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Blog: Support Public Education - Vote Democratic

If the education platform of the Republican Party of Iowa were implemented, most Iowans would find its call for political indoctrination in public schools repugnant. The antidote? Vote Democratic.

It is no surprise that the Republican Party of Iowa supports political indoctrination of school children. What is surprising is how far they go to assert their point of view. They want a free market education where public schools teach in a way consistent with their political viewpoint. That idea runs contrary to Iowa values.

Republicans demand, “…that education be returned to a purely free market system.” This begs the question of whether education is a service, like hiring an accountant, having a septic tank cleaned out or getting a car wash, and whether it is subject to market influences.

Where I live, people who graduated from a one room school house continue to live in the community and talk about their experiences. One of the challenges of Iowa’s educational system is we haven’t moved far enough out of the one room school house framework where the choice was to stay on the farm or go to school. Yet this is the free market system to which Republicans want to return. They would go backwards on education by liberating home schools from government interference with their perceived liberties, and enabling children of school age to stay home and receive their education from parents without regulation.

They want what is described as government, private, alternate and home schooling options on the table, and on a level playing field, presumably competing for students. At the same time, they seek a system of school vouchers in which public education funds would be diverted to non-government educational systems. These ideas may be popular among a subset of Republicans but they stand in stark contrast with Iowa’s long history of education, and are discriminatory against mainstream views.

Republicans have a specific political agenda for schools that asserts personal liberty over what normally is considered the primary purpose of education, preparing children to live in society. What they appear to want is a reversion to tribal society, where the family patriarchs and matriarchs dominate the culture and the main focus of family life is having children, raising them and socializing with neighbors and relatives. Iowans can and should be tolerant of minority views.

At the same time, the notion of such blatant political indoctrination in public schools, as is reflected in the Republican Party of Iowa platform, is repugnant. It reflects a misunderstanding of culture in society that only a sound education can cure. With this view toward education, Republicans demonstrate they are only concerned about “what’s in it for me” and not what is better for society.

