Post-Trump Victory & Uncertainty: A Note to the Fearful Masses

To anyone who fears a Trump-fueled racist fallout, read this and allow it to guide your wisdom and strength in these uncertain times.
Being American is not about race, it is about nationality and how one identifies themselves.

We are all Americans.

We welcome you and your views. We also welcome the right of people to use the democratic process to choose a leader.

Though Trumps words were poorly chosen, we still have an opportunity to communicate to this leader that we will not stand for the mistreatment of any citizen or visitor to our country. Period. Read More

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Political Stalemate or a Sign of Things to Come

Do both primary popular GOP and Democrat candidates think they are above the law, what is next?

If popular GOP candidate Donald Trump’s comments about forcing the U.S. Military to act on illegal orders to torture insurgents (on the battlefield?) and Hillary Clinton gets indicted for yet another Clinton ‘Emailgate’ scandal for breaching national security, what happens next?

At this point the top two candidates are appearing unfit to lead the nation.  This may be the first accurate result of how the media plays an integral and dangerous role in the American political system.

Hillary Clinton’s litany of scandal

Last Night, Donald Trump Disqualified Himself
© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

E|L|P Daily Dose of Founding Perspective

Today’s founding perspective is from Thomas Jefferson on the nature of politics and government:

“Let those flatter, who fear; it is not an American art. To give praise which is not due might be well from the venal, but would ill beseem those who are asserting the rights of human nature…Open your breast, sire to liberal and expanded thought. Let not the name of George the third be a blot in the page of history…The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail. No longer persevere in sacrificing the rights of one part of the empire to the inordinate desired of another; but deal out all equal and impartial right…This is the important post in which fortune has placed you, holding the balance of great, if a well poised empire.”

(As quoted in Jon Meacham’s Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power)

 

Karl Marx’s Idealistic Concept of the Equalizing Effect of Socialism: A Perspective from the Dead Center of the Former Middle Class

To be clear, I grew up within a solid middle class family. My father was a lawyer who spent most of his career as a workers’ compensation attorney for hard working, often blue collar clients. My mother was a high school educated real estate paralegal–with a few college credits under her belt–who worked her tail off for over 20 years for attorneys until she went out on her own to form a title company. My parents worked their butts off. I know, my brother and I were latchkey kids in the 80’s and 90’s, born and raised in the DC suburbs. Never rich, sometimes well off, sometimes not so well off and at the mercy of market forces we could not control ourselves. We make good Marx ideology candidates. Keep reading.
I spent the first 15 years of my post-public high school life working and earning four degrees: an associates, a bachelors, a Juris Doctor, and, finally, a Master of Laws. I also have over $300,000 in student loan debt. Yes, it is blood curdling. So, you bet your ass, I paid attention in class and worked my tail off too.

I emerged ready and willing to hit the ground running, only to find that my education no longer holds the same market value it did when I was sold the idea of more degrees. I had educated myself out of the market entirely.

After all that hard work, with crippling student loans to pay back, and not one response to a single resume in 6 months (not one in dozens of applications), to say I was livid would be an understatement. What has become the ultimate equalizer now? Technology. In my case, likely a poorly designed job applicant algorithm.

So, I did what any over-educated and underemployed person would do, I sat and thought, tried to figure out where it all went wrong. I spent months thinking I did something wrong, that I used poor judgment, that I was wrong somehow. I played through all scenarios and kept landing on the same question mark: ‘wait, so when did life become fair enough so that everyone gets a trophy for just showing up?’

No. You dear sweet idealistic people brought up with privilege and self-esteem, life is not fair. If you disagree, then I point you to the ISIS crisis. Do you think they or their victims find life fair? But I digress.

For now, I point my critical finger at Karl Marx and I begin my analysis on him. If you don’t know who he is, I’m sure you are well-versed in Wikipedia, though I urge you to spend time to review multiple credible sources. What’s a credible source? If you are college educated, shame on your teachers or shame on you for not paying attention in class that day.  If you are high school educated or otherwise, it isn’t typically found on a standardized exam and I would be happy to explain. Read More

It’s Not Enough to Be A Visionary – #LeadershipDay14

Into (and Through) the Tangle

 joan of arc

Joan of Arc was a visionary leader.  Her example of commitment to doing what she knew to be right (and the suffering that entailed) has become a corollary for courageous leadership.  I would like to propose a somewhat differing view of the contemporary leader.  Being brave, committed, and visionary are all good virtues – maybe even essential – but they are not enough.

The world around us – and our work as educators – is too complex and multi-faceted to approach unilaterally.  All people have ideas about what they would like to see in the world; each of us, in our own right, is a visionary.  Educational leadership needs to do better than that; it needs to be inclusionary by design.

#LeadershipDay14 asks us to share our thoughts on effective digital leadership – the digital realm is, after all, just as important a landscape in 21st Century education as a classroom…

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