Some, if not all, of the original thirteen may have had some claim to state’s rights in that as individual and separate colonies they had known some autonomy. None of the states admitted later, with the possible exception of Texas, had claim to such rights. Any legitimate claim by Texas, or any of the thirteen original, was abrogated with their secession from the Union during the Civil War.
So many of our current ills are attributable to this original sin of according significant rights to the individual states. This autonomy allowed for legitimatizing slavery, and later, the implementation of Jim Crow Laws. This autonomy allows for gerrymandering. Allowed segregation to persist and persist.
Unfortunately, our system of public schools is much modeled on the states’ rights model. State Legislatures hold sway over the context of textbooks for schools within the state. Larger states are able to exert influence on a regional and national level. Local school boards can and do influence the curriculum within their district.
If this state and local influence was exercised with best thinking, the best of intentions, this wouldn’t be all bad.
In almost all, if not all, of the ‘red’ states, climate change is either not taught as a fact or is taught as a subject of debate. There is no debate. Climate change is real; and, it is much a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels. This means that upward to one-half the public schools students in America are either being taught a lie or denied the truth. Which makes it too, too, difficult for the nation to effectively deal with the issue of climate change.
These, in the main, same ‘red’ states teach their students that evolution is debatable. Evolution is not debatable, it is the cornerstone of modern biology. It is the scriptures that are debatable, that are refutable.
For nearly one hundred years, many of these ‘red’ states taught their school children that the south’s was a noble cause, that slavery wasn’t really all that bad, that the Civil War was about states’ rights. Leaving the nation with a hundred-year legacy of Jim Crow Laws and segregation.
Currently, the nation is locked in a suicidal partisan battle where Mitch McConnell a very powerful senator from a small red state says that winning is all that matters.
This current partisanship is much the legacy of states’ rights and our decentralized education system. School children who grew up in ‘red’ states are given a false set of facts, taught to believe things that simply aren’t true.
Today, 11/23/2021, in the Washington Post, Professor Robert Mann of Louisiana State University responds with satire and humor to Louisiana Senator John Kennedy’s treatment of Professor Saule Omarova, Cornell, during her confirmation hearing for Comptroller of Currency. It isn’t really funny. Senator Kennedy is knowingly pandering to the ignorance of his ‘red’ state constituents. Their ignorance by design is being enabled by states’ rights and America’s decentralized education system.
Senator Kennedy has lots of company. Almost daily we see Reps. Louis Gohmert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Billy Long, …, doing the same pandering. Often we see Senators Barrasso, Cornyn, McConnell, Shelby, … take a hand at this pandering. None other than Ronald Reagan pandered to this same ignorance.
They couldn’t do it but for the ability of their states’ legislatures to control what is being taught in the states’ public schools. Propagating lies.
America is in peril. Much of the cause for this peril can be traced back to the original sin of states’ rights. A more proximate cause is today’s Republican Party. It is as if they have set course to destroy America. They were granted the power to pose this threat in large part by states’ rights and a decentralized education system.
For the sake of the Nation, for the sake of us all, there needs to be enforceable standards against the teaching of lies to our children.
Title 20 US Code § 1232a – Prohibition against Federal control of education
Fred, do you have anything on the background of Title 20 US Code § 1232a?
I would say this is one of those 10th Amendment matters
that is left to the states. Local boards of education determine
local public education curricula, under the general supervision
of state guv’mint. That’s how it was when I was a school board
member a couple of decades back.
I got in a google loop trying to find the author, sponsors, etc. How did Title 20 1232a come to pass?
US Code – TITLE 20 – EDUCATION
Prevention of federal intrusion into education
Deseret News – February 2006
(in an op-ed about federal ‘intrusion’ into education,
through ‘a new type of Pell Grant’.)
Simply doing the google on ‘Title 20 US Code § 1232a’ is highly productive.
If the Federal Government can not do much about state legislatively mandated education in public schools, it can do something about states making it harder to vote and gerrymandering. Dems should press onward with the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Would or could it be, citizens of some or many states would change a state’s perspective on education?
