The Fight for Our Kids' Minds Is the Fight for Our Republic
No wonder leftists are fighting Betsy DeVos's reforms in court every step of the way.
The once-vaunted American public education system has turned into a raging dumpster fire, churning out legions of semi-literate emotional cripples whose confidence in their beliefs is inversely proportional to their level of factual knowledge and capacity for logic and reason.
Today’s youth, and many adults, are stunningly ignorant regarding even very basic concepts and facts related to math, science, and history. They have spent years marinating in government indoctrination, being taught what to think, rather than how to think. Left uncorrected, it portends disaster for our republic, for as Thomas Jefferson declared, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
Unsurprisingly, this steep decline in basic literacy and intelligence can be traced back to the creation of the federal Department of Education under Democrat President Jimmy Carter. An astute reader might recognize that America managed to go almost two centuries without federal involvement in education due to the fact that education is not one of the legitimate functions of the federal government to be found in the enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. President Ronald Reagan tried, but failed, to eliminate the federal Department of Education.
Of course, an astute reader would not likely learn that tidbit of information in an American public school, as evidenced by how little Americans know of their own history and form of government. According to the latest Constitution Day Civics Survey, published annually by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, less than one-third of Americans (32%) can name all three branches of government, and one-third (33%) can’t name even one branch of government. In the 2017 survey, barely a third of Americans (37%) could name a single right protected by the First Amendment (those would be freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and the right to petition government for a redress of grievances).
This is not for a lack of “investment,” as politicians like to call their profligate spending of taxpayer money. When the federal Department of Education was formed in 1979, it had a budget of $2.9 billion. In the Barack Obama years, that skyrocketed to nearly $80 billion.
Yet despite the U.S. outpacing nearly every country in the world on per-student education spending, we have very little to show for it. In an annual ranking of OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, the United States ranked 40th in math (well below Macao, Slovenia, and Latvia), 24th in reading (well below Estonia and Poland), and 25th in science (below Vietnam and New Zealand).
So in what category do American students score #1 in the world? That would be in “self-esteem.” In other words, they are mediocre academically, but they are very confident in their mediocrity.
Yet the blame lies not with the students of today who can barely read or write, have almost no knowledge of American history and government, are not well-versed in classical literature, and run to their safe spaces to cower in fear when faced with the specter of opposing viewpoints.
No, that blame would lie with their parents and grandparents, who allowed the education system — the one that produced the engineers and physicists who put a man on the moon using pencil and paper and calculators — to become rotten.
More concerned about enforcing radical leftist orthodoxy and the homosexual agenda — including forcing high-school girls to undress in front of boys who claim to be girls — than in teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, the public school system, now a de facto arm of the Democrat Party, is very protective of the monopoly it holds over what is fed into the minds of our children.
Today, far too many schools spend their time teaching a gender-bending, anti-white, anti-Christian worldview that is hostile to America’s founding principles. In the meantime, our children graduate high school unprepared for life in the real world, with nearly 60% of them requiring remedial English or math classes before entering college.
And so it is no wonder the Left loathes President Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, a long-time advocate for school choice. DeVos has spent the last two years seeking to unravel Obama’s disastrous education policies. Thus far it has been an uphill battle, with several federal judges blocking Trump’s attempt to undo Obama’s “notoriously anti-school choice, anti-charter school measures.”
Democrats are also toiling to block Trump’s judicial nominees, knowing the courts are where they must defend the cultural changes they have achieved in the schools. And unable to even name the three branches of government, it is certain that American students will never grasp the tyranny of a judiciary that creates law by fiat while ignoring the Constitution.
As Josh Hammer of The Daily Wire explains, “What We the People ultimately risk losing, besides our ability to govern ourselves and direct our own political destiny, is the citizen-driven associative industriousness and civic virtue that made [Alexis de] Tocqueville so fond of the American experiment. … How are we to remain duty-minded and constantly vigilant against tyranny if that tyranny comes not in the form of legislators and executives who can be held accountable at the ballot box, but in the form of judicial usurpers who accomplish with the stroke of a pen what the political and cultural Left could not otherwise accomplish over the span of decades?”
America’s schools are the battleground on which the fate of America’s experiment in self-government will be decided.