Thursday, January 24, 2013
Dumber Than You Think You Are
By Alan Caruba
If you passed through any school system since the 1960s, you are a lot dumber than you think you are. Those of us educated in the 1940s and 50s learned the fundamentals of literacy, history, civics, mathematics, and science in ways that no system relentlessly devoted to “self-esteem” ever could.
The takeover of the educational system, traditionally the responsibility of the states and individual communities, is part of the legacy of former President Jimmy Carter who reorganized the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, establishing a cabinet-level Education Department. He signed it into law on October 17, 1979 and it began operating on May 4, 1980.
The other factor was the rise of teacher’s union beginning in the 1960s. The unions feathered their nests, ensuring that costly retirement and healthcare benefits would burden state budgets until the present when a number of Republican governors in recent years began to reduce their power, based on spending millions to elect legislators friendly to their interests.
It is no accident that the Game Show network has a program, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
Still another factor has been popular entertainment; in particular, television. For example, the programming of children’s shows are platforms for socialist propaganda, emphasizing the usual lies about the environment and other “progressive” agendas. As often as not, programs for an adult audience, particularly on the National Geographic channel, have engaged in the same dubious “science.”
Aside from the provision of sports and entertainment, television today is filled with programs that are designed to appeal to the lowest IQs. If you tune to the Arts and Entertainment channel (A&E) you will find yourself watching Parking Wars, Storage Wars, Duck Dynasty, and Finding Bigfoot. And why would you watch such shows?
The History Channel has little to no relationship to actual history with programs like Ancient Aliens that purport to show how visitors from other planets aided humans in long ago eras are responsible for the advances of human civilization. On TruTV you can watch Wipe Out as hapless fools try to get through a series of obstacles that knock them around or feel good about yourself with their World’s Dumbest series by watching people too stupid to take up space on planet Earth. Need cash? Watch Hard Core Pawn.
On the Life channel you can watch a show about hoarders, people so deranged they cannot throw out anything and on Biography you can watch Ghosts Caught on Tape. Cartoons directed at adults are filled with the crudest humor from South Park to American Dad and Family Guy. Watching The Real Housewives of anywhere is an assault on anyone’s intelligence as is Keeping Up with the Kardashians and any of its spin-offs.
Dance Moms and Toddlers and Tiaras are tantamount to child abuse. On TLC, there is the idiotic Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Meanwhile, entire generations of children can watch adults portrayed as idiots on shows such as The Office and Arrested Development, as well as popular sitcoms like Two and a Half Men.
This “entertainment” is barely offset by channels such as CSPAN or those on public television that must compete for viewers against this avalanche of moral decay. It says something about present fears and concerns when the most popular news channel, Fox News, retains some semblance of a conservative point of view though one must endure the liberal views of Juan Williams and Bob Beckel.
While the nation is roiled by talk of new gun control measures, most TV dramas feature all manner of killing with firearms to the extent that it doesn’t even register as “a problem.” Local news is almost entirely devoted to who was murdered or died in some accident that day along the weather and sports. This mayhem is so much a part of our lives that it does little more than create a generalized level of anxiety.
Various “man in the street” interviews display a frightening level of ignorance about national politics and events.
Considering that Congress is filled with the children of Baby Boomers and caucuses that include the Congressional Black caucus, the Zero Capital Gains caucus, and a caucus on the climate, among dozens of others that are often idiotic special interests, it is little wonder that this fundamental institution of our government now reflects the dictates of a Marxist President and the agendas of those seeking to strip our society of its moral values while also destroying the economy at warp speed.
You don’t have to watch these shows. You can turn off the TV and read a range of books that examine the issues of our times and of the nation’s extraordinary history. You don’t have to remain the victim of an educational system that has deliberately dumbed down Americans. You don’t have to believe the lies of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and their cohorts. In 2014 you can vote to put the brakes on the destruction of America.
© Alan Caruba, 2013