SAY WHAT? - Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just proved that he is the stupidest person in the world.
He said in an interview that Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, is “the most dangerous person in the world.”
More dangerous than the President of China, Xi Jinping, who is threatening the survival of Taiwan and re-imposing a repressive regime across China.
More dangerous than President Kim, the dictator of North Korea, who is threatening South Korea and the rest of the world, with his intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.
More dangerous than Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who is trying to destroy the people of Ukraine by destroying their access to heat, light, and water as winter begins,in addition to raining deadly missiles on them.
No, Pompeo says, Randi is “the most dangerous person in the world.”
Why? Because she leads a teachers’ unions, and unions are evil.
Teachers too are evil, Pompeo believes, because the children of America can’t read, write, or do math.
“I tell the story often — I get asked ‘Who’s the most dangerous person in the world? Is it Chairman Kim, is it Xi Jinping?’ The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten,” Pompeo said.
“It’s not a close call. If you ask, ‘Who’s the most likely to take this republic down?’ It would be the teacher’s unions, and the filth that they’re teaching our kids, and the fact that they don’t know math and reading or writing,” the former top U.S. diplomat added.
In a thread on Twitter, Weingarten said she didn’t know if the remarks should be considered “ridiculous or dangerous.”
“At the state department, Pompeo defended Middle East’s tyrants & undermined Ukraine. He was more focused on pleasing Trump than fighting 4 freedom, national security & democracy. To compare us to China means he must not know what his own department says,” she wrote.
“Maybe spend a minute in one of the classrooms with my members and their students and you will get a real lesson in the promise and potential of America.”
Pompeo’s blast is ridiculous and stupid. But it’s also dangerous for Randi. It makes her a target of extremists in search of targets. This country has a surfeit of lunatics with guns. Pompeo should pay the cost of personal security for her.
His uninformed, ignorant remarks are insulting to teachers.
I challenge him to name a non-union state that outperforms unionized states.
Every teacher should belong to the AFT or the NEA. They would have higher salaries, health care, pensions, and job security. They would have state and national organizations to protect them in state legislatures and Congress.
The teaching profession is under fire by ignorant politicians like Pompeo. Consequently, many experienced teachers have resigned, and there is a national teacher shortage.
The best way to support teachers and their noble profession is to improve their stature, their salaries, and their working conditions. The only way that will happen is if there are strong unions to stand up for teachers, who alone are powerless.
Only strong unions will fight for the profession against the hostility of bombastic fools like Pompeo.
Pompeo can’t tolerate strong women or strong unions.
(Diane Ravitch is a historian of education at New York University. Her most recent book is "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools." Her previous books and articles about American education include: "The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education," "Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform," (Simon & Schuster, 2000); "The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn"(Knopf, 2003); "The English Reader: What Every Literate Person Needs to Know" (Oxford, 2006), which she edited with her son Michael Ravitch. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. This article was featured in CommonDreams.org.)