Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's a typical politicians answer...

OK, it is no secret that I am not voting for Obama, however, just in case he does get elected I want to know where I stand. I generally e-mail candidates and ask them all the same set of questions. They involve the issues that I find most important. Things like the economy, illegal immigration, taxes, the war on terror and education. The "education" does include their opinion on home schooling.

Most candidates do respond, and a few actually answer the questions that I ask. I read each of their websites first, and then I ask more specific questions that are not addressed on their website. Most either regurgitate exactly what is on the site (pretty much copy and paste what's already there), or they send that as well as address my question.

Yesterday, after reading Obama's entire website I concentrated on his "education policy". I read it several times just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I then e-mailed him one specific question. I said, "I have read your policy on education, but I have one question concerning education that you do not address; 'What is your opinion about Home Schooling?" That was it. I received the following e-mail last night:

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me about the critical importance of reforming America’s schools. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue, and I agree that we must do more to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed.

Too often our leaders present this issue as an either-or debate, divided between giving our schools more funding and demanding more accountability. We should do both.

Our kids deserve a better chance at every level – from preschool and summer school, to high school and college. Last year, I introduced the Innovation Districts for School Improvement Act, which provides grants to school systems that draft detailed plans for broad reforms at the district level. In addition, I have introduced a bill to promote summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children, supported increased funding for the Head Start program to help provide preschoolers with critically important learning skills, and co-authored a bipartisan bill to help exceptional high school students enroll in college-level courses elsewhere if their school does not offer them.

We can’t stop there. The demands of the modern global economy have made higher education more necessary than ever, even as the costs of college continue to soar. To address this, my first proposal as a U.S. senator was a bill to make college more affordable by increasing the maximum Pell Grant to $5100. I also cosponsored the Student Debt Relief Act, which encourages colleges to participate in the Direct Loan program, increases need-based aid, and decreases fees and interest rates for student loans

Finally, the teacher is the most important factor in successfully educating our children, and we need to give our teachers everything they need to succeed. That means changing the certification process so that qualified applicants can avoid expensive additional coursework to become teachers; pairing up new recruits with master teachers; and giving proven teachers more control over what goes on in their classrooms. It also means paying teachers what they’re worth.

To learn more about my plans to revitalize education, please click here:

To read my recent speech on education, please click here:

I encourage you to share your own thoughts and policy ideas about education through the My Policy tool on the first web page linked above. Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue.

Barack Obama

Since this is pretty much EXACTLY what is on his website I don't think I am doing anything wrong by posting it here. Did any of you read the answer to my question in the above e-mail? No? Me neither. So, I sent a second e-mail to Mr. Obama. This said, "Thank you for your time, but you did not answer my question. Again, I did read your website before I e-mailed you, but the answer is not addressed there. What is your opinion concerning home schooling?" I have not received an answer as of yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Now, please do not think that I am foolish enough to believe that he actually answered this e-mail himself. I am sure he didn't. Most of the politicians I e-mail do not answer the e-mail themselves, but the person responding usually let's me know that they are "Joe Blow from So and So's office...." I have actually called politicians on the phone and questioned them personally. I'm not above this. I actually called a woman running for the Texas Supreme Court once, and she returned my phone call around 10:00 pm. She was pleasant. After speaking to her I knew I wouldn't vote for her, but we could go out for coffee some time. :-) I don't remember her name, but she didn't win anyway so it doesn't matter.

I know this is such a long post, and I apologize for that. I guess I am just frustrated, because I think this has been a real problem with this entire election. They aren't answering questions. Just pointing fingers and repeating the same few words. (Not so much with McCain and Huckabee, in my opinion, but definitely on the Democratic side) You can't just say "We want change, and not tell us how you plan to do that, and when I say "tell us" I mean specifically. Don't just tell me what you would like to see. Tell me specifically how you plan to get there.

This is not a problem just with Obama, so you don't think I am specifically bashing him, but with most of the candidates. Heck, at least he responded to my e-mail. Clinton didn't even do that. I already know McCain (emailed him the last time he ran) and Huckabee's opinion, so I didn't bother e-mailing them. And they did respond to my specific question.

So, the short ending to this VERY long post is: ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT IS ASKED OF YOU!! Sorry, just had to vent. :-)

Wendy Darling

1 comment:

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Girl. I totally understand your frustrations! It's obvious that was a form response, and whoever was replying to the e-mails just matched your question up with the closest answer they could find.

I really admire you for doing your "homework" and digging deep. Too bad there's sometimes nothing there to find but a bunch of hot air.