What is the antidote? Vote Democratic on Nov. 6.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Greg Tagtow June 15, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Theresa, Paul Deaton is a political activist from Solon who is currently working as a campaign manager for a Democrat candidate for Iowa House district 73. I feel that the "Local Voices" section should be better linked to the Opinion pages so there is less confusion, especially in the case of this writer.
Paul Deaton June 15, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Thanks all for the comments. I will be posting more about my take on the Rebublican platform during the coming weeks. Hope you will stay tuned.
Jody Gifford June 15, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Thank you all for your comments. Paul Deaton is one of Patch's Local Voices. Like thousands of others across all 867 Patch sites across the country, he blogs about whatever topic he wants. That's a luxury afforded to any reader/user on Patch. I would encourage any of you, whatever your position, platform, interest, hobby, etc., to consider doing the same. It's a great way to create a dialogue with others whether like-minded or not.
Jeff Klinzman June 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I think you pulled your punches here, Paul, but I appreciate your work. For example, Rolling Stone ran an article about a cluster of gay and lesbian teen suicides in Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin district: seemed the district administration confused teachers with its policies regarding the teaching of LGBT issues, which many mocked as the "no homo promo" policy. Fundamentalist christians, a key constituency, have been very active nationwide in trying to forbid public school teachers from even mentioning gay and lesbian orientation in schools, even as part of sex education (when they will permit even that!). The punches you pulled? How harmful education policies which the GOP tacitly endorses have been to many American teens.
Stephen Schmidt June 15, 2012 at 03:38 PM
@Greg We're aware that this can be confusing in the current design, which is why we will often put (BLOG) in the headline by these posts when we feature them at the top of the page. This is also be considered in our site redesign, which should be coming down the pike one of these days. For now, though, if anyone is confused about whether it is produced by us or not just look to see if it is in the Local Voices category, which is where our bloggers post. Thanks.
Kurt B. June 15, 2012 at 09:44 PM
For Jeff: I don't see how you could possibly interpret my comment or Theresa's as hateful to America or freedom. Somehow you are reading stuff into a blog that doesn't even exist and your comments should be withdrawn. My only comment was that I didn't think Patch was supposed to be used as a campaign medium.
Paul Deaton June 16, 2012 at 10:38 AM
Responses to your comments on Saturday morning. 1. Theresa Dowd's comment, "Is this supposed to be a news feed or an opinion piece?" is one of the most interesting. The reason is that Patch is using the donated work of bloggers like me, and your comments, to supplement their paid articles and staff. Huffington Post is said to have invested $100 million in Patch, so IMO, unless there is content on Patch that stirs interest, readership would decline and it could go the way of other failed attempts at on-line news hubs. 2. Kurt B. wrote, "I didn't think Patch was supposed to be used as a campaign medium." The editor approved my article before it was posted, and that is evidence enough of its appropriateness to appear on Patch. Like my earlier articles on Patch, this one has a specific perspective, and while the the discussion of the Republican platform is overtly political, it is not substantially different from my previous articles about cooking pumpkin, Vance Bourjaily, or the Occupy movement, except for the message "vote Democratic" which is stated in the title and at the end. 3. What I have written in over 3,000 blog posts on Patch and elsewhere over the last 5 years is not part of any campaigning I do or have done. Social media is over-rated as a campaign tool. As a citizen, I have a right to express my opinions as long as I follow the site rules, which I feel I have. 4. I welcome your comments on this and future posts. Each has been interesting. Regards, Paul
Paul Deaton June 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Check out Arianna Huffington's recent post about Patch, Local Voices and its purpose here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/local-voices-hyperlocal-b_b_857782.html
Kurt B. June 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I don't think anyone is taking exception with your right to express your opinion. I support that 100%. I only asked if Patch was supposed to be used as a political medium, which is what it seems your original posting was - in my opinion, and apparently others. And..... just because the editor approved your posting does not make it right. We have numerous examples in history where the "editor" or "boss" approves of something that is not right , or didn't do anything about it when the wrong was uncovered. ( like the Sandusky mess in Penn State ). It simply does not make it right; it just means that particular editor approved it.
David Leonard June 16, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Kurt, if you want to blog on Patch, go ahead and do so, but quit crying about the content of those who take the time to post.
Kurt B. June 16, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Isn't that what a "blog" is ? a web log. No crying going on , David ..... just commenting, like everyone else does on here - you included. Like Paul said, I am entitled to my own opinion.
Thomas June 17, 2012 at 03:37 AM
To Kurt and the rest who disagree with this blogger. Patch is a business with a goal of increasing advertising revenue by demonstrating interest. One such way is to show amount of discussion to controversial articles. If I ran Patch, I would certainly run an extreme left wing blog in Ankeny, knowing the demographics of the residents. It is a great way to start a lot of conversation. The best way to deal with this liberal point of view is to simply ignore it. Money talks.
Kurt B. June 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I will simply re-state what I originally questioned : Is Patch supposed to be used for this type of political campaigning ? - that does not indicate I agree or disagree with Paul ..... just asking a question. I also stated, and I agree, that the right to express one own opinion is extremely important. I think that is almost exactly what the blogger said.
Bill & Mary Claire June 18, 2012 at 04:15 AM
If you don't like the Patch's political content, if you are surprised that the Huffington Post is behind Patch, or maybe if you are surprised that the editor is in Iowa City professing "one foot in the left" side of politics and self-describes himself as non-religious, do what I am about to do and simply unsubscribe to this daily rag. If, however, you do want to be a part of the group pity party for the demise of recent and future failed socialist initiatives in this vastly capitalist and non-liberal nation (oh, sorry, I meant " progressive"), then it is still your right to stay here with the 100 other counter-culture dweebs who will be remaining in a year. Good luck and goodbye. I have no time to waste on this crap.
Stephen Schmidt June 18, 2012 at 05:29 AM
