Jul 242010
Apparently, there is no end to the things the Tea Party people think the government can’t do properly.  Now, they’re attacking public education — although what I’m talking about is not an overt verbal assault on the education system.  Their hostility to this is implied in the activists’ new project.  They have begun hosting multiple-week classes on economics, civics, and government in local areas around the country.  Most especially, they are now into hosting classes on the Constitution and it’s meaning.  Essentially, this action says two things:  one, they weren’t educated in these to begin with, and two, they are hostile to taking such classes from experts.
From the first, we can deduce that either their civics and social studies courses in high school or college were sorely lacking or that they did not undertake their studies in these subjects seriously then.  I’ll grant you that much of the civics you get in high school is a waste of time.  I don’t know how many times you have to learn to parrot the three branches of government and that our system uses checks and balances to restrain the powers of each, but I learned to recite these ad nauseam.  Yet, there are people on TV who don’t seem to understand how government works, judging from the comments they make.  I think that, largely, civics training in secondary education is so superficial as to be mostly useless and those teaching it aren’t exactly great political theorists.  I know my teachers — in the gifted program no less — never broached anything approaching a deep political statement.  (Once when a student in my class tried to throw me by asking about my theory of the social contract, I pretty much shut him down by breaking out the Ibn Khaldun from the 14th century.  Nice try, kid.)  A solid history class, however, should explain to students what was new about the democracy of the 18th century — and early capitalist theory — and most textbooks do cover this.  From these facts, a smart person could deduce that the Tea Party people just weren’t paying much attention in class back then — even to the rudimentary offerings given to them.  That would be the norm in America, I think, where citizens don’t appreciate the historical training given to them when they are young.  Really, history is wasted on young people.
The latter inference about these Tea Party activists is more interesting and unusual.  If they feel that their education in civic matters is deficient, they could certainly enroll in classes at a local junior college or university — even if not for credit — to supplement their knowledge.  Adult continuing education programs have been around for years.  They are not, however, doing this.  Instead, they are hosting their own classes which are taught by non-professional “experts.”  Anyone familiar with my work would certainly understand that I am highly sympathetic with those who reject professional history, and I agree that an amateur who is self-educated could be an excellent source for information.  I am a little surprised, though, that these activists reject professional political science and economics, as these tend to be heavily dominated by conservatives.  I guess they’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater on that one.  Maybe they haven’t rejected professional scholars because of some overt hostility to government employees (as many junior college teachers are) or to their scholarship specifically though.  I think largely they just  assume that the subjects professionals teach will not align with the Tea Party’s interpretation, and, in that case, they are setting up their own courses where they control the information presented.  In essence, the purpose of these classes is to indoctrinate or propagandize by reinforcing their message with “education.”
Or, maybe they haven’t thought about it that thoroughly.  Maybe they didn’t think about continuing education classes as an option.  Or, maybe they don’t live near public schools they could take advantage of.  I smell the rebirth of the Chautauqua movement!  (Look it up.)  Everything old is new again.
 Posted by at 11:47 am

  6 Responses to “Tea Party U!”

  1. In response to your offensive diatribe entitled Tea Party U, let me see if I can explain to your highness why many of we have decided to study on our own rather than be indoctrinated by the very cause of our nation’s problems — you the teachers. It’s a bit presumptions of all of you to think that we are incapable of rightly interpreting the documents of our founders. I find it laughable, that you are so ignorant as to the dangers our nation now faces because of your elites. I won’t bother to try to convince you further, because my guess is your schema is set in concrete. And for your blatant ignorance of the excess major bills that just past, they are taking away the congress power, overriding actually, making them irrelevant — where have you been???? I am not a member of any of the Tea Party groups, but they have my support. I suggest YOU begin to study, because what you’ve been taught is wrong. You have no right to reinterpret the Constitution — it was written plainly enough. We are not undereducated — thx to glut of incompetence in your field, as shown by the number of kids left behind, not graduating and falling through the cracks, we have had to teach ourselves. The difference between our system and yours, is we test it! We use it…we don’t just read books, allow others to indoctrinate us and then have the audacity to regurgitate it as though we have working knowledge of the material. WE DO have working knowledge — you are just an echo.

  2. That’s classic – lecturing a teacher about the level of your group’s education while making spelling and grammar mistakes…

  3. Kelly,

    Congratulations on your “A” from Beck University! You seem to have mastered all the concepts and perhaps will be a Doctoral Candidate in the near future. Good luck in your endeavors in “higher” learning.


  4. I actually believe you guys doctored up the polls, If i would of known this was a ultra right wing site i would not of wasted my time. You guys need to get real and start telling the truth.

  5. Explain to me how two illegals can have legal children? Don”t they celebrate their parents country? Aren”T they proud of “their roots”? If the immigration laws were followed There would be no “anchor babies”. Have a great day.

  6. Please note that the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to all persons born in our country. See my post “Destined to Repeat Ourselves, Part II” from January 2011 on that. Have a great day yourself!

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