Kathy Kersten Needs Defending in the Same Way a Fish Needs a Bike Path

About 25 years ago, not for the first time and not nearly for the last time, Kathy Kersten wrote something that made a lot of people on the left mad — really mad.  A quarter century later, she has done it again, making many of the ideological descendants of the people who were steamed at her back then steamed again.  I don’t recall what the big controversy was in the early 1990s, but the current one deals with her exposing education-corrupting, lefty activism in Edina schools.  For examples, see her Thinking Minnesota cover story or her Star Tribune op-ed summary of it.

One thing I do remember from that earlier explosion was Kathy’s husband suggesting I do a better job of publicly defending her, as he saw doing so as a core responsibility of the president (which was to say, me) of the still very young Center of the American Experiment.  I agreed and wound up writing something along those lines.  But I also thought at the time that Kathy needed my help in defending her, much less protecting her, in the same way a fish needs a bike path.

I recognized this in the early 1990s because I knew no one less susceptible to being deterred, much less intimidated by nastiness than my friend, colleague, and Center cofounder, Kathy.  I still don’t know anyone less bothered by being called dirty and silly names, or anyone less at risk of losing a moment of peace because of groundless accusations of skewed research.

Stand up for Kathy Kersten against baseless charges of bad work?  Sure, as it’s the proper and mannerly thing for an organization to do.  But has defending Kathy ever been required so that she might continue doing what she’s been doing, bravely and brilliantly, for decades?

No way, as she’s more than equipped to fend for herself in every way.