Election 2016

'Teach the Controversy!' Demands Calif. Democratic Legislator—About Trump's Election and Russia

Thanks for helping make the case for school choice, Marc Levine!


Jeremy Hogan/Polaris/Newscom

Need a lesson on why parents are increasingly looking for ways to get their kids out of the public school system? Check out this Democratic California legislator who wants to use public schooling to explain to children what really happened with the 2016 election.

Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) announced "a bill that will require the State Board of Education to develop curriculum to educate California students about Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election."

He speechifies:

"The work of 17 intelligence agencies including the FBI and CIA confirmed Russian interference in our election. This is a threat to our democracy and must be treated with appropriate significance in American history," Levine said. "California is the largest textbook market in the nation. Textbooks approved in our state are used throughout the country. Through this legislation, we can make sure students in California and across the United States receive accurate information about the 2016 Presidential election."

So, where to begin?

The investigation is still literally happening right now. The extent of communication between the Russian government and Donald Trump's campaign isn't even fully known. Intelligence agencies are looking over intercepted communications, and the idea that we as a public even know enough to "teach" this right now is absurd. Yes, it will probably be some time before the schools and textbooks were able to implement this policy, but even so, let's be suspicious that there will be enough to teach any of this as fact (not that Levine cares).

Millions of Americans (even in California!) voted for Trump. There's been no evidence that Russian interests tampered with the actual voting in any way, shape, or form. The "threat to our democracy" consists primarily of the release of private emails from within the Democratic establishment that made it look bad. We shouldn't downplay the harms that could come from cybersecurity breaches like this, but Levine is blatantly calling for the miseducation of students. And he's deliberately ignoring the evidence that Hillary Clinton lost because she simply didn't get voters on her side and the significant increase in the number of people who didn't vote for president at all.

Using public schools to advance your party's message is creepy. Did Levine think for a moment at all about the potential consequences here or does he just not care? Or does he think they're a good thing? He probably thinks they're a good thing since he believes he can use California's size as leverage to force this into schoolbooks across the country. But of course, when Levine uses school textbooks to advance the Democratic Party's position on the election outcome, this will encourage others to do the same. Another large state like Texas could pass a law forbidding any mention at all. Heck, what would happen if Congress stepped in and tied federal education funding to whatever message about the election the majority and the president approved? In case anybody needed a reminder, the presidency and Congress are under control of the Republican Party.

This isn't why people send their children to school. It's tough to visualize a more compelling example of the problem of political control over the education process than this. Is there a single parent out there actually hoping that public schools remove something out of the political science or history curriculum in order to replace it with this? I mean we already have a generation of young adults with little grasp of the First Amendment (we're apparently having a Twitter debate over whether it's okay to punch people for saying terrible things).

Parents send their children to school with the understanding that education is meant to provide their kids with the tools to make their way in the world, not to help the political parties draft future members.

Levine's proposal is a reminder of exactly why school choice is on the rise and popular with parents across the political spectrum. You don't have to be a Trump supporter (and in fact can be a total Trump hater) to recognize the inappropriateness of Levine trying to capture school students to pass his politics along.

Or maybe some parents do like the line Levine's trying to sell their kids. Fine. They can send their kids to schools where people like Levine control the curriculum. Others shouldn't feel like their kids are imprisoned in places where two entrenched political parties are using their offspring as tools to maintain their power bases. That's also what makes school choice great—it's a threat to the ability of politicians to control the types of discussions that children are forced to sit in on. Levine's proposed bill illustrates why that's so important.

National School Choice Week, an annual event promoting the ability of parents and students to have greater options in K-12 education, starts today. Over 21,000 events involving almost 17,000 schools from all 50 states will take place over the coming days. Go here to get more information about events and data about how increasing school choice–charters, vouchers, educational savings accounts, and more–is one of the best ways to improve education for all Americans. As a proud media sponsor of National School Choice Week, Reason will be publishing daily articles, podcasts, videos, interviews, and other coverage exploring the ways in which education is being radically altered and made better by letting more people have more choices when it comes to learning. For a constantly updated list of stories, go to Reason's archive page on "school choice."

