Bill Murchison

A policy corollary to UT's is Boston's court-ordered busing policy, intended to improve K-8th grade education by improving racial ratios in the classroom. Busing, Boston-style, seems to have run out of gas. The adage that whereas you may lead a horse to water, you can't make him drink, explains in large part the disappearance of whites from Boston schools. "Now there are no whites," a local leader told The New York Times. (Actually, whites remain 13 percent of the total.) "Everyone is being randomly bused. It doesn't make sense." Which is why Boston's mayor, a BGL most of the time, has called for "a radically different [attendance] plan." In one area right now, 1,912 students attend 102 different schools. Transportation amounts to nearly 10 percent of school district operation costs.

The need to improve "educational outcomes," as they are known, for whites, blacks, browns, everybody else, is plain as the robe on a federal judge's back? Who could object, the caricature Confederate on the cigarette lighter case -- "Forget, Hell?!" The problem isn't opposition to the project at hand. The immediate problem is big government liberalism, which rarely admits a mistake or miscalculation committed out of overwhelming compassion.

BGLs get defensive when challenges to their omniscience rise from the ranks of the conservative hoi polloi. Why, what do you mean, "we failed"? Failed to what? Love enough? Plan enough? Tax the taxpayers enough? That ordinary folk might have opinions counter their own, and might want to implement those views, is a prospect alien to the BGL mind.

Matters like these hardly lend themselves to sound-bite explanation in presidential debates, but they lie at the heart of our politics, and of our political perplexities. Two mindsets contend in our politics. Do we want the Olympians telling us what we think and what to do about it? Perhaps we ourselves have something to say about the larger matters of national and personal existence.

We 'll soon get some evidence as to which it may be.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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