Open Letter to Diane Douglas

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

Dear Diane,

It is with great sadness I write you this letter. I say that because I just had my hopes dashed once again that people of different political ideology could actually trust each other to put the mission over self-interest. In my Air Force, career the “mission” was almost always paramount, but I’ve not found it to be quite as prevalent in civilian life, especially when politics are involved. I must admit that after my most recent meeting with you, I was encouraged that you were “mission focused” on behalf of all Arizona students. In my opinion, you said all the “right” things and your “AZ Kids Can’t Afford to Wait” plan outlines 30 proposals that with few exceptions, seem like the way right to go. And, although you support school choice, you also recognize that 85 percent of Arizona’s students attend district schools and that you stated you are committed to getting them the resources they need.

I supported your opponent for Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2014 and was incredulous and very disappointed when you won. Your tumultuous beginning as the Superintendent confirmed my belief you were not the right person for the job. Of late though, I’ve begun to feel that you’ve settled down and if not yet “hitting your stride”, at least properly “setting up in the chocks.” Unfortunately, my breath was taken away this morning when I read my public education Google Alerts. The headline that caught my eye was Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas endorses Donald Trump for President. OMG!!! Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Don’t get me wrong, the purpose of this letter is not to harangue you on your choice of who to vote for. Yes, I personally think anyone who votes for Trump is crazy, but I recognize it is your right as a U.S. citizen in the greatest democracy in the world to vote for whomever you wish. What does bother me, is that you felt the need to publicly endorse this misogynistic, xenophobic, racist candidate who has shown himself to lack the temperament, knowledge or even the desire to learn what he needs to know to serve as President of the United States of America, let alone as Commander in Chief. Even a FOX news poll from May of this year showed only 38 percent of registered voters trusted Trump to do a better job than Clinton on the use of nuclear weapons.

Geo-politics and nukes aside however, I ask you what is Mr. Trump’s plan for education? You wrote in your news release that you endorsed him because he “shares my belief that the federal government’s role in education needs to be reduced rather than expanded.” Well, that certainly will solve ALL our educational problems…especially here in Arizona! After all, we have a Legislature and Governor totally dedicated to serving the needs of our one million-plus students and their teachers in Arizona’s district community schools. Wait…what…we don’t? Oh yeah, that was just the dream I have. Besides, as you and your staff already well know, the new Every Student Succeeds Act signed into law in December 2015 has already greatly reduced the federal government’s role in education. 

The National Education Association (NEA) published an article on August 29th about Mr. Trump’s education plan titled “Trump to release ed plan; details so far show little understanding.” First of all, Trump has yet to release his education plan. What we know thus far is that Trump is “the product of private schools, stands behind school vouchers, which in community after community have diverted scarce resources from community schools to private and religious schools that are allowed to reject students with special needs.” Of public [presumably district] schools, Trump has said, “Schools are crime-ridden and they don’t teach.” 

And who is Trump’s point man on education other than Neurosurgeon Ben Carson who he credits as an expert on the subject. In a news conference, Trump said, “I was most impressed with his views on education. It’s strength. It’s a tremendous strength. So Carson is going to be involved with us, particularly on health and education.” Please keep in mind that Ben Carson is the guy whom Donald Trump compared to a child molester. Carson also thinks little of public school students saying, “The best education is the education that is closest to home, and I’ve found that for instance, homeschoolers do the best, private schoolers next best, charter schoolers next best, and public schoolers worst.” This statement seems to call into question his knowledge of the fact that charter schools are public schools and, he is wrong…on the whole, charter schools don’t do better than district schools. But then, Mr. Carson seems to have a penchant for rejecting facts since he also doesn’t believe in evolution. As a Seventh-day Adventist, he espouses the “creationist theory that holds all life on Earth was created by God about 6,000 years ago.” This belief rejects Darwin’s theory of evolution which virtually all of today’s scientists agree is true.

