Here’s a first – I am weary and resentful about the vote I must cast in the Hoboken Board of Education (BOE) election.
I have been voraciously reading up on things and even watched some of the recent debate on a live feed. I have not met any of the candidates personally. People in town I respect have strong opinions and I’ve listened to a bunch.
But here’s what I can’t get past. This absurd notion that there should be no politics involved, that the election should be non-partisan.
Really? What do you think this is, a decade ago? Back then if you ran for school board, who cares if you voted for Chris Christie? I agreed with the man on almost nothing, but he wasn’t trying to overthrow the government and his supporters weren’t trying to infiltrate school boards to inflict extreme agendas.
And yet I keep hearing these “keep politics out of it” sentiments from my fellow citizens and the candidates themselves.
Hey, Leadership that Listens (LTL) slate, you sent a flyer with Donald Trump’s mug next to your opposing slate, so your call for a non-political, non-partisan election is disingenuous at best and catering to the low-information voter at worst. Congrats on going there and giving Hoboken voters a major cringe moment.
As for the Kids First (KF) slate, really? We’re not supposed to care who you support right now? Is that even realistic? Anyone who has been paying attention to what is happening at BOE meetings around the nation the last few years knows we have a right to be concerned. Your potential support for Republican elected leaders right now is fraught for about two-thirds of the country.
The other third (or so) is a movement trying to upend our democracy. The husband of the Speaker of the House was just attacked in his bed FOR BEING THE SPOUSE OF THE SPEAKER and right-wing media parrots “thoughts and prayers” while simultaneously blaming rampant and random crime caused by liberals. That is what we call gaslighting.
And that’s why partisan questions aren’t inappropriate but imperative in this election.
Wait, there’s more.
Trump made a global pandemic political and partisan when he governed in a way that planted seeds of doubt on the dangers of COVID and the effectiveness of masks and vaccines. The very same vaccines he tried to take proper credit for (quick development and rollout) after he left office, but was roundly booed for by his supporters at a rally. He had already convinced them it was a non-issue. This is what happens when you lie a lot – it catches up with you.
So, yes, school board candidates, we care where you stand on this. As we speak there are Republicans across the country touting grim numbers that reflect badly on how our kids are faring academically because of the last two years, blaming it on Democrats.
I repeat. There was a global pandemic. How could learning be normal? Nothing was normal. You think traumatized adults aren’t going to affect kids’ emotional and intellectual development in a crisis? People were burying loved ones without proper funerals, afraid to spread the virus, uncertain where to turn, losing jobs. Sick parents were trying to take care of sick kids. All while our President was exploiting it by driving a wedge deeper and deeper.
How are we not supposed to care what your viewpoint is on all that? My God. This isn’t about whether you think trickle down economics is cool or uncool, it’s about survival.
And then of course there’s the group that brought us the weird (I’m being kind) January 2022 vote on a monstrosity of a new high school in the middle of our recovery from that global pandemic.
Listen, I don’t have kids. Unlike others, I’m not insulted if you think I shouldn’t have a say in BOE goings-on (yes, one LTL candidate said this). What does insult me is a vote held in January on a project that could have been part of the previous November election, but was kept under the radar instead. It felt sneaky and calculated and the subsequent vows for “transparency” only tell me you’ll be coming back at us with Monstrosity II if you’re elected.
So, yay, when I vote this week, this is what I get to sift through. And frankly, regardless of how this goes, I’m not seeing a win.