It seems like a strange time to “move to the left.”
But it seems to be happening nonetheless.
Since his self-confessed “shellacking” in last November’s election, much has been said about how President Obama’s rhetoric has shifted to the philosophical “right.” Gone are the pejorative remarks about how Americans must stop consuming more than their “fair share” of the earth’s resources, and the scolding of oil and pharmaceutical companies for earning “record profits” (the President would probably be thrilled if any American business were to set profit records today).
“In” are the kinds of comments that are typical of an American President. Mr. Obama recently announced that he wants to embrace “Thomas Edison’s principles,” and that he desires for Americans to “invent stuff” and “make stuff.” He has even stated that he wants to open-up more foreign markets so American companies can sell more of their products and services globally. Indeed, the past few weeks have seen a dramatic change in the President who spent two years bowing to foreign heads of state, and lamenting America’s superpower status.
But while the President and most of America have moved to the right, big labor doesn’t even seem willing to move the center. In fact, some unions that represent America’s public school teachers seem to have moved further towards the philosophical “left,” even as state and local governments struggle with debt and deficits, and in some cases, the threat of bankruptcy.
A disconnect between the President and the National Education Association is not new. Despite the undying allegiance of the NEA to the Democratic Party, Obama has still been a bit of an infidel for government school bureaucrats because of his support of charter schools.
It’s a concept that has become so popular with parents in recent years that presidential candidates can no longer politically afford to reject it. Still the concept of “charter schools” - schools that are publicly funded, yet managed by private sector individuals and organizations -creates market competition for conventional government-run schools and school districts, and the NEA rejects the idea outright. In fact, the NEA publicly denounced President Obama’s “Race To The Top” agenda at their annual convention last July, precisely because the agenda entailed support for charter schools.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.