All this is disturbing but still isn’t really at the crux of my dismay about your endorsement of Trump. What really bothers me is the kind of leadership he projects. According to a national survey of educators by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLC), the presidential campaign is producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety, [The Trump Effect], among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom.” In the report, 67 percent of educators reported students in their schools (often immigrants, children of immigrants, Muslims, African-Americans and other students of color), were concerned about what might happen to them or their families after the election. Students are stressed and anxious and it is detrimental to their well-being and learning. SLC reports that dozens of educators reported daily worries from students “being sent back or having their parents sent back.” Many of these students and/or their families are American citizens or are here legally and yet they feel under attack and teachers are having a very hard time responding. A high school teacher in Boston for example, said her students are, “confused as to how a person who has no respect for American ideals can be so popular.”

Of course, it isn’t just the racism that is detrimental to the learning environment, it is also the hateful and mean rhetoric Trump has used. After an anti-bullying assembly, a middle school teacher in Michigan told us that [insults, name-calling, trash talk] isn’t bullying, they’re just ‘telling it like it is.’” Likewise, a high school teacher in Georgia wrote, “Students have become very hostile to opposing points of view, regardless of the topic”, and “any division now elicits anger and personal attacks.”

In your “Kids Can’t Wait Plan”, you discussed the action committees and other steps you’ve taken to help improve educational outcomes for African-American, Native-American and Latino students. Your plan, and willingness to engage these students and their communities left me hopeful. But now, I must ask you how you think these students or their communities can have faith you are truly committed to helping them when you have publicly endorsed a candidate for President who has made it clear he prefers a homogenous (read white) America and, has total disdain for our community district schools?

You gave me one of your challenge coins at our last meeting and told me your challenge to me was to ALWAYS put the kids first. In fact, you shared that you constantly challenge your staff to ask themselves if what they are doing has really “moved the needle” for Arizona’s children? So, I now ask you whether your endorsement of Trump has “moved the needle” for the one million plus Arizonan students in our district schools? I think both of us know the answer to this and it doesn’t start with a “Y.”

33 responses to “Open Letter to Diane Douglas

  1. Update. Evidently Diane Douglas also used her government email and government employees to spread the news of her Trump endorsement: http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/090216_douglas_trump/az-schools-chief-endorses-trump-using-taxpayer-funded-email/

  2. Frances Perkins

    I wish Anti government right wingers would live the very lifestyle they propose, with little or no government. Give up your social security and Medicare. Pay for your own medical bills. Never call the cops or the fire department. Never drive on any paved street or state highway. Everyone knows private roads are better and private armies. Drill your own we’ll always, too. And Linda, I do not agree that charters are public schools. They are privately operated schools receiving public money. Until they answer to the same voters and have the same requirements As real public school districts , they are private.

    • Great point Frances and I think you know from my previous posts that I share your thoughts about charter schools. Important to continue to make that point though!

    • John Huppenthal

      The whole evolution of public education was thoroughly documented by Diane Ravitch in her phenomenal books. Public education evolved out of a New York private corporation which received tax money to run free Lancaster Schools – the original charter schools.

      These schools, which were able to teach students to read in 8 weeks (Ravitch’s research), were run by students teaching students. Some had over a thousand students with only one adult.

      Their concept of grades was based on the ability of students, not age. From the early 1800’s to 1900, our system of district education evolved out of that original charter system.

      The Lancaster system itself was a derivation of an earlier school system called the Monitorial System which started in India in the 1700’s by Andrew Bell at an orphanage. The Monitorial System consisted of students age 4 to 6, tutors aged 6 to 8, assistant teachers age 6 to 8 and teachers age 8 to 11. The typical class size was 8 students but some classes were as large as 80 students.

      After England verified Bell’s claim to having students read and write proficiently by the age of 5 after starting school stone cold at the age of 4, they brought the Monitorial system back to England to begin what we think of as “Public Education”.

      Joseph Lancaster designed his derivative system to compete with Bell’s monitorial system but it had the same underlying principle of students teaching students.

      These schools had 300 to as high as 1400 students running with one adult. Some students as young as 8 led groups of students as large as 80.

