Monday, February 6, 2017

Stop rooting for your team

Although that blog title is definitely click bait for anyone looking for Super Bowl related articles, I’m not talking about football. I’m actually talking about the bane of our collective existence: politics. Never in the history of this country has the US been this saturated with media coverage of politics but the team dynamics of sports isn’t used in vain though.

Right now it’s Team Trump versus Team Anti Trump, where one side calls the other nearsighted idiots for such an abundant amount of reasons that we would do much better by dropping the team mentality and thinking more like citizens and yes, that’s a judgment call.

But this post is a lot more than about politics, it’s actually about education and the nominee for Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos. Although most nominations have been questionable to say the least, DeVos has to be in the top 3 weakest nominations and although I could rant and rave about it, and push for my side of the argument, I did something different: I wrote the senators in my state that might have a say in it and voiced my concern. Being a largely Republican state, many would insist I wasted my time, but at least I tried something and didn’t just go off on a rant on social media.

Seeing how most things are unfolding, I’m doing my best to be a responsible citizen and voice my opinion in a way where my message is carried across without being overly aggressive about my point of view. If you insult people and call them idiots, odds are high they won’t listen and will just strike back. If you voice your opinion as a concerned citizen, maybe there’s a better chance of the message at least being read and a dialogue existing.

The fact remains, I’m extremely worried about this nomination for Secretary of Education as well as several other positions. If you want to read what I wrote, below is an exact copy of the message I sent to Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator David Perdue:

Good morning, senator:

I’m writing in regards to the nomination of Miss Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. In these highly charged times, people are rallying for their teams and although I get that, I'm more of the mind to get the right person for the job so rather than just jump the gun, I decided to do some research in regards to her background. Although I might find some things in her résumé that could be used to support her nomination, I find several others that make me think better of it, among them her responses during several hearings with members of the democratic party. Although I’m well aware that these hearings are designed to grill people, that doesn’t change the fact that some of her responses were actually worrying to me, namely her responses to topics such as: the state of guns near or on school grounds, student safety in general, and education standards. We’re all human and sometimes we don’t have all the answers, but time after time I heard answers that continued to worry me, especially for a position that is so vital for the nation.

At this point in time, I believe the US really needs to buckle down and not only push for better students, but to help develop students so that we may be more competitive on a global scale and to ensure we have future professionals that can help us face the variety of challenges we shall face as a nation. I won't ask you to approve or deny Miss DeVos because of my beliefs or opinion, but I do sincerely request that you give this some real thought. Politics have become a team sport and people root for their team even if it's the wrong call. I honestly believe we can find someone more suited to the position that will be fully capable to respond to the intense demands and challenges this position encompasses.

Thank you for your time.


I did this not because I’m “reeling from losing the election”. We’re past that. I wrote these two senators because regardless of whoever is President, DeVos’s inability to reply to easy questions was worrying. Student safety didn’t get a straight answer, guns in schools got a weird answer, and so forth.

I didn’t write this as a liberal or a democrat. I wrote it as a human concerned for the country he is living in. No team mentality. No logos. No jerseys. Just concern and the desire to make a difference.

Peace, love, and democracy

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