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Reclaiming education

February 10, 2009

The massive advantage that the Democrats had in November among the young was due to a number of factors. As Winston Churchill famously said, if you’re not liberal at 20 you don’t have a heart; if you’re not conservative at 40 you don’t have a brain. A friend recently wondered why we have to go through this every twenty years: Johnson, Carter, Clinton and now Obama. I answer, I realized, is that every generation needs to learn the hard way.

For this generation, however, it is worse than simply age. They have been propagandized since pre-school about saving the planet, the evils of tobacco and big business, and the value of the collective over the individual. Everybody wins, we all get a trophy for just being there.

I remember when my son was in the first grade. I lit up a pipe, something I rarely did and which he had never seen me do before. He was genuinely upset and afraid, certain that I was going to drop dead right then and there. Propaganda. It was only then that he heard the other side of the story.

I am reminded of this topic because of Thomas Sowell’s column today, Deprogramming the Students. Remember the 60s? Students rioting on campus, interrupting classes, making demands. It was the beginning of the end for conservatives in education and since about 1980 we conservatives have almost totally abandoned the field. Instead of reforming education, we chose to create a parallel system in “choice,” charter schools and home schooling–heavily fought by the (now liberal) establishment. Good for us but a losing strategy in the long run. We reaped the rewards of that strategy in 2008.

It is time to retake education. It is time to stop “education” being a propaganda tool of the left and teach not only the other side of the story but also how to think. Then they won’t be fooled again.

One Comment
  1. Publius Americanus UPNY permalink
    March 29, 2009 10:38 pm

    I like your post very much. Especially your observation of the “every 20 years.” Since I am still under 30 and a conservative, I guess I have no heart. Keep up the good work.


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