Samuel Joens’ guard was up. He suspected Florez wanted to talk to him about the Amendment. Did she have any clue that he was collaborating with Vic Green? Green was a lightning rod of controversy, being known for a style of crazy rhetoric that always got attention but was greatly disliked by the political class.
Florez began, in an almost playful, conspiratorial tone, “Now Samuel... I know we have some common interest here! We both are fighting to protect the United States against those Globalists and their fancy ideas!”
Joens smiled awkwardly. “Definitely. Dreamers. They don’t... but... but, I’d like to understand... what about critical thinking? What about who we are as human beings?”
Florez stiffened, unsure what Joens was saying. Though, he seemed earnest. She decided to kick it over to Rosen. “I need to defer to a more expert voice here. Stuart, can you... how is our proposal addressing critical thinking skills?”
Rosen had an inkling of how politically sensitive this was, but didn’t exactly know where to go. “Sure! Well, certainly as I said the goal is to get students to see both sides—all sides.” He stopped. “But of course, that is an issue with Mackenzie’s approach, which... as Jamaal was discussing, there is an issue if younger students don’t have a clear sense of what is, about how critical it is that—“
“Got it.” Joens couldn’t contain himself. “That we need to be patriotic,” he sputtered, “...and that...” He directed his bile exclusively at Rosen. “And that we’ll create freedom-loving young citizens that—”
“No, no!” said Florez. This was going badly. She saw clearly now that Joens’ instincts were—to her great surprise—very skeptical about patriotic indoctrination. Perhaps he saw it as a ploy to sway the next generation towards the Libertarian Party.
“I’m sorry, Eva,” Joens went on. “I just don’t see the Libertarians’ economic rationalism taking us in the right direction. People aren’t machines, and trying to make them—it always turns them into cogs, into...into livestock!”
Joens’ face then darkened. “And, segmenting them into categories, smart and dumb, and... and that’s the problem with the Amendment, too!”