      Both the Lancaster and Monitorial schools saturate students with the signal that the brain craves, a signal that causes it to learn at lightspeed : status differentiation. We completely deprive children of color and children from poverty of this critical signal.

      The student entering these systems was highly motivated to become a leader, to become a tutor, an assistant teacher, a teacher and the only way to do that was to become educated quickly. Or, as in the Lancaster system, to improve from one grade level to the next in an ability based system.

      With computers, we can send even more signals to the brain that trigger learning. Unfortunately, all of our current software just duplicates the classical classroom. Highly computerized schools have exactly the academic gains of schools without computers.

      Using the same underlying science of the Lancaster and Monitorial schools last year, I was able to achieve math scale score gains last year 40% higher than the state wide averages. I was able to do this despite getting the students to only do, on average, 10 minutes per day of math.

      Ten minutes may not sound like much but it is 5 times as much as highly at risk students do on average. This was at a school for the homeless. You couldn’t find a tougher group of students to deal with in the state outside of incarceration environments. My students burned through three teachers the year before.

      After spending a summer doing redesign of the system, I am now getting similarly at risk students to do 52 minutes of math per day, 5 times the volume of last year’s students and 25 times as much as typical highly at risk students.

      I have been thinking about the science of motivation every day for 30 years. By comparison, the state board of education recently encountered a requirement that they measure motivation. They consigned it to the useless obligations file. They were completely puzzled by it.

      To a degree that people will find astonishing, we will look at back at this era as the deep dark ages of education. All of our Title One schools averaged about 20 scale points gain on the AzMerit.

      In the future, we will create education environments that move these students over 100 points per year, 5 times as fast as we move them now.

      My fourth grade students read an average of 20 words per minute whereas anyone coming to this blog likely reads 500 words or more. It is painfully difficult for them to understand the sentences in a math problem. Plus, they all need their fingers to add 5+4. They came into my class with an average AzMerit score 44 points below the Arizona average math score 64 points below the national average, and 74 points behind the national caucasian score (ohh, i said that word, i must be a racist).

      Nationwide, the ethnic achievement gap (NAEP scale not AzMerit scale) of 20 points and 25 points (Hispanics and Blacks) at fourth grade in 2011 increased to 22 points and 31 points at 8th grade in 2015. Untold billions have been spent to reduce this gap to no avail, making our national creed of all people being created equal a canard.

      In my second year as a starting teacher I have been able to redesign the classical classroom to one which will reverse the ethnic achievement gap in one year. Its clear that what I am doing is working beyond my wildest dreams.

      Creating a system to both motivate them to and to be able to do over 50 minutes of math a day forces you to rethink everything. Up until last year, these ideas were just theories in my mind with some limited tests when I was Superintendent. In one test, we got a classroom of poverty students to do 38,000 math problems in one day.

      Now these ideas are an actual functioning system saving children’s lives and rescuing them from a lesser future.

      And, its not just teaching them mathematics, it is teaching them how to work by creating work enjoyment.

      • Boy, are you in trouble, John. You are challenging the status quo and threatening the education industry with what they fear most: fresh and potentially better ideas. Especially since new ideas might make it clear how truly incompetent some of our teachers are. In fact, I would bet that at least 15% of the current teachers couldn’t understand a word of what you wrote here.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          No, he’s in trouble for leading with Diane Ravitch:

          From her Wikipedia page:

          Ravitch renounced her earlier support for testing and choice in 2010, in a best-selling book. She critiqued the punitive uses of accountability to fire teachers and close schools, as well as replacing public schools with charter schools and relying on superstar teachers, in The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Undermine Education (2010). In the book Ravitch sharply broke with policies she had formerly espoused”

          She’s now a leading critic for everything Falcon9 stands for.

          • You are so right FSNT. Diane admits her mistake and is fighting hard with her Network for Public Education to end the high-stakes testing and one-size fits all teaching to the test.

          • John Huppenthal

            i suggest that Diane read her own books, which she has not renounced. They are still selling.