Waste of time to go after the John Lewis Act, though voter rights must be addressed by the Dems. The problem with the John Lewis Act is it only affects state laws moving forward. The changes already made would not be affected. Winning GA and AZ in 2022 and beyond is going to be very difficult.
Growth of public education in states
Broadly in the division of governing powers, if an entity wants to run that function of government then they need to fund that function of government. That is why states can screw around with Medicaid some (funding split), but not Medicare (Federally collected and held insurance premiums). UI is also split funding. The logic behind most split funding is that Uncle transfers money from wealthier states to less wealthy while states pick up most of the tab and all of the administration within the boundaries set by federal guidelines. On K-12, states decide how much control is statewide and how much is local as they vary upon how much funding is local property and sales taxes versus state income and state sales taxes.
IOW, codified law has as its basis common sense, tradition, and general accounting.
Separation of powers is key to the success of democracy and the prevention of tyranny by any faction that might otherwise gain control of “the” government,
there certainly has been a lot of evil generated by factions that gain control of local or state governments. but separation of powers is not to blame for that. in fact, it is what has so far delayed total takeover of the federal government by the faction that has with the advantage of money and a well developed strategy succeeded in taking over some, not all, small states. And Texas and Florida and Georgia and Wisconsin are not small states, while Oregon is.
blaming the “sins” of the Constitution for the mess we are in today is like blaming your thumb for hitting it with a hammer.
The “left” is like that poor bull, charging every time someone pulls a red handkerchief out of his pocket. Voters for the Right are much the same. Politicians depend on that.
i happened today to run across a passage from Jefferson’s Treatise on Virginia. In it he desribes the evil of slavery quite clearly. And yet he did not free his slaves. Neither did Washington (until he was dead) Hard for me to see any United States at all without the contribution of these men. Could it be that neither of them could see how to manage the economy of their more-than-half of America, or their own personal economics, without slavery…that had been established in America for over a hundred and fifty years before the Constitution was written… in all of the Colonies. But of course from our present position of enlightened comfort, we can afford to look down on them.
And could it be that the emancipation movement had its origins and main force among those Christians who, if you asked them, probably also believed in special creation?
Of course no one at that time was concerned about global warming.
Yet our author here is able to say these things are “beyond debate.” Perhaps they are, but “beyond debate” is not the way “science” works. nor education. I would take my chances on schools that allow debate about Darwin and climate change before I would trust an Empire without states rights and a belief that some topics were “beyond debate” in the schools.
I suggest those with more time than I have look up the “small states” given an electoral college advantage in 1787. Or even those who have one today. Or which voted for Obama or Clinton or Johnson or Roosevelt.
I think you will find that it is not “beyond debate” that the “original sin” of the Constitution is the cause of our current troubles.
And I don’t think I’d count on one-man one vote…in an electorate divided almost equally … or an elctorate divided most unequally between city politicians and country politicians…to protect us from future consequences not currently anticipated by us.
What I think I can count on is that intolerant ignorance posed against ignorant intolerance will cause more trouble for as far as the eye can see.
It was just a few short years ago that the “left” was congratulating itself that the coming of a minority majority, not to mention women’s votes, was going to usher in a new age of justice for all. I have to admit I did not forsee the exact mechanism by which it would fail. I expected the new minority majority would turn out to be just about the same as the old boss. I did not forsee that the new minority would simply take arms to defend itself from the “masses” they have always been afraid of.
and just for those special readers: i am not advocating slavery, special creation, or climate denialism. Just don’t think moving the pitcher’s mound closer to the plate is going to win us the world series.
In re ‘sins of the constitution’, can you justify states’ rights?
Do you think religion should have a role in government?
In our public schools?
Do you think Climate Change is debatable?
Do you think evolution is debatable?
If so, on what basis?
Do you think that having nearly one-half the states teach their children that Climate Change may or may not be real, that evolution and creation are equivalent, is OK?
Do you think the nation can survive with the unrepresentative senate, the skewed electoral college, and the resultant skewed USSC?
