Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is the latest leading Democrat to amplify the disturbing notion within progressive circles that parents are not primarily responsible for their children’s upbringing and development.
“I respect differences of opinion. I don’t have too much respect for people that are misbehaving in public and then acting like they know what’s right for kids,” Cardona prattled on Sept. 22, referring to what he called attacks on public education. The comment was immediately seen as what it is: a shot at parents who dare to criticize their local school boards.
It’s hardly the first time Cardona has expressed such sentiments. His confirmation hearings in 2021 gave further evidence to his alarming worldview.
It Takes a Village of Experts
“Do you think parents should be in charge of their child’s education as the primary stakeholder?” Cardona was asked by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN).
“I believe parents are important stakeholders,” Cardona soggily replied. After Braun re-emphasized the word “primary,” the secretary would have no part of it, adding, “but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programming.”
It’s a crucial assertion. Cardona was expressing the fervent progressive belief that “expertism” is essential to the raising of America’s children, and that parents have no right to contradict the “consensus” conclusions of anointed credentialed authority figures.
That this expertism just so happens to reflect the radical social agenda of the progressive left undoubtedly plays no role at all.
In May 2022, Cardona refused to state that parents should be notified when their child is “transitioning” to another gender under the guidance of school officials.
“Should schools ever keep it a secret from parents if their children are involved in gender transition?” Sen. Jim Banks (R-IN) asked President Joe Biden’s federal point man on education.
“Schools should be partnering with parents on communication, and there are times when schools are working and supporting students on issues that are very sensitive, but I do believe that parents should be connected with schools, and, in many cases, working together is what’s going to help the student,” Cardona again tepidly warbled in response.
“I have spoken to students who shared, whatever situation is at their home, that they felt safe at the school, and we have to be careful not to turn this into something that it’s not,” he added. “Our schools are safe places for our students, and our teachers are often the front-liners when it comes to supporting our students when they have issues in their lives.”
A bewildered Banks termed it a “very bizarre answer.” And yet it is not. This is the natural thought process that comes with the cult of expertism. It is at the heart of the enmity displayed by Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland when his Justice Department attempted to portray parents who dared to question local school officials as potential domestic terrorists.
Parents as Hurdle to Progress
Cultural leftists believe that questioning their authoritatively stamped collective wisdom amounts to dangerous extremism.
The coronavirus pandemic highlighted this perception of parents as an obstacle to the greater good. In May 2021, NBC News played up a loaded narrative of heroic teens defying their “anti-vaccination” parents to save their lives.
“[A] recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Vaccine Monitor found that nearly a quarter of parents surveyed would not allow their teenagers to be vaccinated and 18 percent said they would do it only if the schools mandated it,” NBC wrote. “Parental consent is something children have to contend with across the country, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach as states have differing rules.”
Side note: The Kaiser Family Foundation has received more than $8 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since September 2022.
A Pennsylvania state senator sponsored legislation in 2021 that would have allowed “kids ages 14 and older to get vaccines if their doctors recommend it, even if their parents don’t,” KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh reported at the time.
And a lavishly promoted activist organization called VaxTeen was created to further this not-so-organic children’s crusade. “Young people taking responsibility for their own health to put an end to preventable diseases,” reads the catchphrase on the group’s website.
Listed “partners” of VaxTeen include UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and an outfit called Keep Up the Rates. What is that?
Keep Up the Rates is a project of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. NFID exists to promote the full spectrum of vaccines. Its “2023 Strategic Partners” are a monument to the true face of progressive “expertism” in practice. Vaccine developers AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer are all listed as Platinum-tier partners while Big Pharma behemoths GSK, Merck, and Sanofi Pasteur are Gold-tier allies.
The sexualization of kids is another tragic aspect of the progressive expertist assault on parental authority. As Liberty Nation reported in September 2022, leading Democrat senators for years have introduced the Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act.
“Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) was the sponsor in 2021,” LN detailed. “An official statement from his office declared that the bill aimed to ‘end investments in harmful Title V abstinence-only programs’ and ‘support the sexual health and agency of students and young people.’”
Sex education activist group SIECUS is the principal organization behind the push to get this legislation passed. In May 2022, SIECUS was lead author of a report titled Exposing Hate: The Truth About Attacks on Our Kids, Schools, and Diversity.
The report specifically identified parents as the enemy in the expertist-approved effort to sexually liberate kids.
“Since the summer of 2021, there has been a sudden outbreak of so-called ‘parental rights’ groups, posing as grassroot parent activists protesting a range of inclusive educational programming and safety measures in schools,” the report stated.
Several other prominent blue political figures are on board with this agenda.
“Other Democrats who have signed on to [the] REAHYA bill over the years include Booker’s fellow 2020 presidential aspirants Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The three served as co-sponsors of the legislation in 2016,” LN related.
But one Democrat with transparent 2024 presidential aspirations has temporarily decided to rein in the assault on parents.
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom sparked outrage among LGBTQ lawmakers by vetoing a bill that would have directed judges to consider parents’ acceptance of children’s gender identities in custody disputes,” The Sacramento Bee reported Sept. 22.
For the big-box Bee, Newsom’s failure to bow to radical LGBTQ activists is the lead, rather than the alarming nature of the bill itself, which naturally was approved by the Democrat-controlled California state legislature.
Newsom is pining to be asked to swoop in and rescue Democrats next year by replacing a deeply unpopular Biden on the party’s presidential ticket. Yet he has good reason to fear the baggage that comes from affixing his signature to the woke bills passed in California may come back to haunt him on a national stage.
Apparently, taking children away from parents who refuse to pretend their son is a daughter or vice versa is a bridge he doesn’t want to cross at the moment. But the hollow “science” of progressive credentialism that makes up his professional persona ensures that the attacks on the natural rights of parents will only worsen in the years to come.