Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Morality of Public Schooling

I'm a libertarian conservative type of guy...and soon to become a hypocrite.

For reasons enumerated here and a couple kept between my wife and myself, our daughters will be attending public schools next year. I think this public school - at least with the current administrators - will be a better place for them to learn and grow up. I think they'll be happier here.

However, it is a public school. I believe in my heart that it is wrong that the two old ladies who live on each side of me and the childless twenty something couple across the street and the two middle age men living in the house down the street will be paying property taxes for my kid's education. Sure, I'm paying them also, but not nearly enough to cover the cost.

I think this is just as wrong as when others make claims against the government - odl people's medications, social security disability, bridges to nowhere - that I think are unconstitutional and wrong and that I'll have to pay for. What right do I have to demand that they pay for my kid?

I don't have any right...but I'm going to do it anyway.

Too long ago, I read Machiavelli more than a few times back to back. One of his lessons is that the Prince can't make his subjects suffer because of his morality. For example, if the Prince believes in non-violence, his position as Prince dictates that he give up his beliefs and protect his people with violence if it is so warranted. He can't make his subjects pay for his morality.

I am the prince of my household. I am responsible for these two little girls. It would be more wrong of me to let them attend schools not right for them and adhere to my precious moral beliefs than to sacrifice that part of my ego - my beliefs - and place them where it best suits them.

It makes me a hypocrite and uncomfortable. But it also makes me a good father. I've mulled it over in my head for awhile now. After remembering that passage from good o' Niccolo, I'll sleep better.

Stay You.
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