            And, for the record, I agree with many of her criticisms. The Gates and Broad foundations have had a horrible effect on education.

            Race to the top and federally driven standards had a terrible impact on education. From 2011 to 2015 math scores went down for the first time ever. Reading scores did not improve.

            However, Arizona, thanks to school choice and different leadership, had the highest combined math and reading gains in the nation. (2011 NAEP 4th grade to 2015 8th grade).

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Ravitch has renounced her early work. She’s the loudest most vocal opponent of the policies you support.

            But by all means, keep posting her name on the web, which drives traffic to her website, where people can read all about what poor cherry picking skills you have.

            https://dianeravitch.net

            Now, don’t you have a wikipedia page to polish up, or are you working on new sway-do-nyms.?

  3. Ignore the Republican trolls, Linda, you wrote a great letter.

  4. Children are not dumb little self-involved consumers; part of their development is keenly and avidly observing what’s happening in the broader society. It all affects them – including politics; little ears are like sponges. With the media covering the election so closely, one would have to hide under a rock not to be aware of the major themes of the election, the statements of candidates, and the public reactions to them. Don’t kid yourself, Trump’s racism, insults, and divisive rhetoric have a profound effect on the nation’s children and their view of acceptable behavior. Fortunately, most kids see and hear Trump and conclude that he’s a doody-head; but some will not, and that’s a tragedy. We don’t need a new generation of bigoted, sexist, sociopathic con men.

    I’m also disgusted by the denigration of the idea of “good government” as not being the solution for any problems, and in fact “the problem” itself. You are stupidly claiming not only that complex problems have but one cause, but that trying to remedy problems is itself the one and only cause of all the problems our society faces. It’s like saying “good engine” mechanics are not the solution for a car that won’t start, and, moreover, that the tinkering of the “good engine” mechanic is the only thing wrong with the car. Such anti-elitist, anti-intellectual non-sense is typical of the authoritarian mindset, which denies that complex problems require careful study and complex organizational solutions. Perhaps you believe that the answers to our most intractable social problems are to be found in the “gut instincts” and “common sense” of a bold leader who can cut through all this consultative democratic bullshit and enforce the “obvious” solution? Not only is that wishful thinking, it is literally the basis of nearly every societal misstep and tragedy in human history. The tremendous progress we have made in the past several centuries has been purely the result of the rational and cooperative efforts of the best and brightest “good government” types.

    In brief, and in terms that perhaps you will understand and respect given your adoration of Mr. Trump: Steve and Cap, you ignorant sluts, you must be brain damaged to disagree with me. You don’t like what’s said here, maybe you should find another blog where you are more comfortable. My loyal mob will now punch you in your stupid faces as they escort you from the building. Just kidding. I was being sarcastic.

    If you couldn’t even tell I was just kidding, then you’re retarded. Just kidding. I wasn’t serious… except I was a little. Just kidding… Not.

    Now, show the last part of this comment to your kids and tell them that this is normal and laudable political discourse, you stupid shits. Just kidding. Except not.

    • I don’t think I have read much of what you have written in the past, MB, but based on this one posting, you seem very confused. Not sure if you are joking, not sure if you are sarcastic, and strangest of all, since you addressed your missive to AZ Blue Meanie, not even sure who you are talking to. Your long reach to Saturday Night Live skits of years ago was amusing, but you failed on the follow through.

      ”Children are not dumb little self-involved consumers…”

      Partially correct, but wrong on the important part. Children are generally not dumb, but they are totally self-involved, especially during the early years. That is part of the civilizing process we put them through in the process of raising them to adulthood. They have to learn that there are other people and things in life that they have to learn to respect on their way to adulthood. And I believe I was VERY clear that what they do absorb about politics (including the worry about elections) is a direct reflection of the adult influence on them. Left to their own devices, they couldn’t care less. But when teachers and parents constantly harp on them that they should be afraid…guess what?…they learn to be afraid. When those little “sponges” absorb the negativity of the adults around them, it is a learned behavior, not their natural thought process.