NEXT: The Idiotic Democratic Crusade Against Betsy DeVos

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  1. OT: I’m not expecting his administration to actually pull this off, but…if he actually was able to get half of this promise fulfilled, I would forgive a lot of the protectionism that he mentioned in his campaign.

    1. Republicans are resistant to a lot of his proposed budget cuts. Congress critters coming out of the woodwork to protect special programs that benefit their state/district.

      If Trump slashed regulations and cut spending as he’s suggesting, even if offset by increased military spending elsewhere, he’d be the most libertarian president since before the Depression. And Reason is more focused on comments made about inauguration crowds.

      1. Even if he cut 75% of regulations like he’s talking about, we’d still have millions of burdensome and completely unnecessary regulations left. He should just get serious here and start talking 99+%. Fire up the paper shredders baby.

          1. If only that were real.

          2. Trshmnstr, you need know I almost hurt myself laughing over your Mike M. style mock of Ashley Judd on the weekend thread. AssQueef Spud…..oh man, I’m giggling now.

  2. You know who else wanted to teach Big Lies that supported their party’s ideology?

    1. Every politician, ever? Also, various kings, priests, etc.

      1. Emperors, Archdukes, Langraves, Marquis, Barons, Satraps, Beys, Prince-Archbishops, Commissars, Central Committee Members, Politburo Members, Junta leaders, Caudillos, Despots, Presidents-for-Life, and car salesmen.

        1. Are you pronouncing Marquis as markee, or markwis?

        2. And HOA presidents.

    2. The Food and Drug Administration?

  3. Wait until Texas retaliates by making text book publishers print that “Barack Obama refused to release college applications that showed him pretending to be a foreign born student in need of preferential treatment.”
    Don’t these a-holes know that two can, and will, play the same game?

    1. Yeah. My reaction to the lead was “I’ll make a deal with you. We’ll ‘teach the controversy’ AND have an in depth discussion of Democrat corruption through history, K?”

  4. As usual, Scott brings the A game alt-text.

    1. I read the picture text-balloon itself as “I have a pen” and thought that was mighty clever.

  5. Well then the kiddies can be informed that the Russians had nothing to do with tampering with actual votes and that the entire “controversy” is about the Democrats being butt hurt about their dirty laundry being aired out in public.

    And that all of that dirty laundry was true and the public had every right to know about every last bit of it regardless of who it was that aired it out or why.

    That’s pretty much it.

    1. And maybe we should also teach them that not a shred of evidence has been presented to Congress, let alone the public, implicating the Russian government. Just the assurances of federal agents whose job description is to lie and subvert. And when prodded for explanation, they complain about how RT gave attention to third parties as if it was a plot to undermine Clinton by better informing American voters of their options. Therefore, we have MOTIVE!

      It all makes perfect sense, if you’re a retard who’s easily duped by media repetition and wishful thinking.

  6. On topic: It’s hilarious how little many progressives care about self-awareness when they attack the other side for not caring about “THE CHILDREN!” This is just one of many examples.

  7. Is there a single parent out there actually hoping that public schools remove something out of the political science or history curriculum in order to replace it with this?

    Are Reason writers trying to top each others’ naivete? I’d say there’s probably millions. They’re probably the minority, but it is California so I might be wrong about the percentages.

    1. In California? I’d say 10%, but in places like Berkeley it would balloon to 35-40% if you polled them.

    2. Didja see the thing about the Philadelphia mayor screaming about stores passing along the new sugar tax? Sodas doubled in price and the stores weren’t bashful about explaining why. The mayor flew into a rage, seeming to think a tax higher than the wholesale price of the drink should have been absorbed by the wholesalers. This from someone who explicitly wanted to raise prices to discourage consumption.

      Berserkeley obliviots probably think similarly, that you can just cram in more words without expanding the size and without dropping anything either. I do believe they are that stupid and have that little foresight. I still don’t understand it.

