Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Don't Call Us Dumbasses

[Vouchbags] The day-after analysis on the unceremonious death of vouchers keeps rolling in.*

My favorite: The crushing blow against tax-funded, private school vouchers (62 percent to 38 percent) came because voters simply couldn't cut through the conflicting, muddy advertising from both sides. So, not fully understanding the issue, people merely punted and kept the status quo.

KSL radio's Doug Wright opened his talk show with almost those very words this morning. Comment boards at KSL and the
Deseret Morning News, too (surprised?). Wright, with that ponderous Sunday-go-to-to meetin' voice, described how very "offended" he was by the ads on both sides.

The "status quo" argument is plain absurd. Strip this ballot measure down to its underpants and you find a movement fueled by constituents (that's all of us in Utah) deeply pissed off by the arrogance of a handful of GOP legislators and well-heeled lobbyists ( Patrick Byrne out in front) who pushed the voucher bill through early this year against all average-folk protests.

So in the days ahead, as everyone scrambles to dissect the reason(s) why vouchers were such a colossal failure, remember the taxpayers, stupid. The citizens. The people who back up the legislators' paychecks. Opinion polls showed huge opposition to vouchers from Day One. Bill sponsor Rep. Steve Urquhart (R-St. George) and others kept arguing if people
really understood the voucher concept they'd support it. We just weren't smart enough, or patient enough to figure it out, the subtext went.

We understand. It's pretty simple for most--at least 62 percent of us. If you want to send your kids to private school, please do. But since this is a country (and state) that values every child's right to a taxpayer-funded, public education we'd like to put our money toward improving what we have, thanks.

The foundation of this mess rests on the actions of a few legislators who thought they would steamroll the people. They either misread their constituents or didn't give a rat's ass anyway. They gambled; they lost.

If pundits/bloggers/talk show hosts want to call that a vote for the status quo, fine. Just don't insult our intelligence while doing it. (Holly Mullen)

* Tip of the Salt Blog hat to keen observer Greg Bumpus of Draper, who shot the above photo while driving to work in Orem this a.m. Here's the link to licensing info.

1 comment:

  1. Even as a voucher supporter, I thought Byrne's IQ test comments were stupid and arrogant. I'm just concerned that the public school establishment only knows one response to improving the schools: give us more money, and don't hold us accountable for how we spend it. Legislators, give us more money for textbooks, and we'll spend it somewhere else. Give us 2500 more per teacher, and we'll refine our numbers so we don't have to give them that much.

    My question is, since a progressive, innovative solution to some of education's problems has been rejected, what's the alternative?


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