A liberal arts education – literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, science, and psychology – should be available to everyone, and it should be free!
Some people never learn to write. A blog reader with limited liberal arts education recently scribbled, “The President and the Vice President are idiots!”
How inventive, how persuasive! You have to be impressed by the originality, the depth, passion, conviction, anger, and frustration of that person’s thoughtful and reasoned evaluation. At least you will recognize that his mean-spirited, dull, pedestrian, common, uninspired, uninformed and patently absurd, not to mention unfunny, unremarkable, and horribly insulting, eight-word critique … could do with a modifier or two.
To most Americans, as long as you can tell the maid what to do, and order a taco now and then, who needs another language? And, if it isn’t written in English, it isn’t worth reading.
To most Americans, there’s only one book worth reading, anyway. They don’t care what language it was written in originally. The Book has been translated, re-translated, mistranslated, edited, added to, subtracted from, and co-authored by Jews, Catholics, King James, and men with no college degrees whatsoever. Who cares?
Burn the rest of the books. Throw Plato and Aristotle in the fire first.
Congress can’t tell the difference between cutting jobs and increasing the national debt.
Republicans in Congress recently made two seemingly contradictory claims – that “cutting the military budget will cost jobs,” but “building roads and repairing infrastructure will only increase the debt.” Somebody has to explain that.
Democrats argue that the budget is not in crisis mode (not yet), and that closing tax loopholes for the rich (now) and reduced spending on government programs like Medicaid and Medicare (in the future), will correct our long-term budget problem. You need a college degree.
They say job numbers are on the rise, but too many people are still out of work. Some say economic austerity will solve the problem; others say economic stimulus will do the job. You need a Ph.D.
Apparently, history is a thing of the past – not worth remembering.
Remember the mid-term election? Remember gerrymandering? Remember the minority in Congress that foiled the will of the majority in the nation, resulting in a do-nothing, “Say No” government made up of ultra-conservative extremists who never learned to compromise?
Too many people can’t count.
Ninety percent of Americans want to keep our economic safety net: Social Security. Republicans can’t count.
Ninety percent of Americans want background checks and gun control laws that work. The NRA can’t count.
Almost ninety percent of Americans approve of Gay couples getting married. Red states can’t count.
People of color will soon outnumber whites in the US. WASPs can’t count.
A majority of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana. At last somebody learned to count.
What were the founding fathers thinking? What were their thoughts about atomic bombs, and destroying our environment with carbon emissions? Did they know from automatic weapons?
Our planet is many millions of years old. Millions! There is proof – not simply superstition. Yet, there are members of Congress who say they believe the earth is 4,000 or so years old. They represent an uneducated constituency that believes the same, and, currently, they have evolved the “filibuster” to defeat any sane member of Congress who relies on facts, reason, and science.
A member of the Senate yesterday explained that the reason he would not vote for background checks or any other anti-gun legislation was because some people in his district would have to travel 25 or 30 miles to get their backgrounds checked – an unfair burden, said the Senator. (So, let’s everybody carry guns and let the best shots win!) His constituents were home schooled, obviously.
How do we stop fighting wars?
Here’s a subject that needs teaching. There have been more than 14,500 wars in recorded history. Armageddon was the first, which took place in Egypt, led by Tut Moses III. Christians are waiting for the last one – next year in Jerusalem, maybe.
All wars are driven by money and power. You’d think by now we would have learned to stop the carnage.
More schools, fewer bombs!
* Source: Mortimer Adler’s “Paideia Proposal” – liberal arts should form the foundation of everyone’s education, and should precede specialized career training and education.
Jac Flanders is the author of “What I Learned On The Way Down” – eBook and paperback at Amazon.com.