Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Tea Party Thinks I'm A Fascist Who Indoctrinates Children

Writing for The Washington Monthly, Steve Benen reports that Rick Santorum, Republican candidate for President, claims that public schools should be called "government run schools" and over the weekend implied that public education is not unlike Mussolini's Brown Shirts.  According to Benen, Chuck Norris calls schools "indoctrination camps."  Michelle Bachman claims "home schooling is the 'essence' of freedom and liberty. 'It's about knowing our children better than the state knows our children,' she said."

When I was in high school, my father often told me, "It never occurs to a boy of 16 that he'll be as dumb as his old man someday."  Other versions of the truism set the age of this epiphany at either age 26 or 32.  I'm on the wrong side of 50, so I must have been a slow learner, but I'm certainly willing to admit that he was far more intelligent than I gave him credit for when I was younger.

My father also frequently told me, "You may have to know it for a test, but you don't have to believe it."  I suggest that Norris, Santorum, and Bachman all listen to my father.  If you're worried about kids being indoctrinated, then tell them your version of the truth.  Remind them that they may have to learn facts but they don't have to believe any of them.  In short, be a parent.

Also, know what you believe.  Norris asks, "What happens when the political and public educational pendulum swings from concern for the tyranny of sectarianism in Jefferson's day to secularism in ours?"  As I said earlier, I may be a slow learner, but Chuck's question seems to indicate that he's worried that public schools are hostile toward religion.  As a religious person, Chuck should remember Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  If you believe it, live the belief.  My father taught me that too.

Chuck and Michelle and Herman Cain, who believes "there should be no government involvement in education at any level," and their political acolytes also usually claim that public schools are totally ineffective and that students need to be tested and that teachers need to be fired if students don't pass those tests.

As I said before, I'm a slow learner, but I'm a bit confused.  Teachers are either really terrible at their job and don't teach students, or they are such a threat that they will indoctrinate students to such a degree that students will become secular terrorists who hate their parents and become Fascists.  Maybe I've been indoctrinated so I'm missing something, but it seems that both of those things can't be possible.  I might be getting cynical here, but these claims seem like a case on not letting an inconsistent story getting in the way of cutting school funding.

It seems that Chuck, Michelle, and Herman have indoctrinated Governor Denny Daugaard pretty well.

1 comment:

caheidelberger said...

You must not be a games-player. Aren't we supposed to let Neg demonstrate their first-rate intelligence by holding two contradictory positions? :-)

Excellent argument, my friend. The foes of public education can't have it both ways. Either teachers are evil genii, or they are incompetent slackers. We can tackle either argument, but we shouldn't have to tackle both.