Wednesday, 1 June 2016

That's on you, Jason Kenney

Jason Kenney.

You are a fool.

I could call you a fool for any number of reasons, but for today I will focus on your asinine comment that young adults do not vote for the Conservative Party of Canada because they are "hard wired " to accept "collectivist" ideas from an early age by their teachers.
"I think it's the first generation to come through a schooling system where many of them have been hard-wired with collectivist ideas, with watching Michael Moore documentaries, with identity politics from their primary and secondary schools to universities. That's kind of a cultural challenge for any conservative party, any party of the centre-right, and we've got to figure out how to break that nut."
Let's just set aside, for a moment, your misunderstanding of the term "hard-wired"which refers to tendencies people are born with and not ideas they learned in school.

Let's ignore your absurd assumption that all teachers espouse a left wing ideological perspective. Canada's teachers have wide ranging views on political and economic systems.

Let's forget all about the fact that 67% of the people in your Alberta riding voted Conservative while 70% of Rachel Notley's constituents voted NDP. These were all Alberta voters who have gone through the Alberta school system with the identical curriculum K-12.

Let's overlook the ludicrous notion that the school system has the ability to control students' actions.

Let's set aside your apparent or perhaps deliberate attempt to equate collectivism-a political and economic ideology based on state ownership of the means of production-and the actual views held by today's young people which are in fact mostly liberal or progressive.

Let's instead look at what teachers actually teach in today's schools in Canada.

Respect for diversity
Compassion for the human condition
Understanding of multiple perspectives
Social justice
Equal treatment for all

If I had the power to imbue every one of my students with the items on the list above, I would retire happy. Unfortunately, that is not how education works. Ideological beliefs come from a complex set of factors. Students are not "hard-wired" to accept any belief system. Deeply held values are taught by parents at an early age. They come from families and communities and religious faith and spirituality. They are influenced by one's employment and financial status. They come from lived experience and worldviews and relationship to the land. They come from the media and popular culture. They come from a critical analysis of the world. I could show a student a Michael Moore movie every day and it would not influence the way he will vote when he turns 18.

You know what? I'm sick and tired of being blamed for society's ills because I'm a teacher. And I can't and won't take credit for how young people vote.

If people don't vote for your party, that's on you.