My longtime readers know my theory that the modern Republican party is held up by three pillars one of which is the promotion of ignorance. It’s basically an extension of the Mushroom Theory (which my self-imposed PG rating prohibits me from defining here).
It’s a three-part process: suppress the truth, provide a false alternate narrative (alternate facts via the right wing media) and prevent the acquisition of the skills necessary for critical thinking.
In recent years the movement has promoted home schooling supplemented by “educational programs”. In most home-schooling cases mom becomes the teacher. Despite great intentions she soon discovers that she is totally unfit. It doesn’t matter if the extent of her education was a GED or a Ph. D. I’m extremely rusty but I could still probably take over a basketball program and do reasonably well; a lacrosse program, not so much. In steps the “educational program”, (often online, which, at first glance, worked especially well during the height of the pandemic) and let the indoctrination commence.
For decades private schools too often have been little more than indoctrination centers with not so hidden agendas. The right wing has made several moves to make them more profitable (remember, greed is another of the pillars) by manipulating the charter school system and vouchers.
The last battlefront in the war on public education is public schools through grade twelve (although, especially in Florida ubder Republican Governor Ron “Kinky Boots” DeSantis public colleges are under attack). Donald Trump has come up with the insane idea that principals be elected. Under the sane sounding banner of parental participation all of a sudden curriculum and book availability would be determined by mom and dad often led by the local preacher. Am I the only one who sees the obvious flaws in that? Have you ever sat in the stands in an NFL game and listened to the play calling of the drunken assembled masses? I’m all for the least among us but that doesn’t mean the least knowledgeable control the education of our children.
But the goal of the right wing is neither education nor acquisition of critical thinking skills; it is indoctrination and creating a compliant, exploitable mass to feed the greed of the chosen few. Their problem is that too often the facts get in the way. Their solution is to make the fact inaccessible to as many as possible.
They are trying to accomplish this under the guise of not making some students uncomfortable. White kids might be uncomfortable if they learned that early white Americans treated Blacks and Native Americans less than kindly (I’m being soft in my verbiage). Who cares that those facts are the documented truth?
Some white kids might be uncomfortable if they were in a statistics class and exploring true data establishing that some policing practices discriminated against non-white people. Right wing solution: we just won’t teach that. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less true but little Johnny never learns it.
The excuses found to ban books always amuse me. The courage to flat out state their real agenda is always lacking. Instead, often false offense taken is the strategy. How many books do the (most often) racists on the right want to ban because they contain the n-word?
The other is what I call the obscenity strategy. It is much like their approach to sexual education: if you don’t talk about it, it won’t happen. My reply: how did that work out for you? Sexual activity has been happening since the days of Adam and Eve and I’m willing to bet will continue until man is extinct. Here is a news flash: Some of it is and has always been other than heterosexual and solely for the propagation of the species.
While no political party is 100% homogeneous, one of the pillars holding up today’s GOP is the promotion of ignorance. It is necessary because without it the truth would disprove too many other modern Republican positions.
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