“Art Pope: Hands Off Our Public Education!” – that’s what the protest for next week’s poll luncheon (at which Mr. Pope is speaking) is calling itself. One sees fears of the “2010 right-wing takeover of the NC General Assembly”, and the privatization of various things – especially education – presumably for Mr. Pope’s own enrichment. These are contradictory fears. In fact, the one is the solution to the other.
When an institution is politicized, as public schools and universities are right now, its administration is fair play for whoever can take hold of the reins of government. This is, of course, fine so long as one’s own party is in power. But when the “right-wing takeover” happens (and for the other side, whenever the next “left-wing takeover” happens), it’s a disaster, and fights and protests ensue.
If you want to protect the administration of your schools – if you want to keep Women’s Studies and African American Studies safe – privatize the school! Free it from political administration, and the vagaries that come with it. Then a “right-wing takeover” or a “left-wing takeover” of government won’t be nearly so disastrous and disruptive.
Privatization is not a radical right-wing agenda. It is not for the enrichment of the elite. It is a détente; a compromise. It requires an admission that everyone is not the same. You have your schools, we have ours – and all of a sudden the spoils of government aren’t as worth fighting over.
If you’d like to come hear Mr. Pope speak next week, you can register here.