Monday, February 18, 2008

Kitchen Talk

If politics were for dinner, I’m not sure I would want to eat it. That isn’t to say that all politicians are bad chefs. I have more than oft eaten a mighty meal prepared by some of them, so I can’t place them all in the category of bad. It’s just that when it comes to the makings of politics, too often the politicians show up with only the ingredients of their party and refuse to cooperate in the kitchen. So nothing really gets made. Well, if anything does, it is by chance that it has any flavor or substance.

Now this may be seem an exaggeration to you, but I can’t help but laugh sometimes when I see politicians acting not unlike the Swedish Chef trying to make meatballs, only to end up in a match with the Muppet Show’s resident critics, Statler and Waldorf.

But again, sometimes there are the exceptions.

In Philadelphia last Wednesday, John O. Norquist, a democrat and “self-professed liberal,” addressed the conservative audience of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy. The former three-term mayor of Milwaukee has been noted for cutting taxes 6 years in a row, streamlining city government, and promoting economic growth. He is also known for the successful institution of school vouchers in Milwaukee, and it is about this subject that he spoke. According to Jack Markowitz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Norquist told his audience, "You can lose your country if people fall behind in global competition."

"It's weird," said Norquist, who now heads a Chicago think tank. "The United States is practically the only advanced country with an education-financial monopoly."

Far more socialistic west European economies have offered school choice for years, and their students, as well as Asian countries, out-perform U.S. kids in testing.

So what does this have to do with the kitchen?
Well, even though legislation wasn’t being enacted, people from both parties were found talking sensibly and supporting the key ingredient needed in preparing a better educational system for our nation: school choice.

And it is with that that dinner may be served.

No comments: