Many of us have met the man; his pockets are full of change.  He jingles as he walks.  His money clip is bulging.  The bills on the outside and within the fold are all high in denomination.  He could peel off the dollars and not deplete his worth; yet he does not.  His children wait anxiously for some deliverance; none is given.  His family was tired, hungry, and helpless, and he is not.  He has much; his relations receive little.  Who is this less than benevolent man? He is your friend, your neighbor. He is the brother of your beloved President.  He is Florida Governor Jeb Bush!

Greedy Governor Bush may be as many men or women, so concerned with his economic status and strength that he forgets his feelings.  I knew that the phallocentric, manly, man, Floridian was quite the entrepreneur; however, I did not realize to what degree.  Until my recent move to this fair state of Florida, I had no idea how unfair this Governor had made the region.  A recent radio report brought the reality home to me.  I share the story.
The other day, as I drove down the street listening to the local news I was appalled by the juxtaposition of accounts.  The first commentary I heard offered impressive news. Florida was granted an incredible AAA credit rating.  This is the highest score possible.  The destruction, devastation, and debilitating circumstances that five major storms thrust upon this South Eastern state did not affect its financial standings.  Actually, they were much improved.  Floridians were able to maintain their wealth and will; they even added to it.  Standard & Poor’s deemed Florida as stable and well funded.

Nevertheless. The reporter continued; Governor Jeb Bush is bound and determined to stop the efforts to reduce the classroom size in Florida.  The journalist referred to the enduring campaign that Jeb Bush has pursued for years, citing the Governors claims that the proposed plan is too costly and he would do all he could to stop the process.

Being new to Florida, I was flabbergasted by this news.  I knew that Florida lagged behind almost every other state in the nation when it comes to education.  Fewer dollars are spent per student here than they are elsewhere. I was aware that the schools in this South Eastern state are not the best, not even close.  I acknowledge that scholarly institutions are not Florida’s fame.  Being an educator, these facts haunted me.  I desired to move here; yet, I wondered whether this decision was wise. 

Actually, the reality of what is a seriously flawed school system haunted me; it caused me to hesitate. When I first chose to transition, I did what most people do.  I weighed the pros and cons.  I knew that the educational system was a strong and serious shortcoming.  I trusted that the diversity that California offers was my friend.  I acknowledged that a Blue Blood, such as myself, a Left-winged Liberal and proud of it, would be out of place in a Red, Republican, and Reactionary state; nevertheless, I wanted to go. 

I chose to ignore the greatest con, otherwise known as a detractor, an offensive factor, or criminal, Jeb the racketeer!  In truth, I never imagined that he was as I am learning he is.  That anyone could be so callous and cruel never occurred to me.  I never expected what is.  When the truth is heard aloud, in real time, on the radio, when reality is glaring and staring me in the face, I cringe.

When I arrived back in my room, I researched the topic.  I discovered that for at least three years Jeb has been speaking of his determination with defiance.  No matter what the voters want and pass in respect to class size reduction, this Governor plans to defeat the prospect.  Jeb Bush was never intent on educating the young well; he was determined to prohibit any item that costs the state more money.  Reducing the student to teacher ratio does and Jeb has been working against the prospect for years.

In October 2002, the Governor was heard to say of the pending class size reduction bill, “if this initiative passes . . . I have a couple of devious plans’ to stop this.” Such deceit, gleefully expressed, such a despicable man, and such an affect; society in Florida suffers. Please feel free to listen to Mr. Bush speak these ever so pleasant words.

Once heard, you too will realize that Governor Bush was never willing to give to the children, at least until now.  Embarrassed by the concurrence of contrary positions, Jeb changed.  As of this morning, he states that he is willing to work to reduce class size, to do as the people requested, and voted for.  Possibly, Florida Governor Jed Bush heard the reports as I did last evening.  Perhaps, he too thought he sounded so silly.  More likely, he might have realized how uncaring he seemed to be.  Jeb the juvenile, stresses economic stability; education be damned.  He has his priorities and they are consistent with those of his family.

This Governor may have asked himself, does he want to be considered a conservative or compassionate.  In the Bush tradition he might want to think of himself as both, simultaneously; however, he is neither.  True to his tradition.

Jeb Bush is a man of words, whimsy, and woe to all that cross him, be they man, woman, or child.  Perchance, we might be able to extrapolate.  What might the world be if we assessed wealth not merely by the jingle of change, but instead by how the currency was spent?

Please peruse the references that solidify a sense of Jeb Bush, the jingling grinch.

Betsy L. Angert Be-Think

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