The Wide Angle: A classroom setting needed for running a country

Published 6:30 am Saturday, July 18, 2020

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A lot could be said about our politicians in Washington. What that text could look like is anybody’s guess, but even if we’re having a hard time agreeing on anything else, I think we can all agree something is very wrong.

Politics these days is a lot like that piece of food stuck in your teeth — highly irritating, but you struggle to find anything you can do about it.

Only in this case, where you know eventually that food will come out either on its own or with a toothpick, in the case of our elected leaders under the big dome, we’re not particularly sure it will.

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Clearly, I can’t lump every politician into the food-stuck-in-teeth class (I’ve met some very fine politicians that I liked very much). On the other hand, I’m perfectly capable of offering solutions on what can be done to remedy the situations that are broken.

After all, there are complainers and then there are those who roll up their sleeves and get to work — after complaining, of course.

Well I’m here to get to work and to that end I am offering my very first idea toward a better America and that is: the next president of the United States needs to be a kindergarten teacher!

“But what about puppies in every household?” you ask. Impracticable I say. I would never get passed playing with puppies to get you quality puppy placement in each home.

Puppies will not save a nation in crisis. A kindergarten teacher will.

“And how do you know that will work?” you ask … again, to which I answer, “Stop asking so many questions. What are you, five?”

And just like that, we’re back to a kindergarten teacher being made President of the United States.

Having vast experience as a kindergarten student for that one year between the ages of 5 and 6 and who spent a good amount of time in time-out, I can tell you that a kindergarten teacher has the will to get this nation back to where it needs to be.

Having said that, there is every possibility that you think I am not taking a position so storied as the President of the United States of America as seriously as I should. Well, I counter by saying I’m showing it all the seriousness it deserves. Take that for how you will.

Let’s look at a typical kindergarten class. Most classes I have seen, the students are generally smiling and enjoying their time together, all the while learning the necessary skills that will get them to the first grade.

And yet, I think we can all agree, a five-year-old has a tiny attention span and is easily distracted. Before you get the chance, I will admit that I have no children and I fully understand that two cats aren’t the same. Close, but not the same.

However, from the times I stop in to see friend and expert Woodson Kindergarten Center teacher Jason Denizer, the attention span sometimes is lacking.

With the students, not Jason. He is very attentive.

I walk in and suddenly we stop learning as the dude with the cool camera equipment walks among them. It’s why I don’t stay very long. After the first two questions about the camera and the rest of the gear, I realize I’ve sent Jason’s day spinning.

But if you watch a teacher, you understand the skills of the kindergarten teacher to get things under control.

These are a lot of minds, sitting in one room, all with attention spans that go for spurts.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? The only difference is five-year-olds don’t have cable news to run to every time they feel slighted. Mostly, it’s “Bobby or Suzy called me a name,” and after an expert turn of phrase, the teacher has restored calm and given everybody a worthwhile lesson on being nice to each other.

Granted, sessions of Congress would be a little weird. “Mr, Schumer, eyes up to the board please.” “Mitchell McConnell, what did I say about staying seated? Criss cross applesauce please.”

And just how broad are their powers? Do they get to dole out time-outs? I bet more than a few of you reading this, after calling me juvenile of course, are probably nodding in approval.

Largely, this entire column is one of semi-jest, but the overall process of governing has turned into a circus where nothing gets accomplished anyway, so if you have a better suggestion, I’m all ears.

At the end of the day, I also think we can all do with certain privileges granted the younger students to maybe get us in a better position to learn.

Naps and snacks for everybody.