A few comments on the above 1. We list all that information on our profile because it is the policy of Patch to be transparent. I will be transparent with you in these comments. 2. I am only the editor for Iowa City not the editor for all of Patch, so if you object to my existence, please do not take it out on my colleagues who have different beliefs than I do. 3. I also have a Conservative blogger on my site and would love to have more conservative bloggers on my site. 4. Paul Deaton wrote the post on my site and I generally allow my bloggers to choose their own headlines, as I feel it is their content and they should have ownership of it.
Stephen Schmidt June 18, 2012 at 05:29 AM
5. Having bloggers is part of our coverage model, both for financial reasons and because we want people to feel ownership in our sites. 6. Since our beginning, we covered Iowa Caucus and spoke with many Republicans in our communities on a weekly basis trying to get their voices on the site. As we head into the coming election, we will continue talking to both Liberals and Conservatives. 7. We share much of our blog content on several Patches in Iowa, including nonpolitical content, such as dog training tips. 8. The Huffington Post is not behind Patch, we are separate entities, both owned by AOL. We do collaborate from time to time. 9. I am not religious in a traditional sense but respect the beliefs of others. I have a feature on my site where I talk to local religious leaders about the value of religion in modern life. Thanks.
Stephen Schmidt June 18, 2012 at 05:40 AM
To answer your question Kurt: Yes, we want political bloggers on our site, and it is unavoidable that it will be used as a platform for campaigning by interested parties, by private individuals who want to express their own perspective (such as Mr. Deaton), and, we hope, by the candidates themselves, such as a conservative candidate for state senate in Marion who is blogging on Marion Patch. It is also an open platform with few exceptions, meaning that we want voices from all sides of the political spectrum, all you have to do is start. To you and any other conservative readers, we honestly do encourage you to join in. I know some of you may not believe that, but that's the honest truth. We also of course will continue to cover things besides politics, but there will be political coverage on these sites both from the reporters and from the bloggers. The goal is to develop a dialogue where people can be informed while also being able to discuss the issues of importance with their neighbors. Thanks, let me know if you have any other questions.
Jeff Klinzman June 18, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Too bad if you disliked my facetious comment, Kurt. Methinks you protest too much since you seem to be objecting to Paul Deaton making his point about supporting public education by voting Democratic. I don't see how any reasonable person would NOT know what to expect from Paul, given the inclusion of his piece in a section called "Local Voices," and his choice of headline. I have no problem with Paul using this space to promote his campaign and his perspective. I inferred from your post that you found Paul's work both inappropriate and objectionable, both contentions which I find baseless.
Jeff Klinzman June 18, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Good grief, Kurt, Paul wrote an opinion piece, and there is no reasonable basis for you to object to Paul's writing this or Patch's approving it for publication. You trivialize the crimes Sandusky is accused of by likening the Patch's use of its editorial power to a man raping little boys. Be very ashamed of your post, Kurt.
Jeff Klinzman June 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM
To Bill and Mary: Too bad you have chosen to not read an online journal which contains content that deviates from your politically correct view of the world. As you leave, please remember to not let the door hit ya' where evolution split ya'.
Kurt B. June 18, 2012 at 02:03 PM
@Jeff - I'm not ashamed of my post at all. As I originally stated, I was just curious as to whether Patch was supposed to be used for political campaigning. All of these posts, like most blogs, tend to go in umpteen directions and lose most of their original intent.
Jeff Klinzman June 18, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Kurt, you were the one who likened an editorial decision you think could be "wrong" to Jerry Sandusky allegedly raping little boys, and Joe Paterno's inaction. Let's look at GOP educational policies. "Abstinence only" sex education harms teens by denying them the information they need, especially education about and access to contraceptives. "No child left behind" has harmed students by encouraging many teachers to "teach the test." If you tie teacher compensation to student performance on standardized tests, then of course those teachers, exercising the kind of rational self-interest conservatives love in Adam Smith, will make sure their kids are ready for the test. Finally, mandating the teaching of "intelligent design" in science classes presents a distorted view of what "science" is, and harms kids by making them ignorant of how science works in the real world. But, you don't want to hear opinions which fail to conform to your own...
Kurt B. June 18, 2012 at 05:28 PM
@Jeff - not quite right. What Paul had said was his blog was ok since it was approved by his boss ( editor, he said ). What I am saying is that does not make it right. His boss ( editor ) could have "rubber stamped" it, or as many bosses do ..... they don't really have time to look into it, so it is ok by them. The Penn St thing was shown as an example of where some people knew about something and didn't do anything about it. Period. End of blog.
Tonto June 18, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Listen to the left - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrk1R5jUKtA
Jeff Klinzman June 18, 2012 at 06:18 PM
What's interesting, Kurt, is that neither you nor Theresa Dowd objected to Randi Shannon using the Patch as a campaign forum, even as she was explicitly identified as a political candidate. Why did you initially object to Paul using this forum for his political campaign, but were utterly silent about Randi Shannon when she did the same? http://iowacity.patch.com/blog_posts/marriage-licenses-are-only-for-generating-revenue
Kurt B. June 18, 2012 at 07:03 PM
@ Jeff - I guess it is because I don't spend quite as much time on here as you do. I don't recall Randi's blog ( Iowa City Patch ? ). Besides, when someone posts a blog, I am not going back into the archives to see if there are similar blogs to that one. Just type something in and move on. I see Paul is with the Iowa City Patch, which I am not sure how I got connected with that one. That might explain some of the extraneous comments on these blogs. They are coming from Iowa City, Waukee, etc.
Tonto June 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Extraneous - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DlTgrMCxPg
maxine weimer October 04, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Well I all want to say is Gov. Romney blew Obama out of the park last night. Too bad someone couldn't wipe that smug look off Obama face for him. That would have been a perfect night! Go Romney Go!!
maxine weimer October 04, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Vote Republican....at least we can have options to choose from and not have to take what the dictators says we do.
Paul Deaton October 04, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Maxine: Thanks for posting a comment on this post from last June. I thought you lived in Marion, not in a dictatorship such as Zimbabwe or Nicaragua. In any case, I defended your right to say whatever the Patch editors will allow during my military service, so please do continue reading and speaking out. It takes many voices to have a vibrant and sustainable republic. Thanks for adding yours. Thanks for reading and commenting. Regards, Paul

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