Education is a real issue to the electorate.
It is expecially important to the blue collar
working class voters, those voters known as
"sam clubbers". The working class generally
do not have a college education. These are
line workers, business support staff, health
care, office administration, etc. Many belong
to unions. Now, one of their great fears is
that their children are cut off from advancement
and a college education because of the backwardness
of U.S. education. They are tired of failing
schools, inept teachers and administrators, bad
or wasteful spending with no results.
In the elections, the blue collar workingclass has
been swing voters. They supported Reagan to defeat
Carter, they swung to Clinton to defeat Bush I, and
then to elect Bush II. Basically, both Democrats
and Republicans have neglected this electoral group
or have taken them for granted and it is figured to
be 49% of the electorate. They have been especially
bamboolzed by cultural war issues of Rove, Reed
Falwell, Robertson, and the like. However, education
remains as a real concern for this group.
The working class has come to believe that they are
being held down and back by inadequate education
policies. Democrats have given this group nothing to
vote for. They seem themselves and their children being
held down by elitist policies of both the right and the
left. Have to keep in mind, this workingclass is not
poor; in many ways they are prosperous. They want what
was available to the working class in the '50s and 60's.
The opportunity to reach college for their children and
to have the education needed for success in college and
the scientific and technological community they are in.
Today, what is interesting, the working class in defined
by those who lack education, than by income or wealth.
This has the markings of a slow-burning crisis For the
Democrats to be viable they will have to have new programs
keyed to these large group of voters. This group is
aloof; they don't where to turn. They would like to be
Democratic, but then move right as they see no help coming
from the Democrats. These people are not poverty stricken
and don't want food stamps, or a war on Wal-Mart, or a
natiionalization of some industry as the Democratic Left
talks to them about.
They want education per se. Forget the whistles, the gongs,
and the bells. Education gives them and their families
upward mobility. They see themselves as having their
children locked in to a lower economic and social group.
What they see is that the elites, Democrats and Republicans,
have held education back from their children. They see it
as a method of keepting them in their place, preventing the
age old American spirit of upward mobility. A person becomes
ambitious with education, and the elites don't want to share
position and power. Elites want obedience to them. By cutting
aid to education and college assistance the elites maintain