      ”The tremendous progress we have made in the past several centuries has been purely the result of the rational and cooperative efforts of the best and brightest “good government” types.”

      BS!!! Spoken like a brain washed, big government lover. Government has important functions, usually major projects that require focusing of enormous collective energy to accomplish a task. Interactions with other governments, large infrastructure projects, waging wars, the Louisiana, Alaska and Gadsden Purchases, etc. But most progress (social, scientific and industrial) has been the result of individual or organizational effort. In nearly all cases the government is a late comer to real progress and often serves only to curtail or tax real progress. As far as “good government” is concerned, it all too often turns into “corrupt government”, at all levels. Government is like fire…it is a dangerous servant that can be useful, but it also can be destructive.

      ”You don’t like what’s said here, maybe you should find another blog where you are more comfortable.”

      Based on this one message, I suspect you are far more uncomfortable with contrary opinions than I am. Don’t take that wrong, it is just a fact that some people don’t know how to react when confronted with a divergent opinion. I enjoy this site because people who post here do think differently than I do. Sometimes they are persuasive. Most times they are not. But the great majority of the posters here are intelligent, thoughtful representatives of their positions on the issues. Unfortunately, a few are just idiots. Given the belligerent, vulgar and “over the top” tone of your message, I don’t know where to place you on that spectrum. Again, don’t fret about it…my opinion is just my opinion, nothing else. You will live regardless of what I think. I’m comfortable with that.

      • Have to disagree with you Steve, on your contention that Government hasn’t led most social, scientific and industrial progress. On the social side, the military (I’m guessing it is the most expensive government entity we have) has led social progress at every turn. Its integration of blacks, women and gays led to more equal rights for those cohorts. The military is credited with developing the following innovations: ultrasound, the Internet, nuclear power, supersonic aircraft, aircraft tracking radar, night vision, walkie talkies, duct tape, digital photography, and satellite navigation just to name a few. As for industrial progress, ever hear of the military-industrial complex? Truth is, the military can effect change an innovation much faster than society at large because it doesn’t really have to gain concensus. When a commander orders troops to “charge the hill” he/she isn’t looking for those troops to “buy-in”, just tp get it done. This same concept helps propel progress as well.

        • I will agree with you completely, Linda, that the military has contributed a great deal of solid progress to our society over the years. However, as you state, it has done so in a non-traditional manner for government because it is an autocratic version of government. That is not how government normally functions, yet that is how most progress occurs…through a focused and directed effort. That is why the military, and individuals and affiliated organizations do so well at introducing progress.

          In any event, I really enjoyed your letter. It was a stimulating missive that was very well written. As usual.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            “But most progress (social, scientific and industrial) “….

            Steve, you know that most science is funded with government grants. The government funded the research that made this website possible, and gave me a great career in tech for the last 20 years.

            Yeah, we’re having this online conversation thanks to Al Gore, like it or not.

            Enjoy a nice baseball game this holiday weekend on your satellite TV, and remember who figured out how to get all those satellites up in space.

            Next time you go to the doctor thank Big Government for funding research into medicine.

            Arizona wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Big Government, we’ve always been heavily funded by the Federal government. And where do you think the actual land came from? Arizona is not one of the 13 original colonies.

            The US government made Arizona.

            And you know that those 10000 pages of tax law are mostly written to underwrite and subsidize business. There are some industries that wouldn’t exist without the federal government taking from the middle class and giving to some corporation.

            Want a real fun fact? Most Red States get back more than they give to the Big Government and Blue States like California and New York get back pennies. Half my very conservative family lives in Idaho, where the give a dollar and get back a buck twenty.

            In other words, big government liberals are subsidizing anti-government conservatives on a massive scale.

            And I am not a brainwashed big government guy, I’m a recovering Libertarian who has been paying attention to what works and what doesn’t for a long time now, and while I don’t think government is always the answer, it’s an answer a lot of the time.

            Government is what we all do together, it’s not the enemy.

