The Herald News on Monday, Nov. 22, ran an opinion piece by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio which was pure propaganda.
The title of the essay, “Parents spoke up for their kids. Then the Feds stepped in,” told us immediately what the tone would be: conflict between parents and the Federal government. As though the government were some alien power at odds with parents. As though parents in a democratic society were not part of the government. Instead of referring to “the government,” we might better say “we the people.” It is our government, established in accordance with our Constitution.
Jordan writes, “The U.S. Attorney General has weaponized the enormous might of the federal government against parents exercising their constitutional rights.” This is completely false. The government is concerned only with violence and threats of violence at school board meetings. In this wonderful country of ours, just as Jordan is free to express his opinions, so are parents free to express theirs, at school board meetings or elsewhere.
Jordan also writes, “Parents have an undisputed right to direct the upbringing and education of their children.” This observation was made preliminary to bringing up critical race theory curricula, COVID restrictions on children, transgender bathroom access, etc. These are all serious issues. But they are not the basic and overriding problem which we face today.
Democracy requires that people be willing to work out differences peacefully, without malice or violence. But increasingly we hear of public officials, particularly poll workers, being threatened, told “you should be shot,” and “we know where you live.” Volunteers are leaving public service out of fear for their safety, and that of their families. This must change if we want to preserve our democracy. The tone of Jordan’s article is entirely at odds with this need.
Phrases like “the Feds stepped in,” “school board bureaucrats believe they know what’s best for children” and “the A.G. has weaponized the might of the government against parents” all suggest division, conflict and failure of democratic methods. They are the very opposite of what is needed. They can only be understood as part of a partisan attack against the Biden administration, using current school board issues around the country as a handy topic.
A political attack against Joe Biden is acceptable. But Jordan’s article is an attack against democracy, and is not acceptable.
This article originally appeared on The Herald News: Opinion: Jordan is not attacking Biden; he's attacking our democracy