To the Editor: The UFT's endorsement of Eric Adams for Mayor is a prudent and practical decision and not a cynical concession to realpolitik, as a few arch-critics suggest.
I don't speak for the union, but it's fair to say that they believe that most people, especially when elevated to a high office of public trust, can be receptive to different perspectives from their original, seemingly rigid point of view, and potentially amend it based on a fuller, fresher and more-lucid understanding.
It helps when arguments are rational and conveyed the right way in a spirit of principled conciliation. From the standpoint of knowledge and experience, the union is well-equipped to make New Yorkers' case for public education. This can naturally be accomplished without antagonisms or hard feelings over prior discords.
Adams's recent dialogues with the union are an encouraging sign that he is amenable to growth in the light of information and insights newly available to him. All that will be required for his transformation on some education issues is an open mind and open eyes. Hopefully he is evolving his stance on charter schools, for instance.
History has shown many instances of great leaders making a spectacular turnaround from what had appeared to be an intractable adversarial mindset. This has happened, for example, numerous times on the U.S. Supreme Court when Justices did not mirror or fulfill the ideological predictions of their presidential appointers. The same phenomenon has often occurred when an individual is exalted through popular election.
No need to hold our breath and cross our fingers. If he listens to the UFT and others in the pro-public school community, there is well-grounded reason to hope.
Let's give Eric Adams what he deserves: a chance.
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