By David Van Os
“ [I]t is an axiom in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self government.”
So proclaimed the founders of the Republic of Texas in the magnificently expressed Declaration of Independence they issued to the world on March 2, 1836. Tragically, the State of Texas today suffers in the grip of an unpatriotic, radical government that is intent on making mincemeat of the state’s proud heritage of commitment to the principle of cultivating an educated and enlightened citizenry.
A large group of determined Texans of all generations and from all parts of the state gathered at the State Capitol on Saturday March 24 for the second annual Save Texas Schools rally, to protest the last session of the Texas Legislature’s decimation of school funding in worship of the false god of budget cutting.
Many eloquent speakers, including school superintendents, teachers, parents, pupils, and elected officials vigorously and inspiringly assailed the short-sightedness of the false economies achieved by wreaking huge cuts in the financing of public education.
The false dogma of budget cutting that has been applied to public education in Texas is but one example of the same false dogma that has been trotted out in cutting public employees’ labor rights in Wisconsin and other states, and that is being argued every day in national politics and government. It is false not only because its articulated logic is false, but more importantly, because its stated motives are not true.
There is plenty of money in America. The myth that the economy is running out of money is as false as a three-dollar bill. Our society is blessed with vast wealth and resources. But the wealth is being hoarded at the top. The wealthiest one percent of Americans control 40% of the wealth of the country, and that appalling imbalance is increasing every day as more and more of the fruits of the collective economy are transferred to the benefit of the ultra-rich. The real motivation of the architects of radical budget cutting is nothing more and nothing less than to protect this massive and growing wealth of those who already have all they could possibly need for multiple lives of luxury. Any and all of the double-talking other reasons articulated by the radical budget cutters are a pack of lies, concocted to suck in the journalists and to fool the voters.
We are where we are today because for too many years and decades, We the People have allowed false academics, false politicians, and false journalists to propagate the immoral philosophy that greed is a virtue. We are where we are today because for too many years and decades we the people have allowed too many of these false pundits in the worlds of academia, politics, and journalism to lead us down the primrose path of cultivating a newly brazen economic system, which for the sake of a handle let me call the neo-liberal economics of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, which more than ever rewards greed and punishes humanity.
And now things are spiraling rapidly downward for Constitutional democracy itself, as savage vigilante justice strikes in Afghanistan and Florida, marked in one instance by the brutal slaughter of innocents by an American soldier and in the other instance by the appalling murder of a youth whose mere skin color rendered him suspicious in the eyes of a self-proclaimed property protector; and as the neo-liberal police state continues to react with greater and greater savagery in its repression of dissent on behalf of the ultra-wealthy for whose protection it serves, as shown by the growing nationwide suppression of the Natural and Constitutional right of the people to assemble and petition for redress of grievances in public places.
Many others have spoken, are speaking, and will speak with more eloquence than me about all these matters. All I have left to say today is:
Enough, enough, enough!!