Saturday, August 19, 2006

Thoughts on Extemism III

I believe that education in this country is beaten, battered, and under relentless assault by radicals. A personal case in point. In high school I had an English teacher that was a self-described hippie who wrote poetry (for class consumption) on the merits of peyote. This was pre-advanced placement days, but this class was made up of those who placed very well in reading in tests. Anyway, he was an easy teacher to write for because he wanted to "be moved" by our work. Facts, structure, spelling, and grammar all took a backseat to emotion.

While it was certainly helpful to learn how to manipulate people's emotions with words, it didn't really teach me much about writing in a meaningful sense. Imagine my suprise when I went to college and quickly failed every single paper that I wrote in the first months. You see, I hadn't been taught how to convey rational thought about a subject, only to "express" myself. While I had always felt that I was a good writer, having my teeth knocked out in college taught me the skills needed for the corporate world. My teacher's disdain for the corporate world (and absolutely no experience outside teaching) may have played a role in what he taught.

Without necessarily going into the ills of the education systems, it is certainly fair to note that the left has an inordinate amount of influence. Radicals, much to their subversive credit, recognized that they could dominate thought by institutionalizing themselves. Ironically, most of these folks were drawn to extremism by wanting to bring down "the man" and now find themselves to be the institution. I'm sure that they are unable to see the irony.

Neal Boortz wrote on his blog that:
"The truth, though, is that these are not so much schools as they are indoctrination centers. If your child is attending a Catholic school you should expect that your child would be taught that the Catholics pretty well have this religion thing down cold. Ditto for a Jewish school, or one operated by a Christian fundamentalist church. Question: Will a government school to be any different? Why would you expect a government employee in a government institution to tell your children that government is not necessarily the answer to every problem or critter that goes bump in the night?"
This same idea is exasperated even more by professors who are simply perpetuating leftist theory. Whether it is a class that largely ignores the English language or a Ward Churchill diatribe against America, these are the public people that are responsible for passing on knowledge.

Because of this cancer in the education system, the extreme left has a fertile field from which to pluck new members. The anti-war left long ago inserted itself into our government (primarily) and private (elite) education systems. The curricula has changed dramatically and lessons that were learned generations ago (often with blood, sweat, and tears) have been rewritten, repackaged, and delivered in a 20 minute lesson plan. In this new dynamic, communism and socialism didn’t fail. The Soviet Union was only an abnormal perversion of utopia and the dream still lives. Forgotten is the massive effort at research, debate, and ultimately, compromise that characterized the formation of the U.S. Constitution. Radical professors advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government and invoke the name of George Washington as a revolutionary "terrorist." The fact that Mr. Washington was fighting a government that he believed was denying him his rights, these radicals want to see the government fall for a wider variety of reasons.

Much of what the West has long held to be true is rapidly changing. There was a time when values were based of religion. Education is designed to test one’s knowledge and force students to think critically. This process includes deconstructing some of what the student believes to be true and showing that there are alternative views outside of their personal sphere. This is still true today, however, there was a time when the student was then reeled back in from the abyss and told that their views were okay as they were based on a moral value system (in our case Christianity). While falling back on religion as the basis of an argument is considered a "logical fallacy" in debate, I suspect that particular phrase was created simply to not stifle debate.

Think about it, early educators wouldn’t allow a debate student to cite religious doctrine or scripture for the coup de grace, as it was just laziness and the easy way out. No student could cry "cause that’s what the Bible says. I win." Unwittingly, this device may have reinforced secular views taught by leftist professors to malleable students. Describing the foundation of one’s value system as a "logical fallacy" without fully explaining the reasons for it is simply a corruption of that foundation.

To reiterate, the lack of quality education has created a generation that is woefully unequal to its forebearers. This appears to largely be a change in value systems. Resources are spent on "conflict resolution" and "self-esteem" projects to the detriment of reading, writing, and arithmatic. We are all victims to these radicals. Don't believe me? Just take a look at the rambling in this post! It isn't my fault it is my lack of a decent education... I swear!