Do you think that the nation can survive if, due these sins of the constitution, one-third of the voters can determine the presidency? The make up of the supreme court?
Do you think that the nation can survive state legislators, enabled by gerrymandering, throwing the presidential election to someone like Trump?
“…In re ‘sins of the constitution’, can you justify states’ rights?…”
[Yep, because public school taught me that no states rights would have meant no US Constitution.]
“…Do you think religion should have a role in government?…”
[Religion has a role in the lives of the majority of the people and the majority of the people have a role in government. Therefore by the transitive property of roles, then religion has a role in government. In early tribal societies religion was government. Later by the divine rights of kings religion and government were not separated, but codependent. Separation of church and state are a recent development, sociologically speaking within a historical perspective.]
“…In our public schools?…”
[Back in the old country the first free schools available to the children of poor families were supported by religious organizations. Some of them crossed the line into free thinking by way of coop operations and were disbanded by the state, which demanded control of what poor kids were being taught. How dare the poor teach each other? Dangerous stuff, that.]
“…Do you think Climate Change is debatable?…”
[I think that we are a day late and a dollar short already. I guess it is good for self-righteous atheists to have something other than themselves to hold dear, but oh dear our goose is cooked. The short term thinking of the political economy cannot wrap itself around a coming crisis, even if it might be of an existential nature, for so long as we must pay dearly in the present just to have a future.]
“…Do you think that having nearly one-half the states teach their children that Climate Change may or may not be real, that evolution and creation are equivalent, is OK?…”
[The condition of our stupidity imposes far more severe limitations upon the US and mankind in general than beliefs about Climate Change, given no remedy will be taken, and evolution, which has little to do with how people live their lives. First, we need universal pre-K and publicly funded childcare and a lot of time, which we probably we will not have.]
“…Do you think the nation can survive with the unrepresentative senate, the skewed electoral college, and the resultant skewed USSC?…”
[Stopped me for a moment to realize that USSC was SCOTUS. My Cherokee ancestors survived, so the nation can survive just about anything. It might not still be the nation that you wanted, but the US has never in my lifetime been the nation that I wanted and yet I survived.]
[OK, the rest of your rant is redundant. I believe that almost every commenter at AB shares your sentiments, if not your optimism or naiveté, as the case may be.]
It is not a reasonable practice to put words in the mouth of another, but from my experience Dale Coberly puts some faith in resolving conflict by attempting to meet his adversary half-way. His faith is not shared by everyone. However, if one wants to resolve conflict, then one must realize that placing faith in evidence only works if that conflict is with another of similar predilections. Evidence has no bearing in politicized conflict. Either one must meet the other half way and forge a truce or one must commit to politics by other means, the definition of war and not war of words either.
what stops me cold is that i explicityly anticipated your questions and answered them. I would suggest you actually reaad what I said. But I already know what causes blindness when confronted with disagreement either by facts or just by argument. Fortunately neither of us can change anything about what this country is going to do. I just like to try to upgrade the level of argument.
i may come back and try again, not so much for your benefit as for my own amusement.
nah. it looks like Ron has done a better job than i would have.
just add that if you think kids learn from school, you have never been a teacher. kids learn from their peers..which means they mostly learn from other people’s parents. that is, what the “community” believes. and that is shaped mostly by the propaganda that is sophisticated enough to start with what the people believe “naturally” and bend it to what the local powers and principalities want them to believe.
you will not create enlightened citizens by controlling what they “learn” in schools. you might create true believers in whatever the government wants them to believe…less what they notice themselves about the absurdities of what the authorities teach them.
i think we might be safer letting a number of different communities sort it out themselves than trying to impose our beliefs from a central government that we (think) we control.
what Melvin is proposing is exactly what the insane Right is trying to accomplish..just colored blue instead of red. i dont think you fight totalitarianism with totalitarianism, even in the service of what we absolutely know to be God’s Truth, even though we know there is no god and people shouldn’t be allowed to debate what we Know to be True.
Absolutely correct; particularly in light of the two largest nations that managed to centrally control education.