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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

RE: The Educational Experience...

"Part of my learning experience was learning how to get along with people who are different from me, and I believe it made me a well-rounded, better person."

Wonderful, but did it help you to understand nuclear physics? How about mathematical abstractions? Were you able to conceive of complex systems such that you would be able to excel in a computer science program? What about fundamental economics? Did learning to get along with people different than you help you with any of these?

Here's a fact: the United States, once a leader in technology and industry, is losing that position rapidly. I work in the field of leading edge technologies. Can you comprehend that seven out of ten people I work with are not US citizens? In the Kum-bah-yah world of liberals, all you see is diversity. All I see is that we are losing our edge and the brilliance and innovation our society provided to humanity is disappearing. It's disappearing into some hippie-dippie soup of political correctness, multiculturalism, and pop psychobabble. Suddenly, getting in touch with our feminine side is more important than traveling to the stars or finding a cure for cancer. Worrying about someone else's self-esteem is more important than achieving excellence. And do you know why that is happening? It is happening because the government-run schools are a failure. They can't teach excellence because they can't acknowledge individuality. They can't acknowledge individuality because they must pander to the lowest common denominator in order to give everyone a chance. Here's the sad reality: in a world of excellence, everyone doesn't deserve or get a chance. In order to give everyone a chance, we must settle for a world of mediocrity. Entropy reigns.

And since government schools can't teach excellence, and because they absorb monumental quantities of our wealth and resources, they fear retribution. First, we see convoluted exercises by the bureaucrats in government schools geared toward escaping accountability: testing doesn't work, objective ranking doesn't work, all the mechanisms used by the private sector for measuring success or failure magically seem not to work for government schools. So the bureaucrats say, "if only we had better teachers." Then the teachers' unions swing into high gear, producing the same convoluted excuses for why their members cannot be held accountable. All the while, the educrats in high places are slowly but subtly removing critical thought from the government school curriculum. The writings of the American Founders are provided in abridged forms. Individualists and moralists like Kant, Locke, and Rand are downplayed while collectivists like Marx and Engels and relativists like Sartre and Nietzche get wide circulation. In some places, the Bolshevik revolution is portrayed as a heroic struggle while the American revolution is portrayed as a disagreement over land titles. Che Guevarra is revered as great visionary while Thomas Jefferson is reviled as a slave-owner. Without critical thought and with unflagging loyalty to the government schools pounded into the skulls of everyone pushed through the mill, educrats hope to see an end of demands for accountability.

But I'm an optimist: We are putting a generation of children who have been failed by government schools into society as adults. The good news is that a lot of them are aware that the government schools failed them. The better news is that we are also releasing a generation of home-schooled kids into society. They know that not only are government schools a failure, they are also a useless appendage. There have been numerous studies and research done that shows this generation is more conservative, politically speaking, than their parents. Even Tucker, as immersed in the liberal soup as he was growing up, shows definite libertarian tendencies. The government schools as we know them are less than a hundred years old. A hundred years from now, they will be a dim, but unpleasant memory. Hopefully we'll start that process sooner than later.


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