Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Anti-Education Republican Party

I've begun to notice a definite disdain among the leaders and pundits of the Republican party for so-called "intellectuals" and "elites." (actually, I noticed it four years ago). This behavior fits with their strategy of trying to woo the "common man," whom the Republican party believes is a plumber named Joe who downs a six-pack of beer every night before bed.

To the Republicans, Joe isn't very smart. Note how McCain, in the second, "town hall" debate, said "You probably never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before this," to the African-American man who posed him a question about the economy. Some people thought McCain assumed the man wasn't informed because the man was black... I say, McCain was simply doing what the Republicans have become very good at: talking down to a populace that they think are idiots.

In the Republican Party's defense, they may be right. After all, Bush was re-elected. How smart can our country be?

But I digress. The Republican party continually paints science and progress as a bad guy-- enemy of religion, killer of babies, liberal poison designed to turn a generation of schoolchildren into Democrats. Need evidence?

Their support for school vouchers and homeschooling initiatives that take funding away from public schools and puts education in the hands of amateurs.

Support for creationism to be taught in schools.

Denial of global warming.

Deriding legitimate scientific research as "pork spending."

Cutting Pell grants and other ways to help people obtain a higher education.

Forcing medical doctors to adhere to politically-influenced scripts which make no logical, medical sense.

Anointing a VP candidate who doesn't read books, doesn't know the role of a VP, and who believes Alaska will be a final battleground of the apocalypse.

Slate has an excellent article here by Christopher Hitchens about this disturbing trend.

I'm not saying voting for Democrats makes you smarter than voting for a Republican. But if Republicans continue to pander to the segment of society which abhors logic and reason, its only a matter of time before the Republican party becomes the thing it covets.

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