In the Mail

I just received a review copy of Your Teacher Said WHAT?!: Trying to Raise a Fifth-Grade Capitalist in Obama’s America, by Joe Kernen and his daughter Blake. I’m not quite finished with Paul Kengor’s Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives For A Century, but having just read the preface to Your Teacher Said WHAT?!, it’s interesting seeing the current-day effects of a hundred years of Marxist/socialist influence on education, both primary and higher.

For example, read this excerpt from Dupes, concerning the members of the Weather Underground:

Aside from Kathy Boudin, David Gilbert, and Judy Clark, most of the comrades eluded prison time. Ultimately, Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers avoided jail because of charges dropped due to prosecutorial problems. That escape from due justice has since prompted Ayers to celebrate: “Guilty as hell, free as a bird! America is a great country!”

Free a a bird to pursue what? Ayers and others may have received the answer to that question as early as 1967, at a pre-Weatherman SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) conference held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ayers’s academic home. The conference, held July 14-16, 1967, was staged by SDS’s Radical Education Project and titled “Radicals in the Professions.” Dr. Quentin Young, the “SDS doctor” who would turn congressional hearings into a circus the following year, spoke on the importance of radicals entering the field of health care. But at the conference, the student radicals paid particular attention to the American educational establishment, especially higher education, and specifically the departments of education, where they could train the future teachers of America.

Bill Ayers would eventually follow the Deweyan tradition of ushering in social and political change through education rather than politics — the latter of which had failed him and his fellow Marxist-Leninists. He and Dohrn both sought out the ivory tower again. They believed they had a lot to import to America’s youth and its future. (Mark) Rudd, too, eventually ended up in education, teaching and lecturing at colleges. Basically, almost all of them would take that path.

But here’s the kicker:

And the contacts they would make in that capacity are nothing short of awe-inspiring. One of them, yet another product of Columbia University, would — forty years after that conference in Ann Arbor — become a political rallying point for the suddenly reborn SDS and Weather Underground “progressives.” He was a beacon for Ayers, Dohrn, Rudd, Hayden, Klonsky, Machtinger, Jones and more. They would come to Chicago, this time with a very different take on the man the Democrats were looking to send to the presidency. In 2008 they would organize yet again, this time working within the system, to help make this man — Barack Obama — president of the United States.

To achieve that goal, they would need to be very careful in publicly expressing their true feelings and motivations. Otherwise they would risk driving away the masses, especially traditional Democrats, moderates, and crossover voters. They had made that mistake in the initial SDS split, losing the support of a huge number of non-Communists. In 2008 they would be vigilant not to repeat the error.

And they would not receive just complicity but the the aid and support of the media in keeping their “true feelings and motivations” out of the public view. After all, many in the media shared those feelings and motivations, and understood that they were far from “mainstream” thought.

It starts in the primary school classroom, and continues all the way through the university.

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