Moran talks concerning the significance of training
Sen. Jerry Moran visited Ellsworth Junior-Senior High School Jan. 25 for a tour and update on activities.
While he was there, however, he gave the Independent reporter a brief interview on some of the challenges facing the United States today, both foreign and domestic.
“It’s been my practice to make certain that I try to stay connected with young people,” Moran said. “Schools are hugely important to the community and to our country.”
Moran, a Manhattan Republican, serves on Senate committees that deal with the funding and authorization of education.
“I hadn’t been to Ellsworth Junior-Senior High School in several years, and wanted to get reacquainted with what’s going on here, see if there are ways I can be of help to education, but also to the students I meet,” he said.
The importance of education
Moran said his primary goal is to have the federal government less involved in American schools through the elimination of mandates and restrictions.
“Our schools are so important,” he said. “We do not want decisions being made in the nation’s capital. We want deci
sions being made in Ellsworth, in Kansas.”
He pointed to special education as an example. The government mandated programs for special needs students with the promise most of them would be paid at the federal level. That hasn’t happened for the most part.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a Democrat president or a Republican president, I want decisions to be made in Kansas, in our local schools, with our local school boards, parents, teachers — not somebody making decisions in our nation’s capital.”
Moran said there is no more important governmental function than to try to make certain America’s young men and women are educated “in a good, solid way.”
A plate full of challenges
On the international stage, Moran called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression on the border of Ukraine “terribly disturbing.”
“Almost the last thing our country would want to do is get re-engaged in another battle some place far away,” Moran said. “But it also would be a mistake for us simply to let Putin work his will, to do what he wants to do”
Moran said the US was eventually successful in its Cold War with the Soviet Union.
“The Ukraine came out of the Soviet Union as its own country, and has been a semi partner with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization),” he said. “So we need to be fully engaged with NATO, we need to make certain that NATO members, the United States and Europe, are aligned, and we need to make sure we push back on Russian interference with the freedom of other people.”
Moran said the challenge is to have a plan that works.
“I’m terribly discouraged by what happened — in fact, it angers me — when I saw how we came out of Afghanistan, leaving people behind,” he said. “It’s unusual for me to say I’m angry — that’s not my normal word — but every time I think about how that happened, it reminds me that Americans should never leave their allies and friends behind, and we did.”
Moran said such actions send a message to the world.
“If we simply walk away from what could take place in Ukraine, it will be one more time in which we indicate that the United States is not a reliable partner,” he said. “Having said that, there is no greater challenge in our country’s future in my mind than what China is trying to do with the demise and destruction of our country as we know it.”
Moran said it is important for the United States to be both militarily and economically strong.
“China will take advantage of us at every opportunity,” he said. “Unfortunately, they’ve now in a sense allied themselves with Russia, and we face this challenge on both fronts.”
Moran said the US Congress has spent billions of taxpayers dollars in regard to COVID-19.
“It does not seem that this money is being spent in a way that gives people access to tests, that gets people vaccinated,” he said. “And so oversight by Congress of the Biden Administration and its performance would be hugely important. I continue to encourage people to visit with their physicians and ask whether it’s safe to be vaccinated.
“Again, I’m not supportive of mandates from Washington, DC, telling us what to do, but Kansans taking care of Kansans would be a good thing. Americans taking care of Americans would be a good thing.”
Moran said he is sad about the lack of progress America has made in ending its dependence on China and other foreign sources to manufacture the medical supplies and vaccines Americans need.
“We talked about this when COVID first arrived — that we were no longer going to be dependent upon China or anybody else for our medical supplies, our vaccines — and yet we’ve made little progress in bringing that business, that work, that manufacturing home.”
Looking south, Moran said America’s border desperately needs continued attention.
“This administration has sent messages that we are welcoming to people,” Moran said. “It encourages them to come. My view is that we need an immigration system in which those who are legally eligible to become citizens can become citizens, and those who are not can’t come across our borders.”
Moran said he understands the value of immigration.
“Many of us came from other places,” he said. “Our country should be welcoming, but only to those who are legally entitled under our laws to immigrate to the United States.”