OHATCHEE, Al. February 8, 2012 — On January 26th The Washington Times published the article “Values voters with big families favor Santorum” by Paige Winfield Cunningham.
Not surprisingly, the article revealed that most of the big family values voters are part of the homeschooling demographic. But one of the big family homeschool leaders featured in the article isn’t on the Santorum bandwagon – Mary Pride, whose book The Way Home began persuading women (my own mother included) to reevaluate the feminist status quo 25 years ago.
Pride (who has nine children by the way, not ten) thinks that Ron Paul is the better candidate for president in the 2012 race. Since the aforementioned article didn’t have enough space to include more than a sound bite from Ms. Pride a follow-up interview seemed necessary.
Asked when Paul first caught her attention, Pride says “Last election. The media blackout was so blatant I couldn’t believe it. In every state they announced who came in first and second. Then Ron Paul came in second in Nevada, and every news outlet only reported who came in first! Clearly, the string-pullers were terrified of letting ordinary people realize he was a real candidate with a real following.”
Pride, founder and publisher of Practical Homeschooling magazine for the past two decades, has noticed more homeschoolers considering Paul’s candidacy this time around.
“Last time, a large contingent followed the leaders who said, ‘Go Huckabee,’ and were disappointed,” Pride explained. “This time, when the same leaders said, ‘Go Santorum,’ less jumped right on board.”
A Facebook page dedicated to homeschoolers who support Ron Paul has currently drawn over 5,000 “likes.”
But Santorum is the homeschool dad in the race. Shouldn’t homeschoolers vote for the guy who represents them? “It’s wonderful that one of the Presidential candidates is a homeschool dad,” said Pride. “But more important than having a President who is ‘one of us’ is having a President who will turn around the financial train wreck we’re riding and fight to restore our traditional American liberties.”
“Ron Paul is just as much pro-homeschooling as Santorum, so that is not an issue. Santorum’s personal experience as a homeschool dad isn’t really helpful to his job as President, since the federal government should be getting out of education, not tinkering with it more or in different ways.
Constitutionally, the Federal government should always have left the question of education to the states and to individual families.”
On my article “The 2012 election and the love-hate relationship with Ron Paul,” I received a comment from a homeschool mom opposed to Paul’s idea of tax credits for homeschoolers. I asked Pride what her thoughts were on this.
“I started homeschooling back when homeschoolers were regularly hauled into court and threatened with the loss of their children, just for homeschooling,” she told me. “So I understand the fear and concern about letting anyone outside the homeschooling movement define what is and isn’t a homeschool.
“However, we have moved on since those years. Tax credits are not as fraught as vouchers. With vouchers, the government would want to verify that you are spending ‘their’ money in approved ways. For a tax credit, there merely needs to be some mechanism by which you verify that you are homeschooling. Those who don’t want to participate in any such verification process simply need not claim the tax credit.
“Having said all that, I’d be more in favor of a larger per-child deduction for ALL kids and abolishing the ‘alternative minimum’ tax that just kills larger families.
If a large number of homeschoolers is too wary of a tax credit to want it, I can’t see Ron Paul shoving it down our throats.
I believe the point Ron Paul is making with the proposed tax credit is that homeschoolers deserve a break. With that, all my fellow homeschoolers should agree!”
What are her misgivings about Rick Santorum? “Santorum’s voting record shows he is a Big Government conservative, which means more spending and less freedom,” Pride explained. “Ron Paul’s voting record shows decades of dedication to smaller government and to the cause of freedom. To the question, ‘Which candidate will do his best to leave our kids an America worth living in?’ the answer is ‘Ron Paul.’”
Known as “Dr. No” in Congress, Ron Paul has a squeaky clean record that is hard for anyone to beat.
Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, in the midst of her article endorsing Santorum for the Republican nomination, wrote “I have no illusions about Rick Santorum. I wish he were as rock-solid on core economic issues as Ron Paul.”
It appears that the homeschool vote is split between Santorum and Paul. The primary race still has far to go, and we still have the general election ahead of us. What might be the key to getting homeschoolers to become a united voting bloc in 2012?
“That’s never going to happen unless all candidates except one vow to wipe out homeschooling,” Pride told me. “Homeschoolers are a diverse group of independent thinkers. However, I do think it’s worth making this appeal: ‘People used to say homeschooling couldn’t possibly work, and thus avoid(ed) actually looking into it. The only thing keeping a huge number of us from supporting Ron Paul is that we have been told his platform can’t possibly work—although the media as a whole has worked hard to not tell us what his platform IS. Just give Ron Paul the same chance you want your non-homeschooling neighbor to give you. Check out what he stands for.’ If more of us do that, more of us will vote for Ron Paul.”
Amanda Read is an unconventional scholar, a Southerner without an accent, a Christian who hasn’t been a churchgoer in 17 years and a college student who lives with eight younger siblings. A writer and artist, she blogs at www.amandaread.com and is the author of the historical drama screenplay The Crusading Chemist. Amanda is majoring in history and minoring in political science at Troy University.
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