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Rick Perry vs. Liberal Higher Education

August 10, 2011

Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected announce his nomination this week. Already this week Perry has followed in the tradition of George W. Bush as the “Great Divider” by declaring a Day of Prayer and Fasting [no one in Texas seems to notice that this is during Ramadan]. And with his states’ relative resilience over the past two years as the wind in his sails, he should have no problem breezing through the primaries. Fiscal conservatives will likely praise his $5 billion in cuts to Medicaid and $4 billion to education, even though neither of which will solve Texas’ budget deficit.

Perry is not content to “reform” primary education, state colleges are also in his targets. At first glance, his policy is surprisingly progressive. He even calls for state college tuition to be leveled to $10,000 a year. But it doesn’t take much digging to find Perry’s agenda. It’s as brazen as a cowboy declaring his obesity will make him a star linebacker:

Fourth, colleges have long been an intellectual driver of progressivism in American life. I am sure I am not the only person who found my undergraduate and graduate school years to have been a tiring indoctrination in leftist ideas. It is surely no coincidence that young American voters are more inclined to vote for the Left after this indoctrination.

Yes, this direct quote can be found on RickPerry.org.

So it is not a deeper understanding of politics, history, and economics — Perry argues — that leads to a more liberal worldview; it is indoctrination. College will not improve your critical thinking, it will make you more susceptible to wishy-washy arguments and debased facts. Perry’s fear of his liberal professors certainly explains his rejection of science in favor of the familiar. [Christianity’s battle with science is for fundamentalists. If you believe in God described by Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (for that matter, by Muhammad, the Old Testament Prophets, and the Midrash Rabbis), the two are not contradictory. Science is the how, God is the why.]

Rick Perry should go back to college. [Where his grades would have disqualified him from most federal internships.]

A course in economics would teach him that inequality always leads to volatile markets.

A course in Eastern European history would teach him that wealth inequity was the driving force behind communism. Further, the policies that create America’s wealth concentration are limiting growth in both America and third-world countries.

A course in health care administration would teach him that France, Italy, Spain, Austria and every other EU (read: “socialist,” “single-payer,” “universal health care”) country has better health care than US citizens and that the US’ system of health care ranks 37th out of 191.

A course in history would teach him that “liberal” reforms are only called “liberal” for a decade or so, after that, they’re called “progress.” [See public education, the abolition of slavery, universal enfranchisement (sorry Perry, “voting rights”), the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, protection from industrial pollution, etc…]

Since college is so expensive, he could also just buy an old copy of Vanity Fair and read James Wolcott’s “Red State Babylon,” [free link!] a study of Red States and Blue States and the consequences of the two ideologies.

Blue States do have a monopoly on intelligence. “In a survey done by Morgan Quitno Press,” Wolcott writes, “an independent, private research-and-publishing company in Kansas, blue states accounted for 8 out of the top 10 ‘Smartest States’ as measured by pedagogical criteria…As for the bottom 10 states, 8 of them were red.”

Here are things that Red states lead the nation in:

  • divorce
  • violent crimes
  • meth labs
  • suicide
  • capital punishment (Perry’s Texas has long been #1)
  • gambling
  • racism
  • out-of-wedlock births
  • teen pregnancies
  • obesity
  • poverty

Education is inversely related to each of the above on the personal, community, state, and national levels. Of course, Perry doesn’t believe in [read: understand] statistics either.

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