Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Election Eve Rambling

Names matter.

The opt out opponents hired Paul Dorr’s Copperhead Consulting Firm.  During the Civil War, Northerners who supported the Confederacy called themselves Copperheads. “Mr. Dorr loves the South and as a studentof history, especially of how government schools flourished after the CivilWar, he named his company after the Copperheads, i.e. Northern sympathizers.”  The Copperheads were infamous for their scurrilous attacks on Abraham Lincoln, a president who preserved the Union and who urged Americans to appeal to “the better angels of our nature."  It’s curious why one would reject Lincoln’s "efforts to bind up the nation's wounds" and side with the Copperheads who sought to destroy the United States.

Symbols matter.

One CFSE member has taken to bedecking his vehicle with American flags and "Vote No" messages.  It is his right to do so.  If he is implying, however, that those who support the opt out, especially those who have served or who lost family members in Iraq, are unpatriotic, then Yankton residents should be aware that we are witnessing empty jingoism not patriotism.

Visions Matter.

The American Dream has always seemed a misnomer.  It’s a uniquely American Vision that people of the future will have more opportunities than we enjoy now.  A dream is ethereal; a vision demands effort to achieve.  The opt out is about maintaining a status quo; should it fail, certain parts of the local vision will fade to dreams.  There is no way that students will have the same opportunities two years or five years or ten years from now without more funding to continue to offer the diverse curriculum that has benefited so many over the past decades.  More importantly, some people who helped make learning possible will be missing.  The spirit to carry on may be willing but the flesh is weak and unable to effectively replace over twenty people.

Tomorrow matters.

Tomorrow is the chance to answer the appeal to one’s better angels, to reject empty symbolism, and to ensure that the vision that has helped foster success continues.  Tonight, one clings to the fog of hope believing that tomorrow will produce the substance of a good future.


Anonymous said...

You state that the fact that a CFSE person had American flags on a vehicle along with a vote no sign implied that those who are in favor of the opt-out are unpatriotic. Does that mean that by having Yes for Kids on all the pro opt-out materials they are implying that those who oppose it are against kids? Both assumptions are ridiculous.

yanktonirishred said...

sad sad night here...i'm almost physically ill over this.


LK said...


Please note the entire sentence. "If he is implying. . . ." I deliberately phrased the sentence to avoid implying anything about the motives of the person.

Shane posted this comment on the "We are Yankton post." I'm too tired to link to it this morning.

"Truth be told I'm just as tired of "What about the Children!?!?!?!" as I am of "What about the homeless, naked and hungry elderly?!?!?!?" I also understand that a topic this emotive can and will touch at our basest instincts, that protective beast inside of us. Both sides want to protect their status quo, the gap between the two is as morally different as it is economically and socially."

I may argue with him about the use of "morally" but I agree with him about the rest. I wrote what I did about the vehicle to make that point.