FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Lamar Alexander: The Consummate Statist
Who needs Democrats when we have Republicans like Lamar Alexander?
As I comb through his voting record, it is striking to discover his history of supporting big government. He voted for massive energy mandates and subsidies, tax increases, against blocking eminent domain, for expanded federal healthcare, against blocking Obama’s EPA mandates, against worker’s choice, and for every spending bill under the sun. And of course, for mass amnesty.
It is particularly jarring that he is the Ranking Member on the Appropriations subcommittee on energy. It’s no wonder he is being praised by a new liberal environmental group, “Citizens for Responsible energy Solutions,” for his work on anti-free-market energy policy. Incidentally this group is run by the wife of Steve LaTourette, the chairman of the RINO Republican Mainstreet Partnership.
But, perhaps, the scariest thing about him is that he is the Ranking Member of the Education Committee. Control of the education system is the most important priority for the statists, for when you control the children you control the destiny of the country.
As Lamar Alexander asks voters of conservative Tennessee to give him a third term to push big government, I hope to continue highlighting the need for change. Here is a speech he gave in 1989 on education that really embodies his political ideology and reflects the cumulative effect of his voting record:
A second characteristic might be that these schools will serve children from age 3 months old to age 18. That may be a shocking thought to you; but, if you were to do an inventory of every baby in your community and think about what the needs of those babies were for the next four or five years, you might see that those needs might not be served any other way. They have to be served in some way and maybe around the school. Or, if you study a little more, you might go back and think the school might have to serve the pregnant mother of the baby in terms of prenatal healthcare….
…teams of teachers. Albert Shanker suggested that maybe there ought to be a team of teachers attached to a child from the day that child arrives in the school to stay with that child all the way to the 8th grade.
All this would mean there would have to be a very professional corps of teachers, wouldn’t it? They’d have to be very, very good because they would have to be dealing with lots of volunteers. We have a big national service feeling in America today. Why aren’t those people working in schools? Well, one reason is it’s hard to handle volunteers!
So, this team of highly trained principals and teachers would have to have career ladders. They would have to be master teachers. They would be paid $50,000-$60,000-$70,000 a year to create a Brand New American School in every state capital.
The great advantage of that is there wouldn’t be all these arguments of whether to do this program, or that program, or which one to do first. You wouldn’t do any of them! You would create just one school and you’d give the responsibility to one person who would form one team. You give them one year or so, and if they succeeded, then all the rest of us would want to be in that school, too! Wouldn’t we?
Imagine the Democrats electing someone who held parallel views on the right from a dark blue state.
Although this speech was delivered 24 years ago, it offers a precise glimpse into a man who is representing a conservative state. We will never win this fight if we continue to elect Lamar Alexanders from states like Tennessee.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project