Great interview with Rick Hess, an American Enterprise Institute scholar who focuses on education policy. A taste:
. . . it’s important to recognize that the center in education is two standard deviations to the left of the American public. People in and around education think they have the whole spectrum covered: there is, after all, a fierce conflict between the “reform” camp and teachers unions. But this clash has primarily existed within the Democratic Party. The “reformers” have mostly been Great Society liberals who believe in closing “achievement gaps” and pursuing “equity” via charter schooling, teacher evaluation, the Common Core, and test-based accountability. And their opponents have been staunchly Democratic teacher unions and their allies.
Unfortunately, many in education spend so little time talking to or engaging with anyone on the right that they sometimes seem to conclude that no reasonable person would be on the right. Expressing mainstream conservative concerns about federal overreach or the problems with race-based policy can be enough to get you called a clueless reactionary.
A core difference between the two camps is that progressives tend to see social policy in terms of structural inequities—particularly race, class, and gender—while conservatives are more prone to see things in terms of individual responsibility. But those things are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, American education has always been about combatting structural inequity and cultivating personal responsibility, so there should be lots of room for cooperation. Education can open the doors of opportunity and give all students a more equitable start. These are things that we all want. And we all want every child to attend schools that fire their imaginations, impart knowledge, teach critical skills, equip them to be responsible citizens, inspire joy, and prepare them for success. Our disagreements are usually over how to do all this.Donald Trump is not a great president, and Roger Kimball, an erudite and incisive fellow who seems to have swallowed the Kool-Aid, is either mistaken or being disingenuous when he says he is (and glosses over the stuff enumerated in the linked Bloomberg article).
In discussing a documentary about the mid-1970s period in US-Vietnam relations, Kyle Smith at NRO spells out the shameful truth:
Last Days in Vietnam, the Oscar-nominated 2014 film by Rory Kennedy (the youngest child of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who died before she was born) is available for streaming on Netflix. It’s a devastating counterpunch to the anti-American propaganda Hollywood and the rest of the leftist culture have been spewing about Vietnam for more than four decades. Kennedy’s film should make us angry only that America didn’t go far enough. South Vietnam could have been another South Korea if our cultural-political resolve had just remained steadfast at the crucial moment. It’s as if we spent years painstakingly building a billion-dollar palace, then let termites destroy it rather than spending money on an exterminator.
Mixing in interviews with, among others, Henry Kissinger and Richard Armitage, who was then a Special Forces adviser, as well as astonishing archival footage of the events of 1975 in Saigon, the film explains that the North Vietnamese were “terrified” of President Nixon in 1974. The Paris Peace Accords had sparked a full withdrawal of American troops, and Nixon had warned in writing that the U.S. would “respond with full force” if the North failed to abide by the ceasefire terms. But after Nixon’s resignation in August of 1974, says then-CIA analyst Frank Snepp in the film, “Hanoi saw the road to Saigon as being wide open.” In the spring of 1975, the North Vietnamese army scythed through South Vietnam with astonishing force. Five thousand or so Americans and their families were all that remained of the U.S. presence, and when President Ford asked Congress for $700 million in new military aid, he was scorned, to the undying shame of the lawmakers in question. Democratic senator John McClellan of Arkansas said, “I think it is too late to do any good. Further military aid could merely prolong the conflict and perhaps postpone briefly the inevitable — a Communist victory.”The danger in the Abbas visit to the White House lies in Squirrel-Hair's zeal to be seen as a deal-maker.