Monday, March 7, 2011

Political Pandering in Illinois

I have mentioned a few times the concept of 'pandering politicians', more specifically I think I have referred to a number of politicians, by name, as pandering to the conservative right in order to get votes. Of course none of the politicians we know would do such a thing? Sure!

Here are four folks running for a school board just north of Chicago. Each was asked about supporting Creationism and all 4 made statements supporting it. Was this pandering? You tell me -- after reading "All four Dist. 95 candidates back teaching creationism in science classes"

"All four candidates for the Lake Zurich Unit District 95 school board believe creationism should be taught alongside evolution in science classes. One, Chris Wallace, went so far as to say creationism is fact and evolution is just a theory."

So are they pandering or is this how they really feel? Another question you might consider is are they representing their constituency with these comments? Well to help you answer these, and maybe other questions, you need to see what happens when the local paper runs the interviews and includes quotes from these 4 office seekers? My guess is they received a certain volume of feedback and started back-peddling furiously, well three of the four start back-peddling. The fourth seems to think he may not have understood the question. Take a look at "D95 candidates back off creationism comments"

What I personally would like to see in a politician is one who is in touch with their constituents needs and desires and when asked about a subject would be able to place their personal religious beliefs off to the side to more accurately represent their constituency. I don't think this happened here. I think what happened is either they made an assumption about their constituency OR they let their own personal views color their answers. Back-peddling, while is fun to see, is fairly disheartening in a political candidate.

I mean, honestly, this is a topic that has been making headlines across the country for the past decade. Why weren't these candidates better prepared? I would have assumed they might have noticed the impact of such decisions on school boards in Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas for example. If you were running for a political office, wouldn't you have been familiar about the types of decisions that tended to cost one the office? Especially in like of how such an action, the one they originally supported, is against the US Constitution?

Along the same lines, I have to question their minimum knowledge of an important curriculum area. One of them calls Creationism a fact and Evolution only a theory. Another referred to Creationism as 'theory of creationism'. Now you don't expect school board members to be up on the latest and greatest areas of all scientific disciplines, but this stuff is elementary school science stuff. I was very disappointed in all of them.

Now, three of these pandering politicos are seeking re-election, the 4th is a newbie. But this does require another question to be considered, and one I think their constituency might have started asking them. How will this impact their ability to perform as a member of the school board if this becomes as issue, such as in Mt. Vernon Ohio' s John Freshwater, or Pamela Hensley of the North Johnston Middle School in North Carolina? Are any of these four someone that can be relied on to not only stay within the letter and intent of the law, but properly represent the interests of their constituents and their constituency's children education? That is a question for the voters Lake Zurich, and I wish them the best of luck!

1 comment:

  1. There seems to be a rash of Creationists crawling out of the woodwork in Lake County IL. At least three other districts there are reported to have some Creationist problem, of one form or another.