One reason The Union is such a mediocre newspaper is that it has stacked its “editorial board” with selfish ideologues. In a politically diverse community such as ours, it serves to divide, not unite.
Norm Sauer is one shining example. Like George Rebane, I guess it pleases him to see his name in print, because his words are not educational or informative. It is as predictable as the tea party talking points, or any ideologue for that matter.
This time we are treated to Norm defending the unqualified education secretary Betsy DeVos in a column, along with disdainful remarks about teachers unions and their “bosses.” As a matter of fact, the vice president was forced to cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm DeVos, almost unprecedented, but readers would not know that from reading Norm’s glowing endorsement of her “qualifications,” in essence her rigid right-wing ideology, including the union bashing.
Also lacking from Norm’s praise of DeVos is her inexperience for this role. “Betsy DeVos is a lot like the man who nominated her for education secretary,” as an opinion in Forbes points out. “She showed up for the exam unprepared and careless and seemed to think that her mere presence was sufficient to carry the thing off. Perhaps that’s how it’s worked for DeVos her entire life, allowing her to skate past the need to learn pesky details about things like grizzly bears or federal education statutes related to disability.”
Norm’s columns lead to ignorance and misunderstanding in our own community about local education. It is one reason that Measure B — the local school bond measure for needed improvement — struggled. The opposition was based on hyperbole, misinformation and outright lies.
Such self-serving ideology also is an impediment to local economic development. Families who read these extremist rants would not be inclined to relocate here. We have good public schools; Ghidotti — a public school with teachers who belong to the California Teachers Association — is ranked #1 in the state based on a new assessment of student performance.
Nevada Union and Bear River high schools, among others, have helped educate students who became Rhodes scholars or have returned to our community to open successful businesses. One that I know of is a doctor; this is a blessing since we face a doctor shortage.
The Union should show more leadership besides an inattentive disclaimer: “His opinion is his own and does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Union or its editorial board.”