Elites and Ron DeSantis

Thoughts from a post by Diane Ravitch at: https://dianeravitch.net/category/curriculum/ regarding curriculum, critical race theory (CRT), and the definition of ‘elites.’

Ms. Ravitch quotes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis regarding CRT, “Nobody wants this crap, OK? This is an elite-driven phenomenon being driven by bureaucratic elites, elites in universities and elites in corporate America and they’re trying to shove it down the throats of the American people.

Clearly Gov. DeSantis is using the word ‘elite’ as a negative description of anyone who might disagree with him. In Ron’s world apparently folks who work in the public sphere, who have gone to school after high school, and the business folks who run companies are not people to be admired or considered as role models.

First of all, the hypocrisy here is damning. Gov. DeSantis graduated first from Yale and then from Harvard. Is the good governor revealing that he needs counseling because he is so full of self loathing? Though it is not my opinion that those who attend Ivy League schools should be held in contempt, it’s pretty clear from Mr. DeSantis’ tone that he thinks so. If there are any two more ‘elitist’ institutions in American post-high school education, I don’t know what they are. Perhaps we should take up a Go Fund Me effort to get Governor DeSantis some counseling for his low self-esteem?

Next, when did it become undesirable for Americans to want to better themselves? My grandfather came to this country near the beginning of the 20th century with little more than a basic education. He made certain my father went to school and that he graduated from high school and then encouraged him when he went on to become a tradesman and work in the automotive industry. My father told me from the jump that I was going to college in the hopes that I would be better off than he was. He worked killer amounts of overtime to help fund my college education. My mom and dad were super proud when I graduated from college. I went on to earn a Master’s degree and an Education Specialist certification while working full time and starting a family (and using credit cards to finance the cost of both schooling and our family). I was always taught that working hard to further oneself and one’s education was a basic part of the American dream. Apparently this is not an opinion shared by the Harvard Law graduate, Ron DeSantis.

Maybe Gov. DeSantis means that, because I’ve spent years in college and decades in my field that I think I know more than people who don’t have my background in my field of study. Well, I’d sure hope that after spending all that time, years of work, and all that money to become more expert in my field, that I do know more about education, learning, and children in schools than someone without those experiences. I will absolutely concede that I expect that Gov. DeSantis knows more about law, being a member of Congress, and more about being a Governor than I do!

Folks should be wary of politicians who degrade people who have put in years of learning and hard work to become better at their trade. Hard work, grit, and dedication to a field used to be admirable qualities that many Americans aspired to. This goes for any field where a level of expertise is required to perform a task, role, or job. I expect when I need the services of a plumber, lawyer, mechanic, doctor, and so on that they have the training, experience, and skills needed to perform their tasks. I’d like to think that the folks I hire or seek advice from are, in fact, elites in their field.

Governor DeSantis’ attack on people who pursue the American dream through grit, dedication, and learning is an insult to hard-working Americans. Perhaps he should use some of his Ivy League education to better understand the dreams and efforts of his fellow Americans.

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