Note: this is a parody of an opinion column, created here to make a point about the original column’s premise, which was incorrectly and incorrigibly assumed to have been self-explanatory: that it is not a good idea to corrupt our public schools’ facilities with the names of politicians running for office, no matter who they are or how good their intentions may be. I was accused of being critical of an idea only because it bore a Republican’s name. But ideology has nothing to do with it. I would feel just as strongly if the same idea bore a liberal’s name. The piece below is fiction (mostly), but makes that point. The earlier piece about the proposed Ben Carson Reading Room at Old Kings Elementary is, unfortunately, not fiction at all.
It’s not often that the Flagler County School Board acts as if under the influence of LSD. It did so Tuesday when it approved a so-called Hillary Clinton Playground at Old Kings Elementary School.
There might have been nothing objectionable to either Hillary Clinton or a playground named after her until recently, when Clinton was just a skilled lawyer and First Lady who 14 years ago started a foundation with her husband to improve the lives and health of millions.
Then Clinton started running for president and running her mouth. She’s polling well, but only because so far the Democrats’ bus-full of nobodies favors the clueless. Clinton and Bernie Sanders, her crazier-uncle version, know government all-too well, which makes them suspect right out the gate.
Before we get to Clinton’s women-hating and shady history, just the fact that someone is running for office should be hint enough that it’s not a good idea to plaster our public schools with her self-promoting marketing tools, however well-intentioned. If we can have a Hillary Clinton playground established smack in the middle of her election run, then why not a Donald Trump business club? Why not a Ben Carson Reading Room, or a Jim Manfre junior cop academy, all accompanied by their own token scholarships, of course?
The playground idea at Old Kings is that of Mohammed Ali ben Gazzi, a 69-year-old retired imam who sits on the board of the Clinton Foundation and the source of numerous madrassas around the country, including one proposed for Town Center in Palm Coast, next to City Hall. He bought a $1 million house in the Hammock a little over a year ago. Through his intercession the fund is providing the $15,000 start-up for the playground–to buy playground equipment, extra water fountains and $6,600 worth of toys. “What the project is, is being able to create a safe playing environment for students,” Old Kings principal Ben Osypian told the school board. But isn’t every school’s playground designed for that purpose? Aren’t there lesser-served places than better-funded school playgrounds that could actually use a new playground, questionable sponsors aside?
Yet none of the board members objected during a presentation that took all of seven minutes. Most thought it a grand idea. Only Colleen Conklin cautioned: “I just wish it wasn’t tied with someone running for president,” she said. “That is my only hesitation because I don’t like the feeling that we would be engaging in any way to politicize the donation at all.”
But you are. Clearly and unequivocally. The fact that the Clintons started this in 2001 doesn’t alter the fact that Hillary is spreading these playgrounds in 2015, while running for office, and using the shield of a charity to evade a scrutiny the school board should have applied if these playgrounds are not to be ethics-free zones, let alone ploys for political candidates to evade campaign laws.
I might say I have nothing against Clinton, and that the whole thing would be hunky-dory the moment Clinton is booted out of the presidential race, or defeated, which is a matter of time. But I have plenty against Clinton, and so should every self-respecting member of this school board and the principal willing to have Clinton’s name slur Old Kings’s walls.
Let’s assume Clinton was not running. We now know things about her that we cannot un-know. And knowing what we know disqualifies her as a role model to school children. I don’t mean her idiotic blatherings comparing abortion to freedom or comparing Republicans to vast McCarthyist conspiracies, or her whisper-campaign in 2008 that Barack Obama was a Muslim. Politicians’ quickest route to Rachel Maddow is the pander to the liberal-socialist-America-hating lobby. She speaks the language.
But there are limits. When she poses as a feminist’s idol after getting to where she is on the coattails of her intern-fellated husband, she deceives every young girl in America. You could make the argument that Clinton is simply behind the times, as many Americans are on the subject. Fine. The same can’t be said about her denigration of women. When she spent five years as Secretary of State, enabling women-crushing regimes such as Saudi Arabia and most other Arab kingdoms of regression, she was being an out-and-out chauvinist.
Imagine the next Arab kid at Old Kings Elementary who thinks she can be president, hopping along in that playground to get a good start to the White House. Clinton’s name doesn’t belong on the pine chips of that playground, whether she’s running for president or not: she’s already made it clear that she belongs, but certain others don’t. Like that little girl with presidential dreams, who should be veiled and not in school anyway. How revolting.
Worse, having a Clinton Playground at Old Kings means, as the principal put it to the school board, that there’s “a day during women’s lib week that we also celebrate Hillary Clinton.” That would be no different, at this point, than celebrating Marie Antoinette at a bake sale for the underprivileged. That celebration might have had a place a few decades ago, when the Reagan years popularized contempt for the poor. But in the era of President Free Stuff, it has no place.
Same goes for Clinton, who presumes to be a lot more than a bitch in a pant suit. But the school board doesn’t get it, though God knows it should: If one of its employees were to peddle misogynistic insults to students, that employee would be fired as surely as if the employee were insulting their religion. Yet the board thinks nothing of celebrating a women-hating, email-hiding, abortion-loving Benghazi killer in its elementary school. What an insult to–well, everyone—or to the board’s own Student Code of Conduct, which brooks no hatred of any kind in our schools.
I’d like to think it’s merely a blind spot, that the board will eventually catch on (the project hasn’t been formally approved). If not, shame on the school board for enabling a permanent slur to have a room of its own at Old Kings Elementary.
Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him on Twitter @PierreTristam. Again, just to be clear, the above is a parody of an opinion column, created here to make a point about the original column’s premise. In other words, it’s a parody, which means: it’s a parody. You can find a definition of the word here.