Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and senior editor-at-large at The Epoch Times, Roger Simon, in-studio to speak about his latest piece addressing the need for citizens to take back America by running for their school board.
Leahy: We are joined in the studio by our very good friend, my former boss at PJTV. Also Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and now a senior editor-at-large for The Epoch Times, Roger Simon. Roger, good morning.
Simon: This is a good morning because the coffee is good here. (Giggles)
Leahy: I made it, especially for you.
Simon: Because I complained.
Leahy: You must start the day off with good coffee. And as our listeners are there getting up, most of them are brewing their coffee right now. And they’re starting to pour it. And so, like us, we are enjoying coffee as we have our morning discussions.
Simon: I was just going to say one thing about coffee. Woody Allen said life is 90 percent about showing up. Actually, it’s not even said about a coffee.
Leahy: Coffee helps you show up and get the day started.
Simon: You have a terrific commentary at The Epoch Times. Theepochtimes.com. I’d like you to talk about it. I think this is the central point of what’s happening in America today. You write, to save America, run for school board.
Simon: Yes. I don’t think there’s anything more important John Q or Jane Q citizen can do other than run for school board at this point in the history of the United States. Ironically, as I say in the piece, it’s more important than running for Senate or Congress or any highfaluting job you can think of it. It’s the grassroots of the grassroots.
What’s interesting about it is that one of the commenters on my piece already – and it only went up at 11 o’clock last night, but it’s really getting a lot of traction – it reminded us that Lenin said to give him four years of educating any young person and he would have them for life.
Leahy: And I think those four years kind of go up to fourth grade. By fourth grade, they’re 90 percent formed, I think.
Simon: I think you’re right.
Leahy: Of course, we have actually some educators out there who may comment on that note. Just as an aside tonight, Roger, I’ll invite you to join me at this event. It is an open house for Thales Academy in Franklin at 6 pm.
If you come, you might want to write about it at The Epoch Times. This is a fabulous private school. It’s a chain now of eight.
Simon: People have been telling me about that for a couple of years, and I am anxious to see it.
Leahy: They use direct instruction as the most effective way to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. Since it’s most effective, the teachers’ unions hate it. But it’s very effective.
And they have a classical education based on the values of Western civilization. They learn about American values and it’s a great place. The tuition cost is just a little over $5,000 a year.
Simon: That’s pretty good.
Leahy: That’s really good. Tonight on Carothers Parkway in Franklin.
Simon: This is all about running for the school board. And I learned a few things from my colleague and from my wife but also from my colleague Trevor Lauden at The Epoch Times who’s been studying this.
If you’re going to run for school board, which is a very important thing to do considering what’s happened with schools, where they’re teaching Critical Race Theory and all the rest of the absolute Marxist lies to your children, you should do two things: Do not run by yourself and try to run with four or five other people.
Leahy: A slate. It’s easier to organize campaigns that way. If you’re running by yourself, the opposition, basically a bunch of lefty groups, particularly here in Williamson County for years, have been doing this.
That’s why of the 12 members of the Williamson County School Board, about 10 are lefties and two are just struggling to deal with all that pressure from the left.
Simon: As we have heard, and there’s been a lot of research on this, that people get slanted very easily in campaigns when they’re by themselves because in the last three days they publicize, you know, when did you stop beating your wife or one of those kinds of things.
Leahy: And you got a parking ticket you didn’t pay 20 years ago. You are a scofflaw.
Simon: One of those things. You have no time to reply and you have no allies in making it good. So do it as a group. And I’ll tell the second thing.
Leahy: Alright, we’ll hold off till after the break.
Leahy: A great piece to Save America, Run for School Board. Now you were giving advice to people running for school board. I think Trevor Loudon is a guy who suggested this. Number one, run as a slate with others. Great advice.
Simon: That one came from my wife. But the second one comes from Trevor. And it’s true. And that is not just criticize, which we have to do and highlight Critical Race Theory and the rest of the nonsense that’s being inculcated in children.
But also come up with and have a program that you want to replace it with. A specific one. Thales Academy is one good example. The place that leads the country in all this is Hillsdale College. And if you go online, you can see their K-12 programs.
You don’t need to run with super details of this. Four or five bullet points are plenty for everybody to digest. But you’ve got to have something when you run for all or the people to say, oh, what are you going to do? Well, this is what we’re going to do.
Leahy: Implement this curriculum. Classic education curriculum, a pro-American history. Honest pro-American history.
Simon: And not this nonsense like two plus two don’t equal four because they’re racist or the other extreme stuff that’s being thrown out there right now.
Leahy: I don’t know if anybody’s ever told you this, Roger, but you are a very good writer. I’m just going to read two paragraphs from your piece. You’d be saving America from turning into the bleakest socialist Communist state imaginable, because that is what our current educational system, K-12 is designed to do.
And sadly, has been successful in doing literally for decades. And it’s only getting worse. You would in the process also be a true revolutionary in the tradition of the founders of our country in bringing back truth, justice, and the American way to our children and our children’s children.
