Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Anti-Education President

-- Posted by Neil H. Buchanan

I'm a bit under the weather today, so I'll just encourage readers to take a look at my new Verdict column: "An Educated Population Is Essential to a Nation’s Prosperity, yet Some Politicians Are Demonizing Our Educational System for Political Advantage." In less than a generation, we've gone from conservative presidential candidates promising to be "the education President" to saying (in Romney's almost exact words): "Find a cheap college, and don't expect help in paying for it." Oy.

10 comments:

Paul Scott said...

Neil,
I enjoyed your Verdict article. I toss out another possibility. The political gains from anti-intellectualism are not intended to be purely short term.

As we know, Republicans can only survive as a party by getting huge numbers of people to vote strongly against their own interests. Imagine what the electoral map would look like if every poor or middle-class white person who believes in ID, thinks the world might actually be 6000 years old, thinks homosexuality is immoral, ect. were educated with a free liberal arts degree.

How long would the ignorance and prejudice on which the Republican party relies last? In that sense Santorum is exactly right - higher education has an agenda that is in direct conflict with conservatism.

Neil H. Buchanan said...

As cynical as it is, Paul Scott's comment has to be right. Even professors in the natural sciences are overwhelmingly registered as Democrats. Those fields were previously apolitical, but now the Republicans are simply anti-knowledge. Their long term political viability does, indeed, ride on the suppression of free and critical thought.

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