      1. Kenney is a dolt, but that isn’t even the dumbest thing to come out of Philly this week:

        1. six days of action this week, encouraging educators to introduce optional curriculum and activities – from “The Revolution Is Always Now” coloring pages for very young students to a science lesson about the biology of skin color for older ones.

          Wow. You’re right.

  8. Again, a politician who can’t see any consequences when the other party uses the same power he has created. I just do not understand this.

    1. The delusion of permanent majority is a helluva drug.

    2. I know, right? I have been continually astounded at both sides never learning not to create a weapon, because it will always be used against them. The pendulum always swings, and always comes back and hits them in the face, but they are continually ~shocked by this.

      another case in point: The LA Times has a Special Section devoted to Trump’s Executive Orders. gosh, where did he get the idea?

      1. Hitler, just like all his other ideas?

    3. It’s California. One party state.

      1. They had a Republican governor in recent memory. Nancy Pelosi even has a picture of a dancing skeleton on her wall to remind her that she too was mortal, but everyone just assumes it’s a portrait of her.

        1. So Pelisu is no longer mortal?

  9. To some, an education is meant to impart facts and provide a framework for rational thought to interpret those facts.

    To guys like this, it’s clearly intended to provide non-facts with no method to identify that they are falsehood. I.E. Propaganda in the states favor.

    The mask slipped off, remember the face.

    1. Government schools were explicitly created to provide government teaching about proper morals and citizenship. There was no secret about it at the time. It was in response to all the dirty papists and southern Europeans invading.

      Something I hadn’t thought about until now is how much of all this was a reaction to all the freed slaves polluting the morals of white protestants. I wonder if the same speeches which explicitly promised to reform the papists and swarthy immigrants also included reforming the freed slaves.

      1. also included reforming the freed slaves

        At the start of the public school movement? Not really. It wasn’t until well after Reconstruction that the rampant hatred of the old slaves started ramping up to a fervor. Public schools gained support for 2 main reasons: 1) to Protestantize those icky Catholics by converting their children, and 2) to remove children from competing for factory jobs

        In essence, public schools were used to “fix” the menace of child workers, Catholics, Irish, and Italians. Minimum wage was used to “fix” the black and female menace.

        1. And it didn’t even work to fix the damn Papist Micks and Wops.

          1. That’s what you get when you send a public education bureaucrat to do a veterinarian’s job.

      2. It was in response to all the dirty papists and southern Europeans invading.

        Public schools at heart were a Protestant movement.

    2. Well there’s education, and then there’s schooling.

  10. “Using public schools to advance your party’s message is creepy.”

    Parading grammar school kids around as political props is beyond that, and the SF teachers did exactly that as those kids supposedly ‘protested’ Trump’s election.

    1. There are reasons that my kids go to Catholic school.

  11. The Russia hacked the elections hysteria is birtherism quadrupled. Unlike birtherism it’s common among and promoted by the “elites”/people in power. It’s absolutely embarrassing. It’s equivalent to the claim that Barack Obama’s America became such a banana republic that Russia could install its man as the US President.

  12. What other controversies can we teach?

    Benghazi? Hillary’s email server? The Clinton Foundation? Harry Reid’s Las Vegas real estate deals?

    The list is endless, I’m sure.

    1. Howsa about the unchallenged veracity of all the emails recovered from said Homebrew Server, i.e. ROOSHUNZ! (but don’t look too close at these emails; they’re all true! Ask the BernieBros and BernieBabes…)

        1. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

          First – Who uses “peeps”?
          Second – What an asshole.
          Third – Who uses “peeps”?

            1. Dude that video was like 3 years ago.

          1. If you read in extreme detail, there are mistakes like every-other-word.

            WVA is not the fucking state abbreviation for West Virginia. I know this because all state abbreviations are two letters. Proofreading is a thing and I would hope the CFO for a major, major entity would write above a 3rd grade reading level.

    2. Creationism. Is that where the phrase “teach the controversy” entered the public discourse?

  13. Will this Russian Interference Lesson Plan be crafted by the trusted third party the DNC hired to identify the source of the hacking?

