Monday, July 21, 2008

The Change Candidate: John McCain

Tomorrow: "The odor of sweat and urine" (the Democrats' health plan for you)

Mark your calendar! This Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, I'll be on Clintons for McCain Blog Talk Radio with hostess Cristi Adkins and Rev. Manning, a prominent Harlem preacher who's a strong opponent of the candidacy of Barack H. Obama. It should be fun.

By Steve Chapman
I know, because admirers of Barack Obama tell me, that this year's election poses a choice between a candidate who represents a fresh approach to problems and one who offers a dreary continuation of the status quo. That much I understand. What I sometimes have trouble keeping straight is which candidate is which.

On the subject of elementary and secondary education, the two seem to have gotten their roles completely mixed up. Obama is the staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly, and he's allergic to anything that subverts it. John McCain, on the other hand, went before the NAACP last week to argue for something new and daring.

That something is to facilitate greater parental choice in education.

McCain wants to expand a Washington, D.C. program that provides federally funded scholarships so poor students can attend private schools. More than 7,000 kids, he reported, have applied for these vouchers, but only 1,900 can be accommodated.

Here's my response:The real candidate of change in this election is John McCain. Within the past month, The (London) Economist had an article about charter schools in Chicago and Harlem. The students in those schools are performing very well, equalling or exceeding the performance of white students in the public schools.

The magazine described parents in Harlem, desperate to get their children into the high-performing schools, participating in a lottery system, recognizing that their children's futures were on the line.

I believe John McCain is sincerely concerned about those children and their parents. I believe Barack Obama has sold out to special interests (educational and political) who are concerned about themselves and NOT the children.

If I truly believed Barack Obama had a commitment to improving education, health care, and other problem areas, I'd probably be voting for him. I have no such belief that he has freed himself from special interests committed to the status quo.So, I think Chapman is right on target.

Barack and Michelle are not warehousing their own children in schools where they're destined to fail, and they shouldn't ask other parents, black or white, to sentence their children to a life of under-performance.

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