Employing the same fear card he used on January 1 when he made the remarkable and wholly unsubstantiated statement that, “ we have teachers that have been found guilty of sexually abusing students who we can’t get out of the classroom, ” while offering not a shred of evidence, Governor Andrew Cuomo met with the editors of The Daily News yesterday to further whip up anti public school, anti teacher hysteria and especially anti union hysteria.
“If (the public) understood what was happening with education to their children, there would be an outrage in this city,” Cuomo said. “I’m telling you, they would take City Hall down brick by brick.”
Cuomo weaseled out of explaining himself with the condescending statement that, “It’s only because it’s complicated that people don’t get it.”
To hear such naked and shameless fear mongering and calculated anti labor nonsense spewing out of the mouth of the most powerful politician in the state of New York, a man who holds the same office and is a member of the same party as were Al Smith, FDR, and Mario Cuomo, is chilling, to say the least and a crystal clear example of completely labor and worker rights has been orphaned in our now completely degenerate two party political system.
“Somewhere along the way, I believe we flipped the purpose of this,” Cuomo said. “This was never a teacher employment program and this was never an industry to hire superintendents and teachers.
“This was a program to educate kids.”
He decried that 250,000 kids over the past decade were trapped in failing schools.
Pitting teacher rights against student rights — as if the two were mutually exclusive – Cuomo, who preposterously defines himself as “the student advocate,” engaged in out right demagoguery, which as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and others have proved can go a long way in an increasingly fragmented and embittered America.
Using reformer clichés like “Teacher employment program” and “failing schools, ”and ranting about “Teacher salaries, teacher pensions, teacher tenure, teacher vacation rights, “the man who referred to public schools, not as a sacred public trust but as the “ last monopoly” that he vowed to break, knows what he is doing when he employs such language. His appeal is two fold: first to the parents in the most desperate communities of the schools that have been starved of funds who are being so shamelessly used by the hedge fund/ charter school industry. Next, he is
Is appealing to the politics of envy, to that majority of Americans who reduced to the status of “at will” employees, can be fired for any reason at any time, and to whom he is tacitly asking: why should these teachers have due process when you don’t?
Cuomo knows better than anyone in New York State the meaning of the shocking arrest of Sheldon Silver and is making the most of the vacuum.
At the same time, as if forewarned of Silver’s fall, TV airwaves are suddenly filled with pro charter school ads funded by Families for Excellent Schools, a front funded entirely by hidden millionaires and Cuomo supporters.
Again and again, over the past 24 hours, I hear in my head these words of FDR: “Nothing that happens in politics is an accident.”
Again and again over the past 20 years, I ask myself,
what has happened to my country ?