Make America Smart Again


I don’t think Shepard Fairey will be too upset because I’m promoting his ideas but once again, just like the Obama Hope poster, he has nailed it. MASA: Make America Smart Again. Yes please, because being smart crosses all lines, Republican, Democrat, Atheist, Christian, whatever. Smarter usually means healthier, richer, more fun to be around and, most importantly, able to make better choices.


According to Education Week, 157 teachers have filed for state legislative seats across the country. The revolution is slowly happening people, an education revolution, facts over fiction, science over conspiracy theories, substance over superficial.


Unfortunately, taking the lid off the sewer has empowered the racists and the crazies and the bullies of the world but America, or at least part of America, is now saying “Enough silly bully man, time for you to go away, your 15 minutes is about up”.


Or maybe I’m totally off and we’re doomed. Hope doesn’t mean jack when your house is burning down. And it is getting pretty hot these days.


It’s all about city councilwoman Rachel Hundley who unapologetically videoed a response to her haters. Saying, “F you, I’m proud of who I am and what I’ve done and if you can’t handle some sexy pictures from Burning Man then grow the F up.” Or something like that (sorry Rachel my paraphrasing skills can be a little harsh). There was no cowering, no apologies, just a lot of assertiveness and aren’t-we-better-than-this-ness. Which we are.


And on the heels of councilman David Cook being told he has a target on his back means that even though “team crazy” is feeling a little empowered, “team smart people” is coming through in the stretch. I’m all for civil discourse and disagreement and stirring the pot but bullying and intimidation are bad period. All the time.


Teachers are a selfless bunch. Mostly happy to keep our heads down and inspire students to learn with as little fanfare as possible. Some of us like to toot our horns (me) but most leave the tooting to others.  We measure success in the success of our product. Putting up with all the crap because we have the intrinsic reward of changing lives. And really is there any better reward?


I’m blowing minds this week in Biology class. Watching as students discover the origins of life and how we grew from two cells into living breathing miracles. One can’t move forward if one doesn’t know where one came from.


Where will evolution take us next? Is the Barcalounger and video screen lifestyle depicted in Wall-E our destination? And why are we here? I do a lot of cross-pollinating in my classes: philosophy, social responsibility, social theory: think for yourself kinda stuff. Care because you can kinda stuff. Learn because you see the value of intelligence kinda stuff. And don’t forget about the future because it’s coming whether you make the right decisions or not.


By waging war on issues like climate change and immigration and truth and civility America has become a nation of dueling tribes. We can fight fire with fire down in the sewer or we can go full Hundley and stay above it.


And really isn’t life tough enough without fighting and anger and hate? Shouldn’t we be focusing on love and civility and promoting the behavior that will move us forward?


Listen to Shepard, Make America Smart Again.





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