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There are two kinds of political leaders: uniters and dividers.
Barack Obama is a uniter; Sarah Palin, a divider. Jim Hunt was a uniter; Jesse Helms, a divider. Ronald Reagan was a uniter; George W. Bush, a divider.
Dividers can succeed in politics. But they don’t leave lasting legacies of accomplishment.
The leaders of the WakeCounty school board, Ron Margiotta and John Tedesco, don’t get this.
They don’t realize that if they talked to their critics, instead of arresting them, they might achieve their goals – or at least move in that direction.
One of the most valuable lessons Jim Hunt taught me is never burn your bridges. You never know when today’s opponent might be tomorrow’s ally.
Margiotta and Tedesco are sowing the seeds of their own failure. The disruption they’ve fueled could well hurt the schools’ performance. What truly qualified professional educator would want to be superintendent in this environment?
If the Wake schools fail, Margiotta and Tedesco will get the blame. They’ll be out of power, out of office and in for years of infamy.


Posted in: General, Issues, Raleigh
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11 comments on “Failure of Leadership

  1. Spaceman Spiff says:

    Barack Obama a uniter? Uniter of who? Liberals, yes. But he’s done more to divide the nation than Bush could have ever hoped.

    Just look at his favorability ratings amongst blacks vs. whites.

    Obama has pushed the racial divide in this nation even further apart.

    Sorry Gary, but you’re just dead wrong on that one.

  2. mcpearce says:

    If the new school board could show their commitment to the well being of every student and really listen to what us protesters have to say, this situation could be resolved a bit quicker and without as many arrests. One thousand people shouldn’t need to march on the capitol and protest their own school system and school board just to be heard– all the school board has to do is listen to us.

    A note for Tedesco and Margiotta: We won’t stop until we’re heard.

    Spaceman– While I agree with Gary, it is very true that it’s hard to call any politician a ‘uniter’. Politics thrives on division, some just know how to handle it better than others. However, your argument doesn’t even mention what Gary is writing about; Margiotta and Tedesco. You have a good point there, though. It’s only natural for a liberal to think of a liberal politician as a uniter and a conservative as a divider, and vice vera. It’s pretty much 100% subjective.

  3. dap916 says:

    mcp16, there were what…1,000 protesters? And, of course, all of those were of like mind, for sure. Wonder what the majority of those in that school district think of what the board is doing…you know, those folks that are actually paying the taxes that pay for the school’s activities and fund the budgets for the school system.

    I think that, more than anything else, should be what the board looks at and how it operates and makes its decisions on. It’s kinda like saying that because there were thousands of teapartiers at some “anti” rally in opposition to something the left wants says that because there were thousands there, it means that the left is wrong. Is that what ya really want or would you want to have a government that truly represents its populace?

  4. Reaganite says:

    Here is an interesting column just published by a Democrat US Senator from Virginia that reflects what thinking Democrats realize about this ”diversity” scam:

    This is a much more reasoned approach than the decades old leftwing drivel that Gary is spewing.

    And NONE of the leftists has yet told us how they are going to square this bussing policy with Al Gore and his carbon crusade. How do they get their fellow liberals to go along with this extra unnecessary ”carbon footprint”.

    And the quality of education provided under ”diversity” is shown by the misuse of English by the student who has gotten his/her education under that policy. Someone who learned correct Engish would know it should be ”we protesters” not ”us protesters”. But that is the old school boards fault, not the posting student’s. Under community schools, maybe they will have the time to teach proper English.

  5. dap916 says:

    Well, that’s a bit unfair Reaganite. I mean, we’ve got supposedly well-educated school teachers here on this blog that spell like a third grader and have a difficult time putting together a correct sentence. I’m a college grad myself and will fully admit to my failings with regard to the english language.

    Personally, I’m impressed by our resident student posting here.

  6. dap916 says:

    Oh, and Reaganite…that should be “And NONE of the leftists [have] told us….(rather than [has] ).

