Politico Magazine: School closures made me question my progressive politics

Last week, Allahpundit wrote about a piece in the Atlantic in which author Angie Schmitt said she had soured on Democrats thanks to their school closure policies. Today, I did a double take when Politico Magazine published a piece with a very similar theme titled, “How School Closures Made Me Question My Progressive Politics.” The author of the new piece is Rebecca Bodenheimer, a journalist based in Oakland. She first went public about her feelings in June of 2020:

Bodenheimer’s feelings were amplified by the reaction she got from other progressives about her desire to see public schools reopen:

Parents who advocated for school reopening were repeatedly demonized on social media as racist and mischaracterized as Trump supporters. Members of the parent group I helped lead were consistently attacked on Twitter and Facebook by two Oakland moms with ties to the teachers union. They labelled advocates’ calls for schools reopening “white supremacy” called us “Karens,” and even bizarrely claimed we had allied ourselves with Marjorie Taylor Greene’s transphobic agenda.

There was no recognition of the fact that we were advocating for our kids, who were floundering in remote learning, or that public schools across the country (in red states) opened in fall 2020 without major outbreaks, as did private schools just miles from our home…

There were a range of insults lobbed at us: We were bad parents who didn’t care about our own kids or teachers dying, we only wanted our babysitters back and our frustrations about school closures were an example of “white supremacy.” Los Angeles teachers union head Cecily Myart-Cruz stated that reopening schools was “a recipe for propagating structural racism.”

Finally, last year, with her son struggling with remote learning and the public schools unable to commit to be open, Bodenheimer decided to send her son to a private school. Thanks to a large tuition break from the school and some financial help from her father, she was able to afford it. She writes that leaving public school made her feel very uncomfortable but ultimately she chose helping her son over being a progressive in good standing. She predicts that’s a choice a lot of other people are making right now as teacher’s unions around the country continue to agitate for a return to remote learning:

The pandemic, and the school-reopening debate in particular, has thrown me into an ideological mid-life crisis, questioning all my prior political assumptions. I’m still attempting to hold onto the progressive label while calling out the policies I see as antithetical to it, but the longer fellow progressives support new school closures and other policies that restrict kids’ lives in order to allay the anxieties of adults, and have been shown to cause far more harm than benefit, the more alienated I feel.

Of course anything I say is only likely to push Bodenheimer back to her home in the left-flank of the Democratic party but I’m going to say something anyway. The progressive left has a long history of putting children front and center in their marketing efforts. Take Greta Thunberg as just one recent example of this trend. This has the advantage of making them look like they are the wave of the future. But when it comes to who they care about more, your kids or their union friends, the answer is pretty clear. Bodenheimer discovered that the hard way but to many of us on the right it wasn’t that surprising to see the left abandon kids and the best science in favor of the people who give them power and/or money. It’s a deal some of them continue to make this week.

The other thing Bodenheimer discovered the hard way was how progressives use allegations of racism, sexism, etc. Bodenheimer may may have once believed that sort of thing only happens to bad conservatives who really deserve it but hopefully she knows better now. The next time she sees someone on the left calling someone on the right a racist, maybe she’ll pause a moment and remember when the same thing was being said about her and others who dared to have a different opinion. When people on the left are hurling allegations of racism that often just means someone is standing in the way of whatever they want to do.