Are you afraid of freedom? Are you so afraid of the possibility that, with freedom to choose, some people choose to fail, that you would remove all freedom, even the freedom to soar?
A few weeks ago, at the Utah County Republican Convention, I met a man at our Stop Common Core booth. He was a sweet faced, caring man. He liked the common core agenda of national standards and tests because, he said, he could not stand to see anyone suffer and fail because he’d seen the worst of the worst in Mississippi. The fact that Massachusetts had dropped its high academic standards to come down to Common Core’s level didn’t bother him, he said, because lowest-performing states like Mississippi had upped their standards to the Common Core level. He didn’t want to see anybody fail; so he’d rather see everyone mediocre.
This one sided “philanthropy” struck me as misguided, but it is the trendy philosophy of social justice, the philosophy of Arne Duncan-style redistribution. It is theft– easily justified because it’s done on a large, impersonal, governmental scale.
Where do you stand?
Would you– alone– steal from one, in order to benefit another? Then why do you let government do it? What gives “us” the right to redistribute anything at all– money, education standards, teachers, data? Would you make this a habit: Alone– you walk outside, knock on the door, and then forcibly take money or items from your next door neighbor to then hand to another neighbor? It’s cruel. That is, on a smaller scale, what our society is doing on a large scale with its increasingly socialistic answers to almost every aspect of life, with the justification that this theft is a kindness, a social justice. This type of enforced equality is an impossible absurdity (Read Harrison Bergeron) but people believe it will work. It’s why we are in this ed reform mess.
The freedom to fail and the freedom to soar are two ends of the same stick. So much freedom has been sacrificed at the fake altar of “no soul left behind”. Ironically, as these equality enforcements come, people still fail. This fake philanthropy (aka “social justice”) takes away the possibility for those who might soar, to ever soar. In the 1950s, they used to call this equalizing “communism”. But today, if you use describe the education reforms taking place in America as socialistic/communistic, you get labeled a believer in Unicorns. (Thanks, Representative Kraig Powell.)
Truth is truth whether people believe it or not.
Long after I’d left the man that day at the booth, I found this perfect answer to his confused philanthropy. Thank you, C.S. Lewis.