          • Since the 1950s, Not Tom, you are correct. A lot of government funding has gone into scientific research. Prior to the 1950s, however, that was not the case. Since the original assertion was that government brought forth all progress for the last 300 years, I took – and still take – exception.

            “Arizona wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Big Government…”

            I specified the Gadsden Purchase as one of the Government’s early accomplishments/progress. I gave credit where it was due.

            “Most Red States get back more than they give to the Big Government…”

            Be serious, Not Tom. You can not possibly be equating simple transfers of wealth with “progress”, can you? Very little progress is made simply by transferring wealth from one place to another. People may like it, but progress it isn’t.

            “Next time you go to the doctor thank Big Government for funding research into medicine.”

            I think you might be giving the government more credit than it is due. Granted, some progress is made on the government dime, or by government directly, but I believe much more progress is made in the private sector. Now that is just my opinion and is based on anecdotal evidence, but I believe it is true.

            In any event, I agree with your basic premise only in the sense that such is the case in these later years. Government has had a bigger hand in making progress in science and technology more in recent times than in the past.

          • Great comments FSNT! Thanks for weighing in!

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Hey Steve, always thoughtful. I’m specifically replying to your Big Government brainwashing statement.

        I’m tired of the easily disprovable rallying cry from the right that the government can do nothing right and ruins everything.

        I’m not equating wealth transfer from Democratic states to Republican states with progress, I’m pointing out that the federal government is supporting the people who whine the most about the federal government.

        You may believe that private companies put a lot of money into R&D, you can believe whatever you want, but most research done in the US is done on campus, including research into pharmaceuticals, a group who always claims R&D costs drive drug prices. Some of them don’t have any R&D.

        Half the companies in Silicon Valley (where I lived for 30 years) were started by kids who attended college on government grants and started their companies with SBA loans.

        Those tech jobs are high paying gigs, 6 figures and up, plus stock options.

        Thanks Government!

        I don’t want my government to be any bigger than is absolutely needed, but I don’t want it to be any smaller than is needed, either, and investing into research, education, and infrastructure should be no-brainer stuff if it wasn’t for the folks brainlessly parroting Reagan that government is the problem.

        • I will admit I went over the top with my “big government brainwashing” statement. The fact is I believe governments play an important role in life and we need them. I am not “anti-government” as much as I am “limited government”. I don’t believe government has all the answers but I do believe it is necessary for civilization to exist. That is where the great ideological battles take place…how much government is the correct amount of government?

      • ”You don’t like what’s said here, maybe you should find another blog where you are more comfortable.”

        Clearly, you are irony impaired. Thais statement is a parody of Trump’s statement about Colin Kaepernick’s protest against the Star Spangled Banner, in which he said,​ “Maybe he should find a country that works better for him.” Personally, I enjoy having people around to disagree with…

    • Thanks for the read and your comments Michael. Love your wit.

  5. I keep hearing and reading that “children” are very concerned about this election and how the election of Trump is going to affect them. I have to question that. Children really don’t care about politics or elections at all. They are concerned about being children. What I think this brouhaha is about is two things:

    (1) Adults projecting their own concerns onto the children. I don’t think it is a concious thing, but I believe these adults are so worried about a Trump presidency that they can only imagine everyone else is as well, including children. And/or,

    (2) Adults being so concerned about a Trump presidency that they talk about it constantly and are infecting the children with their fears. It would not be hard to do if a parent or other significant adult constantly talked about Trump as being the end of the world and children were constantly exposed to these fears.

    Left to their own devices, children worry about school work, friends, video games, childhood gossip, too early bedtimes, pets, etc., not politics and elections. If your child is afraid about the next election, perhaps you should look in the mirror to see the source of those fears.

    • Sorry Steve, but I don’t agree. When a presidential candidate says “They can go fuck themselves” or “You’re not going to raise that fucking price” and tells his supporters to “Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell – I promise you, I will pay the legal fees” it legitimizes that type of behavior. Kids are sponges and they pick up much more than we realize.

