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The New American
The New American
27 May 2023
Luis Miguel

NextImg:Why School Board Elections (And All Elections) Should be Partisan
Luis Miguel
Article audio sponsored by The John Birch Society

What sounds good and reasonable in theory may not always work out that way when put into practice. And as constitutionalists fighting in the real world to restore our Republic, we can only get real results if we accept and work with reality as it is — not as we hope it would be.

There has been a growing demand in many circles to change state and local laws so that local races — most notably school-board races — are made “partisan.”

Partisan races, simply put, are races in which the political affiliation of the candidate is made known on the ballot, political parties are allowed to nominate a single candidate to the office in question, and the candidates are allowed to openly campaign as the nominee of their respective party.

In nonpartisan races, the opposite is true. The ballot for the race does not display anyone’s political affiliation, the parties are not allowed to hold primaries to nominate candidates for the office, and the candidates may not openly run as a member of their party.

Every state and locality has its own rules as far as which offices are partisan and nonpartisan. Small towns tend to make their city commission races nonpartisan, while big cities tend to have partisan city council races. County commission races are generally partisan.

By far, the most common offices that are kept nonpartisan are those for school boards and judges.

The reasoning behind doing so is understandable. The argument goes that “schools are not a political issue. Everyone should be concerned and everyone is impacted by the quality of our schools, regardless of political affiliation. Candidates for school boards should be concerned with how they will make our schools better, not their views on broader partisan political issues.”

All of that sounds nice, and for a long time, most Americans have tended to agree with those sentiments, which is why the status quo of partisan school-board races has remained.

But upon close scrutiny, the argument falls apart.

In fact, the talking point that “x is not a partisan issue” has practically become a cliché used by the Left to shut down dissenting views on any subject when they do not wish to hear debate from the Right. Remember during the Covid-19 hysteria, when Democrats would not entertain any opposition to restrictions and business closures and masks and vaccine mandates because “this is not a political issue, it’s a public health issue”?

Anytime the Left does not want anyone going against the grain of their radical agenda, they try to shut it down by calling opposition “political” or “partisan,” allowing them to frame their point of view as the accepted norm.

“Gun control is not a political issue. Can’t we all just agree we need to get rid of assault weapons? Healthcare is not a political issue — that’s why we have to create Single Payer and make taxpayer-funded abortion legal everywhere!”

It is the same when it comes to the schools. Leftists want to keep education “nonpartisan” and “apolitical” because, in their mind, there are certain dogmas — the tenets of cultural Marxism — they want enshrined as the “given” position in any discussion of education, and they not want anyone straying from that dogma.

For example, the dogmas of multiculturalism, atheism, secularism, separation of church and state, promiscuity, homosexuality.

Of course, anyone who isn’t brainwashed by the Left recognizes that none of these things are sacred cows — they very much are partisan, political subjects, and deserve to be challenged and debated.

Moreover, saying that something “isn’t political” because it affects all of us and is important to all of us is ridiculous. On the contrary, things are political because they affect us all and are important to us all. Imagine if we applied this same logic across the board to other issues. War, the economy, immigration, health, crime — all of these things affect us all. Would we say “they aren’t political topics, as a result we can’t have partisan elections for Congress or president”?

The Left supports nonpartisan races because it allows them to get into power and remain in power. I have seen it time after time in my community, which is a conservative and overwhelmingly Republican one.

Democrats get into power here in the school board and other nonpartisan offices only because voters don’t know they’re Democrats. Sadly, most voters don’t research candidates, so if the ballot doesn’t have their party affiliation, most people won’t know it. They go by whatever name sounds best, and so they inadvertently end up electing Democrats, when otherwise they wouldn’t have had they known what parties the candidates belong to.

Also, what often ends up happening is that multiple Republicans run against each other in these races, thus splitting up the conservative vote — paving the way for the lone Democrat to win. This wouldn’t happen if it were a partisan race and the GOP and Democrats each nominated a single candidate to run in the general election.

Florida recently advanced a proposed constitutional amendment, which voters will get to approve or reject on the 2024 ballot, that would make school-board races partisan throughout the state.

If the amendment succeeds, it will be a major step forward for crushing Democrats’ influence in Florida. The rest of the country must follow suit.