Yesterday, a blog post about the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case from a certain right wing blogger came under my radar. Of course, I expected the post to say that this was just liberals advocating smoking pot, because that’s what all liberals do, and the schools have a right to censor students outside school; you know, typical authoritarian conservative diatribe.
I was wrong.
As the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. In fact, the post is, I daresay, overflowing with sensible ideas, something quite rare from “conservative” bloggers. This guy, Greg, argues that Tinker vs. Des Moines must not be overturned, in direct opposition to this opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal.
I’m sorry, but Daniel Henninger [author of the opinion piece] has this one completely wrong here. If one fundamental mission of public education is to teach young people the importance of American political values and the freedoms that are part of our representative democracy, then it is essential that Tinker not be overturned, but instead be reinforced. If it is not, our public school would become no different from the old Soviet Union, which had a Constitution guaranteeing expansive individual liberties which were systematically denied to the inhabitants thereof.
I often feel that the term “communist” is thrown around amongst conservatives to ridicule anyone they don’t like (a fad that made sense during the Cold War, not so much anymore). But here, the comparison between the way public schools would be if Tinker were overturned and Soviet Russia could not be more accurate (or timely).
He further adds:
Can young people learn freedom by being taught lessons in oppression and suppression of their fundamental civil liberties?
I fully agree. I feel that Public schools are bastions of hypocrisy these days by not practicing what they preach.
Now if only conservatives were this sensible all the time…