On my way to and from the public school where I teach, I see collections of campaign signs grouped together at certain interchanges that cleverly repeat a line made famous by the Oscar Award winning film Forrest Gump – “Run, Forrest! Run!”
Take away an “r” and you have a clever campaign slogan. But it is not accurate. Forest’s campaign slogan as it is written on the tour bus and on his signs is actually an error because he is slamming an imperative sentence with yet another imperative.
Nor is it appropriate given the context of both the movie and his actions as Lt. Gov. of NC.
Because Forrest Gump would never vote for Dan Forest.
So here are some other more accurate, slogans.
“Fund, Forest! Fund!”
Every time I see Forest’s campaign signs I am reminded of that Forrest Gump needed special attention in school as he was “differently-abled.” Forest’s championing of charter schools and of vouchers would be as hard for Forrest’s mother (although fictional) as it is for the person writing this post – a parent, voter, and teacher.
My wife and I have two children, one of whom has Trisomy 21, commonly known as Down Syndrome. Like any concerned parents of a child with special needs, we investigated all possible avenues for his early education. We were fortunate that a family member was willing to pay for tuition at any institution in the area if it meant that our son could have the best start to his academic journey, one which will probably take different routes than typical children.
No private school in our area would take him. They said that they did not have the resources. They exercised a freedom because they felt that they could not be accountable for his progress. They took security in knowing that they could choose whom to be accountable for when it comes to academic achievement.
Even the charter schools that existed would not take him. None were prepared to do so. So we sent him to his neighborhood public school.
And he has thrived. Why? Teachers. Teachers who loved him and wanted him to succeed before they even met him. They did not choose to have him as a student; they already wanted to have him as a student. But they are having a harder time being able to secure resources because Dan Forest and others are intent on the use of vouchers and charter schools that siphon tax-payer money away from traditional schools which are still held accountable for his progress.
“Repeal, Forest! Repeal”
Forest was an ardent supporter of HB2 – the Bathroom Bill which targeted a nonexistent problem yet encouraged prejudice against some of our citizens.
He said following PayPal’s announcement not to expand in NC back in April, 2016 in response to HB2:
“If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it. “North Carolina will never put a price tag on the value of our children. They are precious and priceless.”
That’s a bold statement in defense of our women and children.
Did Forest ever call for Medicaid expansion or ask the NCGA to invest more in unemployment benefits in the wake of a pandemic?
Nope. Probably that price tag. Even for those same women and children.
“Renounce, Forest! Renounce!”
Two specific images really define the type of person Forrest Gump was/is.
That first image is from the part in the movie where Forrest seems to advocate the desegregation of the University of Alabama.
The second is when Forrest meets Bubba who would become his best friend.
Contrast that with this from Dan Forest a couple of summers ago IN A CHURCH nonetheless.
“No other nation, my friends, has ever survived the diversity and multiculturalism that America faces today, because of a lack of assimilation, because of this division, and because of this identity politics. But no other nation has ever been founded on the principles of Jesus Christ, that begin the redemption and reconciliation through the atoning blood of our savior.” – Lt. Gov. Dan Forest
Forrest Gump would have never said that. And he went to church.
Even sang in the choir.
“Plan, Forest! Plan!”
#NoPlanDan has become more than just an appropriate hashtag associated with Forest. Calling for reopening of schools and nursing homes in his campaign has never been presented with an actual plan for safely happening.
Forrest Gump planned. Very well actually.
Dan Forest Came up with this:
License plates to fund teacher salaries.
Would have taken millions of plates to do what would be needed.
Oddly enough, I have not seen one on the roads of North Carolina.
That’s because the demand never reached 500 to start the production.
“Science, Forest! Science!”
Climate change? Dan forest is not much on that. Masks do not help with Covid-19 spread? Dan Forest has been touting that.
But science says otherwise.
Forrest Gump seemed to rely on science and believed in it. Sceince helped his body recover in his early years. His mother took him to a doctor to help with Forrest’s back as it was “crooked as a question mark.”
The doctor outfitted him with leg braces to force his legs and back to position a certain way.
Funny that the doctor commented that Forrest’s back was as “crooked as a politician.”
And this week NC will feel the effects of another tropical storm. Sometimes those become hurricanes. Forrest knows something about those.
But the one slogan that resonates most is:
Run, Forest! Run…away!