  14. “Textbooks approved in our state are used throughout the country. ”

    This is a great way to put an end to it.

    1. It doesn’t matter. Students aren’t reading the textbooks. The students who are so impressionable that they are destined to be the future low info voters certainly aren’t, and those are the students that, at the end of the day, you’re fighting over.

  15. These vacuums of logic are human tentacles all writhing from the same prowling juggernaut drooling false reality and fake hope.

    1. +1 Cthulhu

      1. R’leyh Public Schools, Consolidated District #666

        1. “Today’s lesson is on Oneirology, the study of dreams and how they can drive mortals to madness.”

  16. I’m going to take a wild guess and speculate that this bill *won’t* pass…but that many California teachers will give anti-Trump propaganda anyway.

  17. Question: How much more unhinged can Democrats get?

    1. Answer: We will soon find out.

    2. Some liberal activist group announced today that “for fun” they’re going to attempt to bully DC restaurants and bars into banning all members of Congress and their staffs if they vote for Obamacare repeal.

      1. IOW, they’re going to get their heads broke by the fuzz and get a felony record. Have at it, tards!

      2. IOW they’re going to stick to the stupidity of crapping all over their fellow liberals. Granted, it might be dangerous to pull that sort of shit in “flyover country”.

    3. Are you familiar with Bill Cosby’s recitation of a, “conniption,”?

    4. Question: How much more unhinged can Democrats get?

      Because of the ‘Principle of the Indivisibility of One’ a single derp can be infinite in depth; all that matters is how far they dig. But there is no bottom to the digging.

    5. They are going to end up Nixonizing Trump but not in the way they hope. Nixon, like Trump was loathed by the liberal establishment and like Trump won a very narrow election to become President. The left then spent the next four years losing their minds and having one violent protest after another and took over the Democratic Party nominating a far left liberal who was totally out of touch with the country to run against Nixon in 72. And Nixon won 49 states to be reelected. I don’t thin Trump will win 49 states like Nixon did. But if the left makes 2020 the choice of law and order versus a mob of angry retards, he will win a lot more states in 2020 than he won in 2016

      1. Yeah, probably that.

        2020 is really in Trump’s hands. If he manages not to fuck it up too badly, he’ll probably be reelected unless the Dems make a radical change of direction.

      2. The left then spent the next four years losing their minds and having one violent protest after another and took over the Democratic Party nominating a far left liberal who was totally out of touch with the country to run against Nixon in 72.

        “I opened the doors of the Democratic Party and 20 million people walked out.” George McGovern

        As clueless as his politics were at least McGovern was a decent human being. The execrable detritus sitting on the bench right now for the Democrats aren’t fit to clean McGovern’s relief tube.

  18. We will never reach peak stupid in this state it seems.

  19. I guess it would be an excellent opportunity to teach kids about the ad hominem fallacy, and “shooting the messenger” in particular.

  20. Well shit, I thought that leftist propaganda was already legal in the public school system. In fact, I thought that it’s the entire purpose of the public school system. The public school system is a dinosaur. In the near future, your kid will be taught by a fuzzy bear or other cute fuzzy animal with an AI computer inside. The AI will actually be smart, unlike most public employees. Cost of education will be reduced by 99%. No more school shootings. No more lazy public school employees. What’s not to like here? You think the AI bear will be creepy? Maybe you haven’t seen the lunch lady or bus driver yet.

    1. But dont the proggies tend to go to private school? Which is my experience

      Public schools are for two purposes:
      1. Funneling money to unions
      And back to pols
      2. Keeping people poor and dependent on government

      Academia is where the indoctrination is

      1. What is this feeling?

  21. The beauty about the weekend is I shut myself in my apartment and am able to turn away from all news. Then Monday through Friday comes and my toxic work environment mixed with the news of a toxic world turns into my shakey hand reaching for the bottle.

