is born a racist; they are trained to be one.
One of the most significant issues we face, one which many on the right would claim is past and no longer necessary to understand, is the long fermenting history of the perseverance of racism within this country. Nothing will change until we come to terms with that reality through an intense understanding of the insidiousness of the infection.
But this focus on blaming an entire class of people—particularly those engaged in two of the most noble processions, public safety and education—is self-defeating and dangerous. No one believes we should protect bad cops or teachers, but any rational person should clearly see we need to support the good ones and ensure those we deem subject to removal from the profession are treated fairly.
One can argue the success of this country was built on the brilliance of the founding individuals—most of whom had extensive education—and the willingness of some citizens to stand up to those who would victimize the innocent.
Cops and teachers are two of the most necessary professions to realize our goal of the “pursuit of happiness.” When something terrible happens, cops will come running toward the problem, even at the risk of their own lives. Teachers are given the care of our most precious resource, our children, and will have almost as significant an impact on their success as the parents, in many cases, an even more significant one.
Each of these noble professions deserves our support. We can hold them to the highest standard—good cops and teachers would expect nothing less—but we also need to be grateful for their commitment to society, not demonize them for the sake of politics, money, or some concept of the human condition so removed from reality as to be foolish.
Keep driving good people from these professions and this Great American Experiment will soon disappear from this universe.
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