Bringing It On

George W. Bush and his administration are proving right about one thing at least: they do create the reality in which we live. It is important for us to recognize this truth and elect representatives who will give us a friendlier and more sustainable reality.
Thudfactor references an article in the Washington Post reporting the comments of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). He is quoted as stating that the recent violence against judges is an effect of outrage against activist judges who are unaccountable for their decisions and who use the court for their political agenda. This is pure nonsense, and no one following the facts (or simple logic) would believe the senator. After all, to whom should judges be accountable? If we take the Republican stance, they should (and will) be accountable to their political party and expected by their party to use the court for their political agenda. The senator’s shot falls far below the mark and far to the right. Nevertheless, it points in the right direction.
I have spent most of my life in schools and colleges, institutions of learning that are microcosms of society, for better or worse. I have witnessed firsthand the difficulty that people in positions of power and influence — teachers and administrators — experience in conveying facts and attitudes that are consciously programmed, the elements of the curriculum. The teacher gets into the transmission mode, and the students go to sleep.
On the other hand, there is a hidden curriculum that communicates without effort, always from top to bottom, and always with precision. When its elements are displayed, students freeze in concentration and watch in wonder. This hidden curriculum in schools is the attitude of the top administrators, their politics if you will. It has to do with whether or not they follow the rules they recite. If teachers and administrators are involved in a system that disregards rules, uses authority to promote personal interests, disregards the rights and feelings of others, and uses bullying tactics to enforce order and compliance, the attitude communicates throughout the school. It has an impact upon student behavior and achievement, in the teachers’ lounge, in the lunchroom, and in the playground.
In Washington now we have an administration that has (and therefore teaches) a disregard for law, for the justice system, and for the rule of law. It has disregarded United Nations rulings and used power to advance its own interests. It has disregarded the Geneva Convention. It has used bullying (“Bring it On”) language in a public forum in which we would expect statesmanship. It has shown intolerance for diversity and stated its intention to revise the Constitution to incorporate discriminatory practices based upon gender and sexual orientation. It has made a mantra of privatizing the public good — education, social services, medicine, Social Security. It has announced its intention to stack the courts with partisan judges to promote an ultra-conservative agenda.
There is of course much more evidence than the two courtroom violence cases cited in the Washington Post that the hidden curriculum of the Bush II Administration is being absorbed and put into effect at all levels. Better bloggers than I cite it daily, and you can find two new examples daily on CNN Headline news, burried among the repeat stories and chatter. And there is the law that Jeb Bush wants to sign in Florida legalizing violence. Wait until these “he hit me first” cases reach the courts!
You cannot have a kind and gentle society that lives by law when the top administrators live by pushing people around and refusing to play by the rules. When we elect a president or a senator, we need to be acutely aware of the type of reality in which we want to live.

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