I know it’s only one of many factors, but I’m wondering if the American education system being seriously in decline helped Donald Trump
convince so many working-class voters that he would work for their interests?
What if I’d told Mr. Jamieson, my grade 11 political science teacher, that I believed a Republican would honour a promise to keep production jobs at home?
I think he would have gone straight to the blackboard. He would have drawn a line and placed a zero in the middle. He would then have reminded me that those to the left of this zero were at least nominally in favour of justice, equality, and a social safety net. Those to the right of the zero were ostensibly in favour of a free market and lower government spending.
Then I expect he would have said, “Either this candidate is lying about being a Republican, or he’s lying about wanting to keep jobs at home. Keeping jobs at home will lower profit margins, and he’s not going to stand between any business owner and his next million even if this helps workers, because doing so will necessitate increased government spending and strictures on the free market.”
I’d like to smugly suggest that we in Canada are relatively free of the kind of naiveté that would accept such a lie.
But then I remember how great the American education system once was, and I shudder.