Simon: That is rather good.
Leahy: No, it is great. It’s a lyrical salute to America.
Simon: Well, thank you. It took me a while to get there having had a left-wing path.
Leahy: (Laughs) But everybody has a left-wing path. You know, the famous quote from Churchill. “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you don’t have a heart. And if you’re not a conservative when you’re 40, you don’t have a brain.”
Leahy: Except the problem is a lot of people kind of get stuck in that liberal stance because as we’re talking about the schools.
The John Dewey approach to schooling is a propaganda approach, and we have a generation of children who have come through schools where they aren’t taught to think independently, but rather to kind of anticipate the answer the teacher is looking for.
Simon: That answer is so dull and socialistic. And it’s quite sad what’s happened, because of the self-replicating system. The people who become teachers have been taught that, too, for years and years and years. So what we need is you, John Q citizen, to get out there and run for school board.
Leahy: And yet, Roger, you know, just thinking about this independently right now, I will say for those in our listening audience who are saying, yeah, I’ll run for school board. Then they think about it a little bit. It is a daunting task, given the current structure.
Let’s think about Metro Nashville Public Schools. Right now there are nine members of the school board. Eight of them are lunatic, left-wing ideologues. And one friend, Fran Bush, actually has a brain and is an intelligent person and has common sense. But it’s very difficult. She’s been our guest here in-studio many a time.
And when you look at the kind of groupthink conformity, left-wing ideology promoted by the school board director and their focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. And then, headline at The Tennessee Star this morning: Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Calls for Board to Issue New Mask Mandate.
Simon: Here’s the irony in the whole thing. The United States spends more money on public education per capita than almost any country in the world. I believe Switzerland was once more. It varies, but we’re pretty close to the top and we’re getting terrible results. Think about that.
What a war on black people that is. Teaching equity and inclusion and all the rest of these buzzwords that are nothing but political power or fraud is an insult to the very people they’re trying to help.
They are the people who get screwed. Any Democrat out there should be ashamed of themselves. I used to be a Democrat, and I’m saying that. I mean, grow a brain.
Leahy: The problem is so they don’t think, they don’t analyze data, they just drop into almost a zealous religious approach.
Simon: Totally religious.
Leahy: It’s the religion of the left of totalitarianism, and it’s extraordinarily dangerous. We talked about this. The Judeo-Christian principles of Western civilization, that really is the building block of our American constitutional republic.
Simon: Of course it is. But sometimes they’re hard to follow. It’s easier to follow the leaders of the left who are going against that on every level. But you can save the country and yourselves by waking up to this. And I’m talking to liberals like I was. Some of them might be listening to this show.
Leahy: Our friend Karl, to whom I lost a bet because he bet that Joe Biden would be inaugurated. And I bet that it would be Trump. And I lost that bet. Took him out and had a steak dinner with him, bought it at Rafferty’s. Karl’s a great guy.
He got his start as a waiter at Rafferty’s and now has his own business, basically hauling junk and trash away from folks and very successful. But still, he’s got a certain worldview that’s different from ours. But he listens and we’re delighted he does.
Simon: Hello Karl. (Leahy laughs) We’ve never met.
Leahy: He is a nice guy.
Simon: But getting people to change their politics is very hard because most people have a whole network of reasons that they can’t change and that they won’t face or look at including work, including family, including friends. And it goes on and on.
And I’ve seen that all over the place. And I think most of us have. And right now we’re in a very bad place in our country because a lot of us are hating each other for reasons that have nothing to do with reality and have everything to do with being manipulated.
Leahy: But that’s an intentional effort at dividing the country, don’t you think?
Leahy: This is what the Democratic leadership and I’ll go on, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Chinese Communist Party, to me, all seem to be aligned in promoting American division.
Simon: Oh, absolutely. And they’re doing a good job, unfortunately. So it’s up to us. And that’s why back to the school board. That’s one of the places that any reasonably educated person can get in there and try to stop it.
When you were talking about how skewed the Metro school board is here, eight to one, and so forth, don’t let that stop you. Go, as I mentioned earlier, get three or four or five friends to run with you.
Leahy: As a slate.
Simon: As a slate. Don’t do it by yourself. Then you’re just running into a wall and it’s silly. But everybody’s got a few friends who are like-minded and do it together. First of all, you’ll help each other.
Secondly, you get more money that way from supporters. And that’s what you can do. And if we do that all over the country, the country is going to change.
Leahy: That’s a very good point. I think it’s an organizational challenge to a degree. Because it does have some similarities, I think, to the Tea Party movement…
Simon: It does.
Leahy: Way back when in 2008, 2009. You and I were involved.
Simon: You more than I.
Leahy: But it was putting people together and focusing them on a common goal. So we’ll see how it all plays out. Very insightful, Roger
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Board Meeting” by KOMUnews (CC BY 2.0).