When I first read Gov. Pat McCrory’s “butts and jobs” statement, I thought surely the governor knows the difference between a classical liberal education and a technical, job-focused education.
His experience successfully managing Charlotte’s educational and economic boom years is self-evident, and his critics know that. However, in our polarized political environment, the response to the governor’s comment from his most ardent critics was swift and viral.
Yet it is evident the critics missed the point. Obviously, the governor was saying much more about our educational system than his critics wanted anyone to hear. I understood him to say, “Our educational system is not working well enough to attract more jobs, and we need to get off our butts.”
I hope the vehemently reactive and divisive response is not an ideal taught in North Carolina’s liberal educational institutions. My liberal education taught me to closely analyze rhetoric for its true intent, work toward a germane understanding of all sides of the issue through civil dialogue and then formulate an open-minded debate that results in a progressive and effective solution. But then that means we must first honestly look in the mirror when we are constructively criticized.
Linda Hunt Williams