There’s a voting block that has received nearly zero attention this election year from the Presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to say much because her progressive perspectives are natural and assumed. Donald Trump has mentioned it one time in a single sentence in 16 months. Gary Johnson has oddly avoided it altogether. Homeschooling families, who often vote specifically based upon a candidate’s position on the issue, have been left in the dark with innuendo and assumptions as the only ways for them to formulate an opinion. Even the Home School Legal Defense Association, which almost always endorses someone in elections at every level, is going into the final month unsure of where anybody stands. They haven’t endorsed.
It’s an issue that doesn’t directly affect many Americans because such a small percentage in this country take advantage of this crucial educational option. What people need to realize is that it’s a core issue that indirectly affects all Americans, conservatives in particular. It’s one of the last bastions of defense for those of us who believe that the government should watch our backs and essentially leave us alone otherwise. When the government tells us how we’re allowed to educate our children, the dominoes start falling.
This year marks the first in nearly twenty that my family isn’t homeschooling one of our children. Our youngest is ready to make the transition to a Christian middle school just as her siblings did before her. It’s important to know this because it means I no longer have skin in the game. Unless God grants us another child (we’re not young, but we’re younger than Abraham and Sarah), our homeschooling days are behind us. I no longer have a personal reason to fight for school choice, homeschooling rights, or any other K-12 initiatives. However, I’m a conservative who sees the big picture. Parental rights are right up there with religious liberties and gun ownership as core issues that act as a foundation for everything else.
Is Donald Trump for homeschooling rights? Probably, though his lack of attention has made many homeschoolers wonder if he is even aware of the issue. Is Gary Johnson? Possibly, though his progressive brand of libertarianism as it pertains to religious liberties should make us wonder where he really stands on education. Is Hillary Clinton? Certainly not, though as with everyone else she hasn’t discussed the issue. This is an issue for which every candidate must make their perspectives clear. Nothing implicit; we need an explicit stance that definitively declares where each candidate stands. Why? Because anyone -Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent – who will fail at protecting our Constitutional rights will first fail to protect homeschooling. It’s a harbinger issue. If they let this fall, they can’t be trusted with bigger problems.
It’s a small issue near the bottom of most conservatives’ checklist, but with such things it’s important to remember the words of Luke 16:10. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.