    1. Make the bottle a tear collection bottle, and your bottle shall be overfilled. Bacon 13:77

    2. At the risk of sounding creepy via lurking, I thought you quit??

      1. Quit reason or drinking? Neither are very likely.

        1. Derp addiction is real, and treatable.

        2. Job. Musta been someone else.

          1. That was Doomco — I hope freedom is treating him well.

  22. Democrats should hold hearings on Capitol hill, demanding to know who may have connections to the Russians. Then, anyone determined to have a Russian connection should be blacklisted.

    1. “I have in my hand the names of 57 government officials who filled up at a Lukoil station within the last month.”

      1. Carnak the Magnificent smiles upon you.

    2. Yes, they could form a committee, call it something like the House Un-American Activities Committee…..

      1. Well, let’s update it… the House Un-Democratic Activities Committee.

    3. I am told Chuck Schummer has a list of 25 confirmed Russian agents in the State Department!!

    4. “Are you now or have you ever drank Stolichnaya?”

  23. Jesus Christ, some people have lost their goddamn minds.

    If we’re going to go down this route, hopefully some Republican legislator will add a requirement to teach about Ted Kennedy’s appeal to Russia in the ’80s in order to influence the election.

  24. Star Wars Episode VIII has a title. Did I beat FoE?


    1. ‘The Last Jedi’. Too bad it won’t be ‘The Last Star Wars film’. Disney’s going to flog that horse until the skeleton’s visible.

      1. Disney has to recover that $4B they paid to Lucas somehow…

    2. Wait, so Kylo is going to hug it out with Luke just like with Han?

  25. Question: How much more unhinged can Democrats get?

    Peak Derp is a myth, if that gives you a hint.

    1. Is it possible to derp one’s self to death? I honestly don’t know. I don’t think there’s an ICD 10 code for that, actually.

      1. Things really fell apart in medical when they deprecated ICD 9. Just sayin’.

      2. Is it possible to derp one’s self to death?

        Well, it drove Derpetologist into the military.

  26. Teach the Controversy – Marc Levine sucks donkey dick on weekends.

    Feel free to add to my suggestion.

  27. Is it possible to derp one’s self to death?

    I would point to the old folk wisdom regarding turkeys in rainstorms.

  28. Elections have consequences. The winners write the history books. I mean, c’mon, that’s practically the rules!

    /Marc Levine

    What a silly man.

  29. Marin County is probably the single most progressive county in all of America.

    This is one guy’s signaling that he wants to take his act to the next level.

    He’s trolling Shackford. I’m impressed Shakford took the bait and turned into something about school choice.

    1. One of the richest, too. Imagine that.

    2. “Marin County is one of the wealthiest localities in the United States, known for its affluence. In May 2009, Marin County had the fifth highest income per capita in the United States at about $91,480.[6] The county is governed by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. The county is also well known for its natural beauty and liberal politics.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Marin_County,_California

      This is a place where limousine liberals are born that way.

      1. Ah “liberal” politics. Right.

      2. Huh:

        MCE is now in the crosshairs of Sacramento. AB1110, the truth-in-advertising energy bill that remains under active consideration in the legislature, was written to eliminate MCE-type green-washing and resultant increases in global warming.

        Green-washing is the practice of relabeling fossil power and selling it as green energy.

        Since inception, MCE has misrepresented its carbon emissions to consumers. MCE board members Kathrin Sears and Sloan Bailey noted in an August 2015 Marin Voice Op/Ed (Marin Independent Journal) that MCE has reduced GHGs by 60,000 tons.

        However, in accordance with AB1110, MCE has actually increased emissions 310,000 tons compared to PG&E, based upon the same energy volume.

        1. Speaking of this isnt cali able to claim higher reneweable energy along with vermont since they import quite a bit? Thus can play the generation accounting gimmick

      3. In May 2009, Marin County had the fifth highest income per capita in the United States at about $91,480.

        Adjusted for California standard of living, what’s that, like $45k in flyover country?

  30. Will this include a lesson on not being phished a la Podesta?

  31. What these lefties dont want to face is if these emails had an impact than what is the excuse for dnc actually writing them and coming off as power hungry assholes?

  32. I’d love it if Trump tied federal school grants to the schools teaching a course that paints Trump as the best thing to ever happen to merica.

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