  6. “Students have become very hostile to opposing points of view, regardless of the topic”, and “any division now elicits anger and personal attacks.”

    This didn’t start with Trump. It has been the law of the land in our bastions of liberalism, the colleges and universities, for years. So much so that rules and regulations have been written that ban opposing points of view being introduced and students being expelled for trying to do so. Speakers are blacklisted if they do not espouse views comforting to the liberals sensitivities of the student body. Just last week, Rutgers University stated that students should not talk because there is a chance they might offend someone.

    Trump has enough legitimate issues to complain about without blaming him for a decidedly liberal phenomenon.

    • Hi Steve. Funny you should hone in on this point because while I was writing it, I considered that someone might jump on that perspective. Left it in though because of the reference to “anger and personal attacks.” I think that can be tied to Trump because of his hateful rhetoric and legitimizing of bullying.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      As opposed to any Tea Party rally, where they celebrate open minds and political disagreement.

      I’ve seen otherwise grown men get red faced, veins bulging on their foreheads, pitching tantrums like two year olds at the mere mention of Obama. I’ve seen middle aged ladies, moms and grandmoms, screaming at the tops of their lungs that there’s a muslim in the white house.

      The Trump supporters take all that to another level.

      And read more than two or three comments deep on The Blaze or any other right wing website and you’ll see the 2A folks bragging about how they’re ready to take their country back.

      Intolerance is a problem that is not isolated to any particular venue or group of people.

      Sometimes you can be reasonable Mr. Steve, but you are not the rule, and
      I think we’re all crazy these days.

      • Just out of curiosity, Not Tom, which do you think has the greater impact on our Nation: The vein bulging, loud yelling idiots screaming at one another at a political rally, or the heavily enforced rules and regulations against opposing ideas, thoughts and discussions at our Universities and Colleges? Which reaches deepest into our society?

        • For Sure Not Tom

          As a practical matter, do I think the bigger danger to my country is some whiny college kids, or the angry irrational old white people?

          Since the college kids don’t usually vote but the crazy people do, so I’m going to go with the crazy people.

          They’re the ones who made a racist reality show con-man the leader of your party. It’s taken since at least 2009 for the full force of the crazy to reach the top, but here we are.

          Steve, buddy, I apologize in advance, but for the next few months at least, the answer to most of your questions is going to be Trump or Trump adjacent.

          • “…the answer to most of your questions is going to be Trump or Trump adjacent.”

            I understand that, Not Tom. Trump poses a serious threat and is worthy of copious derision. I have gotten kinda’ tired of talking about him, but others need to continue. The problem I have is I hold an equally low opinion of Clinton. I will vote, but I don’t know what I am going to do.

            “As a practical matter, do I think the bigger danger to my country is some whiny college kids, or the angry irrational old white people?”

            Short term, I can see your point. Long term, however, I am more afraid of College and University graduates who are incapable of confronting contrary points of view. It is a softening of their intellectual toughness and their ability to deal with real life. And it is just plain sad that Universities and Colleges have become places where, rather than stimulating debate and free thought, they stullify and coddle the prejudices and biases of immature and only partially developed minds.

            I was very happy to hear that the University of Chicago recently announced that it has scrapped it’s rules and regulations blocking contrary opinion and has eliminated it’s “protected zones” where students could go to be protected from any sort of contrary thought. Basically, the press release stated that if a student was not prepared to face rigorous challenges to their beliefs and opinions, they should go elsewhere. Good for them!

  7. captain*arizona

    good government liberals are the problem not the solution to the problem. of course she endorsed trump. as for military thinking its history is checkered at best.

    • Hi Capt A. Not sure I understand your comment. 1. Guess I’m one of those good government liberals…served 22 years in the Air Force. 2. I’m not surprised she is voting for Trump, but am dismayed she publicly endorsed him. Don’t see what’s in it for her or her department’s mission unless maybe she got pressure from AZ GOP? 3. Guess I had a special experience during my career in the military. Lots of great people focused on the mission; not so much on themselves.