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Jewish World Review /Feb. 12, 1999 /26 Shevat, 5759

Don Feder

Don Feder Educating the democratic voters of tomorrow

(JWR) --- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com) PUBLIC EDUCATION HAS PLAYED A VITAL ROLE in Clinton's otherwise inexplicable approval ratings.

The current administration needs citizens who are oblivious to history and incapable of coherent thought --- sheep to be led in pastures of the welfare state.

The public schools have provided this commodity in abundance. I have in my possession essays from budding scholars in an advanced placement high-school government class. The letters, a class assignment, were written in response to one of my columns on the impeachment trial.

The punctuation, spelling and sentence structure are uniformly atrocious. Their reasoning is a wonder to behold. Students' names have been changed to protect the ignorant.

Apparently, none of my correspondents has heard of the quaint custom of grouping ideas together in paragraphs. Their letters are all a solid mass of words. In some instances, sentences run on for what otherwise would be paragraphs.

Timothy begins: "You know some people may think of Clinton as a pig, a cheat or alier (sic), but you can't say he isn't a strong person. Every (sic) since this impeachment and perjury and sex scandal stuff started, people have tried to put Clinton down, like you."

(He means, people like me have tried to put Clinton down.)

"But it seems that the president doesn't pay these people no mind."

Anyway, people like me "should be banded." Has he misspelled "banned," or does he mean "banded" like a waterfowl?

Arthur admits: "Bill Clinton should be removed from office. But the idea of Hillary taking over has to be the best thing the Clinton's (sic) can do."

You didn't know that the Constitution provides for the first lady to assume the presidency in case of the president's incapacity or removal from office? The first enabler is also in Wayne's thoughts. "As many say President Clinton's 'back-bone' (sic) is Hillary who has served her position in office."


"I believe that a woman president or supreme advisor is what this world needs. And whom better than Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton." (No question mark.) Who indeed?

Dwayne remarks that, "The facts will always remain." (Profound.) Moreover, "We are all human so we are entitled to the inferiority of not being perfect."

T.J. declares, "The information you sent out in your article is lots of Bad Science." Astrology? Alchemy? Physiognomy?

Ralph charges, "Your (sic) looking at this issue one sided (sic), the way you see it and only that way." A columnist who views an issue from his own perspective? How curious.

"It's people like you not Clinton that give columnist (sic) and people a bad name," Ralph reminds me. On the other hand, Clinton gives president a bad name. So there!

Norman, who agrees with my one-sided perspective, expresses the fervent hope that "the Senate eats him (Clinton) alive and boots him out of office."

After the president has been thoroughly digested? Mix metaphors well. Michael puts the matter in its proper perspective. "I think people are just hoping that this mess will end so they can get back to letting the government run their lives."

Damn those Republicans, distracting government from its vital work of running our lives!

The point isn't to make fun of victims of educational malpractice. No one expects teen-agers to write with the felicity of expression of award-winning essayists. But these youngsters sound like a bad parody of dead-end kids. I spoke to their teacher, a pleasant enough gentleman. As if in explanation, he disclosed that his school is 90 percent black and Hispanic.

That makes it worse. As education has always been the path of upward mobility, these students are being trained for failure. (Middle-class parents should avoid complacency. Suburban high schools are only marginally better.)

Is it too much to expect someone to teach the citizens of tomorrow the rudiments of grammar, spelling and sentence structure (not to mention the elements of logic and how to analyze an argument)?

If I had turned in such an assignment in third grade, I would have been strung up by my thumbs and beaten severely with metal rods. Now you know why Clinton is such a fan of public education, so committed to the cause that he'll veto opportunity scholarships for minority students and fight against tax reform that would make educational choice more affordable for the middle class.

It's not just that teachers' unions have a first mortgage on his soul for political services rendered. He and his party rely on government schools to crank out the Democratic voters of tomorrow.


2/10/99: First Amendment doesn't apply to pro-life cause
2/08/99: Dems' triumph over Constitution complete
2/03/99: Blood of victims will drown out breakfast prayers
2/01/99: Without a home the heart knows no rest
1/29/99: Poster boy for term-limits
1/27/99: The 'so-what' defense in the City of Saints
1/25/99: Whose choice?
1/21/99: Censure worse than nothing
1/18/99: Words can`t dignify a dishonored presidency
1/13/99: Conservatism "with a heart" is conservatism without a head
1/11/99: If he isn't removed, watch out for Bill!
1/07/99: We can learn a lot from Teddy
1/05/99: Monica and a call to modesty
12/30/98: Will Bubba get away with it again?
12/28/98: Zionist dream alive and well on West Bank
12/18/98: Impeach or abandon the Rule of Law
12/16/98: Clinton moves Middle East closer to war
12/14/98: Why we lost interest in the homeless
12/10/98: No place at table for conservatives
12/07/98: The day America lost its innocence
12/02/98: Pilgrims Pilloried in streets of Plymouth
11/30/98: Caribbean dogpatch not a good candidate for statehood
11/25/98: Will Vermont force gay marriage on the nation?
11/23/98: The ACLU wants your kids to get a love life
11/18/98: Why liberals hate tobacco and guns more than drugs and crime
11/16/98: "Pleasantville" a countercultural morality play
11/13/98: Ads are a tough sell for abortion
11/09/98: Why gutless Republicans lost
11/06/98: Historians against the Constitution
11/02/98: Loving response to a hateful conference
10/28/98: Professor Death will fit right in at Princeton
10/26/98: Plymouth caves to Pilgrim foes
10/21/98: On '98 election, keep a critical eye on polls
10/19/98: Clinton could yet be 'prosperity president'
10/16/98: Working families -- Dems love 'em (stuffed)
10/09/98: Majoring in 'weirdness'
10/07/98: Friends of Billy Clinton
9/29/98: Letter from ex-soldier highlights defense peril
9/28/98: Answering arguments against impeachment
9/18/98: The nation that doesn't exist
9/14/98: Bubba isn't the only one who should be ashamed
9/11/98: Resolution of Clinton crisis will define national character
9/09/98: We're still just wild about Harry
9/07/98: Mexican banditry didn't end with Pancho Villa
9/02/98: Clinton forgives us!
8/31/98: Ashcroft's plain talking touches responsive chord
8/26/98: Public opinion be damned
8/24/98: Why liberals condone Clinton's lies
8/20/98: Time to move on -- to impeachment
8/12/98: With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone
8/10/98: The truth won't set Clinton free
8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
7/22/98: Love in an Internet fishbowl
7/20/98: Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet
7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1998, Boston Herald; distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.