Skip to comments.For a teacher, it ain't easy being GOP
Posted on 06/27/2004 7:11:14 AM PDT by Caleb1411
Remember the children's song by Kermit the Frog, "It Ain't Easy Being Green"? I always think of that title when reading or talking to people about education or politics, because, you see, I am a public school teacher, a strong union member and a Republican.
I realize most people think that must be an oxymoron, but it's me. I am a proud product of the Reagan era and have only recently decided to come out of the closet.
Reactions have ranged from a slight smile to a full-blown assault on my character and my dedication to my family and as a mother. One person stated: "What, you are a Republican? How can you be? You're a mother of a 22-year-old son. Do you want our sons to go to war?"
The underlying message was that I don't care about my son's well-being or that of other people's sons for that matter. Since when did anyone wish for war or for anyone's children to go away to fight? How did being Republican become synonymous with wanting children to die? I support my president in the war on terror does that make me a bad mother?
The recent outpouring of public support for former president Ronald Reagan has made me want to come out of the closet. Watching his funeral on TV and listening to the dignitaries speak brought tears to my eyes and pride to my heart. I remember as a child being very proud of being a Republican, proud to say the Pledge of Allegiance, proud to hang the flag from my deck. My father taught us to stand tall during the nation anthem, "with nothing moving except your eyeballs."
When did I start heading for the closet? Don't get me wrong, I never changed my belief system or stopped hanging the flag. I only became more quiet and personal in doing so. It wasn't until Sept. 11 that I began permanently hanging my flag out in front of my house. Prior to then, it was only out on the 4th of July. I didn't want to offend anyone.
Somewhere along the line I stopped challenging political voices from the left and quietly went forward with my own values. People who know me will say that I have continued to speak my views; however, what they don't realize is that I used to be much more noticeably opinionated. I used to proudly call myself a Republican, but over the last 10 years somehow I switched to the politically correct "fiscal conservative."
In the spring following the Sept. 11 attacks, I was attending a graduate class on diversity in the schools. I attended and paid for the class with my own time and money; it was not a required course. I was simply looking forward to gaining some insight on communicating with parents from a variety of cultures. During the hours of that class, I remember sinking lower and lower into my seat each session, feeling more and more distant and embarrassed.
One day the discussion surrounded the behavior of white Americans displaying civic pride and flag-waving. The instructors and many participants couldn't understand the logic in flag-waving or patriotism. They actually used the term white trash flag-waving. By session's end, I was reduced to saying little or nothing for fear of being lynched, because I knew that my Chevrolet parked in the lot had a large flag waving from the back window, not to mention the huge lighted flag hanging from my deck at home. Luckily, I had taken off my flag pin and earrings before entering the room.
The last session concluded with everyone singing "Kumbaya" and holding hands. I stoically joined in, obviously uncomfortable. The instructor, noting my discomfort, singled me out at the end and asked why I hadn't eagerly joined in the song. I replied, "I am a white middle-class Lutheran and don't sing 'Kumbaya.' " I just couldn't take the stress any longer and abruptly left the class.
With experiences like that, is it any wonder I lost my pride in being a Republican? It was only while watching young dignified soldiers carry Ronald Reagan's body into the funeral and soldiers kindly holding umbrellas over Reagan family members that I began to swell with pride once again.
Margaret Thatcher and Brian Mulroney reminded me that it's all right to believe in a strong America and stand up for what you believe. I have decided that I am no longer a fiscal conservative. I am a public school teacher, strong union supporter and just a plain old Republican.
This woman is brave. It bothers me that our country is becoming a bunch of flag hating, religion-bashing, touchy-feely oxygen wasters. A nuke in one of our cities, some kind of mass biological attack or insert-your-catastrophy and the US would be thrown immediately into survivor mode, and we'd have to rely on a generation of fools who think that "everyone's a winner", "competition is evil", and oddly, "evil doesn't exist". Its really easy to be for peace and love, but much harder to do the work it takes to provide for it.
The truth is liberating. With liberation comes the responsibility to educate one-self tirelessly to win any debate. As a teacher, she should relish that opportunity.
I am a public school teacher, strong union supporter and just a plain old Republican.
Which is it? Public School TEACHER - union supporter - Republican ??
All non-inclusive descriptions
A REAL teacher would never brag about kneeling before union thugs and bow down before others simply because of "tenure". Her #1 priority would be teaching the children to surpass in this world and "Damn the union!'
If you believe in communist unions, you are hardly a republican, unless you are from the north/northeast where a person who IF was found in the south would be called hard corps communist, but would be considered a moderate republican up north!
She's a "strong union member." That's the NEA which does NOT reflect Republicanism. Landmark Foundation (Mark Levine) currently has a law suit against this union because it illegaly files zero as the amount it spends on political donations. This union donates millions of dollars to political causes....99% of which are to democrats. Linda Chavez has a new book out about all of this.
Addendum: If the NEA correctly listed its political donations to the IRS, its tax exempt status would be pulled. It would have to pay taxes...which it currently does not.
Thanks for the post. I am sending the link to my sister-in-law, a liberal school teacher in St Paul.
What is 'Kumbaya.' ?
"Kumbaya, my lord, Kumbaya."
It is a song, often sung by hippies and the like. Its a bit symbolic of the whole "war is bad, flowers are good" mentality.
Dear "out of the closet school teacher", welcome back. Now give your union hell when they are wrong - which is probably most of the time.
Well, to use it in context, I believe it's correct usage would be "Kumbaya the house later, and I'll show you the new electronics I bought at Best Buy..."
"The instructor, noting my discomfort, singled me out at the end and asked why I hadn't eagerly joined in the song."
When I taught at a Detroit high school back in the 80s, I was an open Republican. I even had an op ed piece written on school choice. Just about everyone liked me and any political "questions" tossed at me were easily handled. A lot of this depends on your personality and reputation as a teacher.
Today I teach at a Big Ten university and am still open about my political affiliation. I have a Bush sticker on my wall. I have good relations with people, even when we venture into political discussions. Oh, there's one guy who's a bit of a pest, but after the election is over we'll be pals again.
Especially brave in the People's Republic of Minneapolis-St.Paul!
Oh yeah, almost forgot. We had one of those "diversity" workshops here. As uncomfortable as it was, I opened my mouth and spoke up whenever I disagreed with something. I did the same thing two weeks later at a faculty meeting where we discussed the workshop. Sure, I felt a bit like brown shoes at a black tie dinner, but I got over it and so did everyone else.
I'm a bit puzzled by the writer's feeling it difficult to be a "proud" Republican. If you act proudly, people will respect you.
My gosh! I thought "Kumbaya Democrat" was a mere slanderous insult. I had no idea it was for real.
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