    I’m mean, aren’t I ??? 🙂

  7. Chris says:

    mcp16 —

    Tuesday’s meeting started with Ron Margiotta saying “This Board does not intend to create high poverty OR low-performing schools in the new zone assignments. Again, let me repeat that this Board does not intend to create high poverty OR low-performing schools in the new zone assignments.”

    He understands that your concern is that the new assignment plan will create such assignments. You have communicated that message, he has heard it and responded. Message heard.

    Also, I’ll note that most of those protesters were not protesting “their own school system.” 75% of the arrested were from outside Wake County. The only reason it was so big was because there was an AME Zion convention in the city that day and even then, 60% of the convention goers chose not to attend the protest, even though it happened right outside the convention location.

    Rev. Barber has done a great job of getting people riled up, but I suspect that very few of those protesters knew much about WCPSS schools — they only knew that Rev. Barber told them that the school board wanted to resegregate the schools, and they believed him.

  8. Carbine says:

    The so-called ‘reverend’ Barber is a self-centered bigot, a mediocrity who has been handed a soap box and a ready-made mob of mindless followers. He and his ilk get their thrills, indeed their whole sense of self-worth, from attacking others. They have no appreciation of, or respect for, reason or civility.

    There are many decent, intelligent people who support the old busing scheme, and they should be invited to the table and listened to. Barber ain’t one of them, and only an idiot would waste his time trying to have a ‘discussion’ with him.

  9. dap916 says:


    What’s the answer to all these spammers? I do a lot of blogging and I don’t see this kind of thing on any of the other blogs I get on.

    Is is about money?….hiring someone that can put in something that could stop it? It’s really tiresome, and I’m betting you both feel the same way. To me, I wonder why we see it because ya gotta know these folks don’t get anyone actually buying anything they are tryin’ to sell. Jerks one and all, of course, but aggrivating nonetheless.

    Anyone that actually goes to ANY of the links these idiots put on here..STOP ! Just getting “hits” on any of the sites they have gives them reason to continue to post their stuff here. So, DON’T respond to any of it or click on ANY of the links they offer up. They’ll go away soon just like a mosquito that can’t get blood when they bite.


  10. mcpearce says:

    Reaganite– Next time, I recommend that you not insult a student’s education until you actually know something about it. I’ll have you know that I was in the AG program for all of my public school years (I have already spoken to how WCPSS played a positive role in my education), received above average SAT scores, received an above average score on my AP English Language exam, and have an almost perfect GPA. I won’t even mention my numerous leadership positions and recognitions for academics. Yeah, those Wake County schools really screwed me and my education over, didn’t they?

    Chris– 1) The word ‘listen’ would have been more appropriate for me to use. Of course the school board has heard our message- listening seriously is what seems to challenge them. 2) You’re correct, most of those who were arrested were not students or current parents at Wake County. None the less, hundreds of the protesters were students and parents, the rest concerned citizens (mostly of NC). It’s not even my school system anymore but it affects my friends and my community– that’s the rationale behind many ‘outsiders’ who participated.

    Carbine– Excuse me as I use a little teen slang to appropriately express how I feel about that comment. You fail. You fail SO epically. Actually, people who support the school board majority have been given a chance to be listened to- there were several people at the last meeting who spoke in support of community schools. As for the rest of your comment, logic is a wonderful thing. I suggest using it sometime.

    Dap- As always, I appreciate your devil’s advocate attitude. People like you are what keep this blog (and nation) interesting.

  11. mcpearce says:

    One more for Reaganite. I am the most liberal person I know– Al Gore is one of my heroes, and I pride myself in doing everything I can to protect our environment. I obviously agree that unnecessary busing does nothing to help the Global Warming cause. It’s the unnecessary part I disagree with. Busing is what allowed me and my friends to attend wonderful magnet arts schools that were across town. There are thousands upon thousands of ways we can lessen our carbon footprint- busing students from North Raleigh to Lenoir Street, for example, will not set us back in our efforts to protect the environment.

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