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The Authoritarian Left Flip Flops “Your Papers Please!”

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Under Germany’s Nazi totalitarian regime, a tight grip of control was exercised over the entire population through the “German National Registration System.” This rigid and fearsome system was used by the police state to exercise control over individuals and, in the ultimate terror, sent millions to their death. The German police state has become familiar to us all in its depictions in TV shows and movies over the years with the SS Officer stopping citizens in the street and barking the order “Your papers please!”

Such dramatic scenes are a nightmarish reminder to all of what happens when unchecked government power goes to the extreme. In 2010, when the left went into a hysteric meltdown over Arizona’s SB70 Bill, many Civil Libertarians like me found some areas of agreement with their arguments. The Arizona Law required resident aliens to always carry their registration papers with them and made it a crime for them to not have possession of their papers when requested by a law enforcement officer. Many critics on the left referred to the law as the “Your Papers Please Law” and they rightfully drew comparisons to the German police state. Sort of. The Arizona law did not apply to American citizens, but that is a minor point. And like with everything else they do not like, the left tried to make the argument about race. That too missed the larger point. The larger point, and the one that I agree with, is that we do not want to live in a society that requires people who are walking down the street to have to produce any type of registration paper. I shared a fear that Arizona’s law could open the door to an encroaching police state that would eventually impact all citizens.

The ability to move about freely, to “assemble” with little to no interference from any agent of the government is a cornerstone of a free republic and it is essential to capitalism. Mobility fosters collaboration, creativity, and spurs economic activity that is essential to a flourishing, productive, and healthy society. Some of the same people and organizations who purported to understand this back in 2010 are now clamoring for Vaccine Passports and “proof of vaccination.”

As one example, a CNN headline today informs us of the “Vaccinated Americans Allowed to Taste Freedom,” this story is a far cry in tone from CNN’s 2010 story titled “Immigration law polarizes Arizonans.” In the former story (2021), a Dr. Leana Wen lets us know that “people who are fully vaccinated should be able to travel — should be encouraged to travel, and that’s one of those incentives that we can give as a way for restoring freedoms, that you now are able to travel and go visit your loved ones and go to museums and cultural institutions once you’re fully vaccinated.” In the latter story (from 2010) we are asked to join in the lament of one Jessica Meija who shares: “Even if you’re legal, you’re in fear that maybe your driver’s license isn’t going to be enough or if you’re walking down the street and the police stop you…. It’s a constant fear we’re living in and even legal citizens are afraid to go out.”

In 2010, the left, CNN, and people like Jessica Meija were advocating for freedom of assembly and mobility. Requiring proof of papers was seen as a government overreach. In 2021, CNN and Dr. Leana Wen are going to “give” us “incentives as a way of restoring freedoms.” What all actors in both stories are missing is that only our creator gives us our freedoms, not CNN, not the CDC, and not Dr. Leana Wen. Our nation is founded on the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence that we are “endowed” with our rights and our freedoms. They cannot be unjustly taken from us, and when they are, we have every right to stand up and fight those efforts. But I digress.

There is a growing theme emerging in the media and from certain government mouthpieces, if you have proof of a vaccine, you can be “free again.” This push for what amounts to “Immunity Passports” is unethical and dangerous. We know the dark history of Nazi Germany’s “Your papers please” culture, but right here in the United States in 19th Century New Orleans, presumed immunity to Yellow Fever was used to justify White Supremacy. This past year has shown us the socio-economic divides exacerbated by COVID-19 as celebrities and the rich and the famous skipped in line and had quick and easy access to tests and vaccines ahead of those less fortunate. The same disparity would exist in the granting of Immunity Passports. Individuals and organizations with greater wealth and resources will have access to these passports quicker than everyone else and this will only widen the gap between the elite and everyone else.

What would an America that required proof of Immunity look like? Are there scenarios that would require law enforcement to “stop and frisk” people to check for their proof of immunity? This too is a practice the left once opposed and now they seem ready to advocate for it. Wouldn’t minority populations and the undocumented immigrants the left so frequently champions be disproportionately targeted in a world of Immunity Passports?

Once you stop and think about the modern authoritarian left and all of their contradictions you start to realize that many of the positions they take are not based on sound ideological principles. Rather, the modern authoritarian leftist takes their positions based on whatever is most convenient for them at the time in the pursuit of gaining and getting more of one thing, power. While the left flip flops between advocating for civil liberties and calling for their end; at least Arizona remains consistent in their police state efforts. They have recently been sending health department personnel to knock on people’s doors to make sure they have been vaccinated. “Your papers please!”

