Republicans eager to attract black and Latino voters believe they have hit on an ideal magnet: school choice.
Led by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, with high-profile contributions from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the GOP is pushing an election-year initiative to talk up school choice at every turn.
Calling for more charter schools, vouchers and tax credits to help parents pay private school tuition fits with the party’s mantra that the government works best when it gets out of the way and lets the free market flourish. But top strategists say it’s more than that: Talking about helping poor minority children softens the GOP’s image and lets candidates offer a positive vision instead of forever going on the attack. And unlike immigration reform, school choice is politically safe; there’s no chance of blowback from the tea party.
Plus, the photo ops are great. As the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks put it in a strategic planning document: “Focus on kids and the future = excellent media opportunity.”
The Leftmedia is naturally painting this as pure pandering, because that is the sole motivation for anything the Democrats do.
While it is an issue that definitely has appeal to some minority groups that don’t traditionally vote Republican, it is simply incorrect to think that is all this is about. As I wrote for FreedomWorks last month, it really is about choice, which the Left abhors unless you are talking about abortion. (Aside-Politico‘s attempt to make it seem as if the GOP is taking cues from FreedomWorks is laughable. There aren’t a lot of hugs being exchanged between the two entities.)
School choice is about the freedom to have our children educated in the best way possible. The Democrats hate it because their goal is to be permanently in cahoots with teachers’ unions and use public schools as indoctrination mills.
There is also the fact that the party that claims to be the champion of the poor and downtrodden in the United States is also the one fighting hard to make sure only well-to-do families have education options.
And that should be pointed out every time a Democrat begins wailing about “income inequality.”