Day: <span>August 24, 2020</span>

Students and educators are afterthoughts for Trump, until he needs them

Despite President Trump’s war against the U.S. Postal Service, his reelection campaign chose that form of delivery to mistakenly send my wife a “Keep America Great” fund-raising appeal. I intercepted it before she had a chance to trash it because I wanted to see what was on the president’s mind, other than reelection and, of course, the education of America’s children. After all, how do you keep America great without supporting a strong public education system?

Turns out the letter and an enclosed survey, addressed to “Patriotic Conservative,” said not a word about the education of America’s children. The president had other priorities to trumpet. Like attacking the World Health Organization, China and Planned Parenthood. Like lying about the “fraud and abuse” in voting-by-mail and the “dangerous caravans” of refugees at the Mexican border.

He also wanted to know what Patriotic Conservative thought about designating Antifa as a terrorist organization and whether President Trump’s performance in office had lived up to his/her expectations.

And then there was this question, “In your opinion, has the media been truthful in its reporting on President Trump?” (The presidential skin is still thin.)

Trump also lied in his letter about “moving swiftly to revive the American economy while battling a once-in-a-century pandemic unleashed by the Communist Chinese.” The Chinese didn’t unleash it, and Trump has spent more time ignoring and downplaying the severity of the coronavirus than he has trying to fight it.

Once the coronavirus is brought under control, with little thanks to Trump, education will be key to reviving the American economy, and Trump didn’t address education at all in his fund-raising appeal. He didn’t because his only interest in education is privatizing public schools and, now that his reelection campaign is struggling, using students and educators as political props in a dangerous charade to fool voters into thinking the country is returning to normal.

The reopening of schools is essential to that charade, and that is why Trump is pressuring governors and school districts around the country to open prematurely for in-person instruction while thousands of Americans are still being infected and dying from COVID-19.

Many schools around the country have reopened and then soon shut down again with the discovery of infections that were endangering the health of students, educators and their families. But Trump persists.

How many educators and students do we want to see sacrificed? The answer is zero.

Clay Robison