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Achievements Through the Ages

Marshaling resources, establishing order, and carefully scheduling activities and events are vital in any era

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Besides being regarded as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, what do these sites have in common: the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, in what is now Iraq; the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece; the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey; the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, in what is now Bodrum, Turkey; the Colossus of Rhodes in Greece; and the Lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt?

Added to the above, what do the following sites, often referred to as the New Seven Wonders of the World, have in common? The Great Wall of China; Petra, an archaeological city in southern Jordan; the Colosseum in Rome, Italy; Chichen Itza in the Yucatán of Mexico; Machu Picchu in the Cuzco region of Peru; the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India; and the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?

Last, what do these have in common: the Acropolis in Athens, Greece; the Suez Canal; the Panama Canal; the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey; Teotihuacan in the Basin of Mexico; the Empire State Building in New York City; the Eiffel Tower in Paris; the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, China; El Mirador in Guatemala; the Tower of London; and many other notable places around the world?

Long Before Today’s Tools of Technology

The answer to all of the above, in a nutshell, is that they are major architectural, landscaping, or construction feats that were conceived, built, and perfected without the aid of a computer, software, or any of the technological tools that are commonly associated with project management.

The same can be said of the Great Canadian Railway, the Patagonia Highway in South America, the Hoover Dam in Arizona, the Itaipu Dam bordering Brazil and Paraguay, the U.S. Interstate Highway System, the Great Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Trans-Siberian Highway, the Aswan Dam in Egypt, the first passenger ocean liners, pre-World War II aircraft, early steel mills, etc.

Regarding the “Wonders” named above, to say it another way, long before anyone knew about electricity, let alone cyberspace or management software and spreadsheets, ambitious civilizations around the globe, pioneering builders, devised and constructed some of the most enduring, iconic sites and destinations in the world.

These massive projects involved conception (that is, the genesis of the idea), designing, planning, and material and labor considerations, all of which are part of today’s computer-aided world that obviously none of the builders and designers of these projects had at their disposal. As such, not all projects proceeded with the efficiency that today’s projects can muster. There were costly delays, high accident and mortality rates, and sometimes gargantuan setbacks. Despite it all, the march of civilization and the proliferation of monumental feats continued unabated.

Your Bottom Line

Whether it’s client services, team building, or what-have-you, what are their underlying concepts, and what makes their tenets viable now and for the future? You want to always seek both the short- and the long-term utility of a management methodology, a tool, a system, or even a set of beliefs.

With effective management, when you sweep away the contemporary hubbub, an underlying structure prevails. The need to marshal adequate resources, to establish order, and to carefully schedule activities and events, all remain vital in any era. Technological tools provide the contemporary template and operating systems by which we do proceed, while the underlying fundamentals of effective management are relatively constant.

When you stay open-minded to the available new terminology and tools, you’ll tend to learn new things and gain perspectives that you might not otherwise encounter. So, understand new terminology and tools, but do not be ensnared by them as if they are so vital that you can’t successfully manage a project without them.

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Education

Angry Parents Aren’t Terrorists—They’re Just Terrors to Public School Boards

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parents
Photo credit: Ryan Snaadt

Dear school boards: When you poke mama and papa bear, don’t be surprised when they growl and bare their teeth. And writing a letter to the president asking him to sic the FBI on parents rather than treating them as partners in education seems more political than needful.

To understand the gulf between parents and educators, just watch a school board meeting on youtube (if you still can). You’ll see concerned parents voicing their concerns at microphones. They look like defendants standing before judges in a tribunal. What happened to PTAs?

In school board meetings across the nation, parents are treated as opponents rather than partners. They’re frustrated and angry with imperious school boards who seem to insist that they know what’s best for their children.

At times their anger causes them to raise their voices in passionate speeches. They love their children and seek to protect them from what they view as indoctrination, not education. Parental love drives their passion and triggers their protective instincts. This doesn’t make them domestic terrorists.

If school board members and teachers feel threatened by genuine threats in public meetings or on social media, they should be investigated—by local authorities, not by the federal government.

Yet last week the National School Boards Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to direct the Justice Department to investigate angry parents for hate crimes and domestic terrorism. Domestic terrorism.

