With businesses and individuals fleeing California for states with lower tax burdens, the senate in Sacramento is taking up a pressing issue: allowing the Communist Party access to the state's public schools. Sure enough, a Democratic state Senator from Long Beach, Alan Lowenthal, who is a longtime professor of "community psychology" at Cal State Long Beach, has introduced a bill to allow Communist groups to use space in the schools and to allow Communists to teach in the schools.
As originally framed, the bill would have even removed the section of the California Education Code that states, "No teacher giving instruction in any school, or on any property belonging to any agencies included in the public school system, shall advocate or teach communism with the intent to indoctrinate or to inculcate in the mind of any pupil a preference for communism."
The language of Mr. Lowenthal's bill as it currently stands states, "Though communists who attempted to harm the United States and collude with her enemies during the Cold War were prosecuted for their actions, many innocent persons suffered due to nothing more than their personal political convictions or relationships." It claims that the existing bans on Communists in the schools are "inconsistent with constitutional protections of free speech, political affiliation, and the right to remain silent."
We heard about the bill in a wire from K. Lloyd Billingsley of the Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank out on the Coast. Mr. Billingsley describes the bill as the "Communist Rehabilitation and Revisionism Act," and notes, "Communism itself has not exactly been swept into the ashcan of history where it belongs. A Communist regime still exists in the planet's most populous nation, China, which operates espionage rings in this country. A Stalinist with nuclear weapons holds sway in North Korea. Cubans must endure a hereditary Communist dictatorship."
We wouldn't want to make too much of the communists on the Coast. But we wouldn't want to make too little of it either, nor fail to remark on the ironies, either. The Lowenthal bill has the backing of both of California's two major teachers' unions, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. We miss the great anti-communist labor leaders, like Irving Brown, Jay Lovestone, Ronald Reagan, Albert Shanker, and Lane Kirkland. They would have said something.