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The Right

Republicans Should Stop Pandering about Charter Schools

(Jason DeCrow/AP Photo)

I have no idea why Republicans and the GOP media fall over themselves rallying to the cause of those who hate them and who would never vote for them, no matter what.”

During the last few weeks, the New York Post and other assets of the Murdoch media empire have been lamenting the poor treatment of racial minorities in New York State and, more particularly, in the Big Apple. This is supposedly owing to the apparent unwillingness of Governor Kathy Hochul and her Democratic administration to cough up sufficient funds for charter schools. The Post has been particularly upset about this miserliness and keeps reminding the Governor and the Democrats how important it is for the advancement of minorities that they be given an educational choice outside of the public school system, which is “failing them.” Presumably the Republicans would set all this right by lavishing public subsidies on those valuable institutions attended primarily by ethnic minorities. After all, according to the Post, 60% of New York City parents, presumably mostly nonwhite, want “more charter schools.”

Two points seem relevant here. One, charter schools are not private schools since they are heavily subsidized by federal and state governments. What is called “school choice” (and what many Republicans peddle as a private alternative to a unionized and now radically leftist public educational system) requires taxpayer money, even if these schools provide those who avail themselves of this opportunity with an alternative to other publicly-funded schools. Although Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and her fellow public school lobbyists may see charter schools as a competitor, both draw on the public sector and depend on tax dollars. 

Two, I have no idea why Republicans and the GOP media fall over themselves rallying to the cause of those who hate them and who would never vote for them, no matter what. In the gubernatorial race in November, then-Congressman Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate, who strongly pushed school choice and assistance for charter schools, lost the black vote, which rushed in the direction of his opponent, Governor Hochul. The victorious Democratic Governor made no secret of her close alliance with Weingarten and the public school union and kept her distance from the advocates of school choice. If black voters are as eager to have charter schools as the Republican media insists is the case, then they could have voted for the candidate who promised them this supposedly treasured benefit. Not unexpectedly, the black vote broke overwhelmingly for the anti-charter school side. The last time I checked, black citizens were not exactly flooding into the GOP, whatever counter-narratives Republican outlets may now be pushing. 

Republicans could also benefit from abandoning their pose as the defenders of those who will not vote for them and who, in fact, have expressed their hostility for the GOP repeatedly. Why waste one’s energy and credibility as champions of those who do not want them as their friends and who are quite happy to vote for their opponents? Democrats have no problem understanding this maxim and never seem to be joyously embracing the Christian Right or the pro-life cause. Democratic strategists, whom I respect, grasp the simple truth that their positions create opponents, not all of whom can be won over. Black revulsion for the very existence, let alone positions, of Republicans is far from a hidden fact. Black politicians, like Reps. Maxine Waters, Jim Clyburn, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Cori Bush, are always happy to indulge their voters by attacking Republicans as white racists. The objects of these attacks have to be masochists or hopelessly addicted to virtue signaling not to notice this custom. 

As such, Republicans should stop their irrational wailing over habitual Democratic voters being deprived of charter schools. They should allow the Democrats to war over this issue within their own camp. Republicans have no dog in this fight. Republican politicians and journalists behave in an equally ridiculous fashion when they make it appear that New York voters had nothing to do with bringing the migrants who are flooding into their city. New Yorkers voted for this unhappy turn of events when they gave their votes to the Left. What else did they expect to see happen, given the positions that Democrats ran on? 

It was unlikely that Texas and Arizona border towns would absorb all those illegal immigrants whom the Biden administration has welcomed into our once-sovereign territory as future voters. At some point, these illegal immigrants were going to be dropped off in Northern cities, especially given the fact that their voters did everything electorally possible to produce this catastrophe.  Republican governors such as Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis were not going to pass over the opportunity to send the problem created by the Democrats back to its electoral source. Good for them!.

Paul Gottfried is the editor-in-chief of Chronicles, the author of 14 books, and a regular contributor at American Greatness. He served as the Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College for over two decades. 

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