Monday, February 16, 2015

The anti-intellectual, anti-education Republican Party

A couple of years ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made headlines by imploring fellow Republicans to “stop being the stupid party,” an admirable and highly unusual bit of advice, although the Governor’s own statements and actions since then indicate he is in fact, very much at home in the current Republican Party.

Unfortunately Bobby, the Grand Old Party is the stupid party and many Republicans embrace that reality wholeheartedly. Education is anathema to the survival of the Tea Party and the GOP has long had a deep running vein of anti-intellectualism through its core. For decades the party has waged a battle to demonize and destroy pubic education and replace it with locally run brainwashing factories dedicated to superstition and mythology in place of science and facts.

Two recent events illustrate the anti-education nature of the Republican Party is as strong as ever.

Not content with merely slashing the University of Wisconsin budget by $300 million dollars, Governor Scott Walker also decided to tinker with the language of the University’s mission statement by removing words that commanded the university to “search for truth” and “improve the human condition” and replacing them with “meet the state’s workforce needs.” In other words, higher education should be limited to helping someone get a job and to hell with all that “thinking” crap. Residents of his state raised the roof when made aware of the changes, and Walker back peddled, claiming it was all an innocent mistake.

And then there’s Mississippi state legislator Gene Alday (R-Walls) who said he opposes increases to the woefully underfunded schools in his state because blacks in his community who don’t work already receive “welfare crazy checks.” Alday admitted that Mississippi has poor performing school districts, but he doesn’t think more money will help and blamed the situation on voters “electing superintendents that don’t know anything about education.”

It boggles the mind to think that one of the two major political parties in the United States is opposed to its citizens getting a good education, but it’s true. What’s good for the Republican Party is once again bad for our country.

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