Maybe the recent Supreme Court decision recognizing corporate free speech in Citizens United is why Kentucky Senator Rand Paul now wants school choice to be a “big focus of the Republican Party.” Nothing else makes sense. This issue has been the GOPs for the taking for almost 25 years, but the Party has never grabbed hold of an idea that is both righteous and could attract minority voters.
The reluctance to embrace vouchers might have stemmed from a fear of ginning up teachers unions into a full-blown jihad. Before Citizens United gave the same free speech rights unions have always enjoyed to everyone, there was just no way to fight against special interests buried in billions of dollars paid for by taxpayers through dues paid for by public school teachers.
Teacher unions almost always oppose Republicans, but nothing energizes these groups into a terrifying frenzy more than the thought of competition. These groups are so entrenched and morally corrupted that the fate of the children imprisoned in failing schools can’t even move them.
Thanks to Citizens United the playing field is something closer to level. Now, then, is the time for the GOP to make this a signature issue and one we personally deliver to every inner-city in America.
School choice is a battle in the Culture Wars we are already winning, and doing so without putting up much of a fight. Along with reducing some of these obscenely long and unjust drug sentences, backing a Golden Ticket for kids stuck in failing schools (both of which are issues that affect non-whites disproportionately), the GOP has a way to attract a constituency based on principle as opposed to pandering.