Why are parents so angry? Three issues come to mind: mask mandates, sex education that includes transgenderism, and Critical Race Theory.

Mask mandates

Masks can and do help prevent the transmission of the coronavirus. But they’re not necessarily a good option for children simply because, by and large, the virus is not deadly to kids.

In fact, 98-99 percent of children who get COVID fully recover. With this in mind, by doing a simple risk assessment of masking schoolchildren versus not masking them, we’d conclude that it’s better to let them learn without masks.

Additionally, we simply don’t know the longterm adverse effects forced masking has on learning. Most kids are visual learners and take cues from facial expressions. Their socialization may also suffer as a result.

Clearly, because educators are more at risk of death from COVID-19, they should continue masking. Thoughtful parents know their children who do not have preexisting conditions are generally safe to attend school without masks.

Why do school boards and teachers unions continue to push unnecessary and likely harmful mask mandates on children? For whom are they most concerned with protecting? If they believe in masking, they should mask up and suck it up. If they’re still afraid, perhaps they’re not cut out to be educators.

Sex re-education

Teaching children about the birds and the bees is a parent’s job, not a teacher’s. Sex ed is a family issue, not the state’s. Can’t it wait until just before puberty, rather than being taught to kids K-5?

Many traditional parents share this opinion. So is the self-evident truth that binary genders exist in human biology—and in reality. Parents who embrace this truth and passionately speak up about it are now at risk of being accused of hate speech.

We are born male or female. No amount of surgery or hormone treatment changes this reality. Parents know this and also know that confusing kids with fantasy genders and damaging gender reassignment harms them.

Public school educators have more than enough on their plates with teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. They should leave sex education to parents and resist pressure to push gender nonsense on impressionable children.

Parents are also concerned with the prospect of hormonally-altered boys competing against their girls in sports. This obviously gives males unfair physically advantages and presents a danger to the health of welfare of overmatched females.

The Journal of Medical Ethics affirmed this reality in a recent study in which the researchers concluded that “the advantage to transwomen afforded by the IOC guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

Bad theory

What is Critical Race Theory?

Critical Race Theory (CRT), as defined in a video by the Heritage Foundation, is a philosophy founded on Marxist analysis that claims America is “systemically racist.”

CRT proponents, active in colleges and universities for years, now seek to impact public policy in public schools. As a result, CRT is beginning to gain a foothold in K-12. This makes parents angry.

Most parents and some educators and school board members reject CRT’s racial discrimination for equity in favor of equality and opportunity for all— regardless of skin color.

The vast majority of thoughtful and caring parents believe that CRT teaches children to feel guilty for their “whiteness” while accepting the lie that America’s systems are inherently racist.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act dealt a mortal blow to systemic racism in America. Critical Race Theory ignores this landmark legislation and the fact that racism resides in people, not systems.

Obviously, there a differing definitions of systemic racism held by those on both sides of the issue. Just as there are differing definitions of “hate speech.” Perhaps it would be helpful to rely on definitions that are based in logic and common sense rather than emotion and agenda.

In the minds of many parents, Critical Race Theory is nothing more than partisan propaganda. CRT is harmful because it produces unmerited guilt, divides us and denies the attainability of the American Dream for people of color.

This is not borne out by our nation’s history. Rather, it’s debunked by generations of immigrants and people of color who came to America legally and made better and more prosperous lives for themselves and their families.

Terrorists or terrors?

To justify their appeal to the president for federal law enforcement support, the National School Boards Association is misapplying words and phrases to vilify angry and frustrated parents. Why? They’re either seeking to clear obstacles to their agenda and/or they mistake parental passion for peril to themselves.

Have some angry parents (or those who side with them) gone too far with social media attacks and threats? Probably. Does any of this have to do with genuine hate speech or domestic terrorism? Unlikely.

What’s more likely is that words like hate and terror are being misused to trigger more government interference in the lives of parents and their children.

Branding angry parents domestic terrorists is absurd hyperbole at best and political weaponization at worst. Parents who are merely resisting ideological intrusion into their public schools—and their children’s lives—deserve better.

What we need is an overhaul of a failing public school system and vouchers for charter schools and alternative educational systems like home schooling.

Why should we continue funding increasingly political public schools? Why should we believe school boards who claim parents are engaging in hate speech, threats of violence, and terrorism when most seek merely to protect their children by exercising their freedom of speech with passion and conviction?

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