In Opposing The President’s Speech…
Verbal Arsonist Pat Buchanan
The Republicans Promote Stupidity!
The swelling Republican attacks on President Obama’s decision to give a pep talk to the nation’s students on opening day – which turned out to be an old fashion lecture on the virtues of hard work and personal responsibility which American students desperately needed to hear – tells us much about the nature of the contemporary Republican Party. For those who have followed my commentaries over the years it will come as no surprise that the Republicans encourage racism and ignorance in the American electorate. In fact I have argued that they figure these factors into their calculus for victory.
As I observed during the presidential election, the selection of Sarah Palin for VP was a play for “the Dumb Dora vote.” The Republican Party is so committed to this strategy that they continuously emphasized that their support came largely from non-college educated whites. One has only to look at the demographics of the Republican base to see that they are largely concentrated in those states with the lowest level of educational achievement. This fact led the GOP to adopt a strategy of attacking and ridiculing an Ivy League education – Which both the President and the first Lady successfully completed.
The most shameful example of this was posited by a leading Republican intellectual, Pat Buchanan. In his attempt to defend a racist/sexist argument that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was unqualified to serve on the Supreme Court, he first said that she was unjustly admitted to Princeton and Yale because she was admitted under Affirmative Action guidelines. But when it was pointed out that she graduated with top honors from Princeton – which is presently rated above Harvard – and she was an editor on the Yale Law Journal, this shameless charlatan said on the MSNBC talk show Morning Joe: “Everybody knows they just give out A’s to everybody in Ivy League schools!”
Buchanan, intellectual anachronism and moral cripple that he is, had nothing to say about the fact that there were several thousand students were more qualified than George Bush when he was admitted to Yale on a rich white boy legacy, or that he was refused admission to the University of Texas Law School! Then he went on to become the worst President in history. Nor did he have anything to say about their Negro errand boy Uncle Clarence Thomas, who, according to the distinguished Dean of the Yale Law School, Vito Calibrisi, was admitted only after they shaved 250 points of the standard admission score!
All the talk about Barack Obama being “elitist” combined both pillars of Republican strategy: promoting racism and ignorance. Of course in their twisted minds this is a stealth strategy whose real intents and purposes are not visible to the electorate because it is obscured by smoke screens. They wrap their racist reactionary ideology in transparently bullshit polemics about speaking for “the real America” – which is to say small town bumpkins or disillusioned and confused white workers who are so clueless as to the real reasons for their deepening economic and identity crisis that they are willing to vote against their class interests and make their situation worse.
How else do you explain John McCain, a man who graduated from the elite Naval Academy, holding up Joe the Plumber as “My Hero?” Here is a guy that was so stupid he opposed Social Security because it is “a government giveaway.” And this is a guy who is as poor as the snake without a pit to hiss in! To anybody who is not a certifiable moron this was insulting; it was greeted as an outrage by the unionized plumbers I talked to! It would be interesting just for the historical record, to see how many times John and Cindy has had Joe and his wife out to dinner since the election.
Like the air head Joe Six Packs who voted for George bush twice, Joe The Plumber acted as if he had some interests in common with John McCain, a man with so many houses he couldn’t remember them all in a presidential debate. These people are a sad and dangerous crowd, because they can be manipulated into doing whatever their Republican puppet meisters want them to do, even if it’s against their own and the public interests.
Joe The Plumber
It is an indisputable fact that the Republican party is, as the Nobel Laureate in Economics Paul Krugman observed, “the party of the plutocrats”- Which is to say the super rich! However there are not enough of these people to win national elections, so the Republicans cultivate the untutored white mob, who are driven to the brink of madness by economic frustration and racist resentment over the fact that a black family now occupies the White House and a black man is President of these United States Of America. Having achieved little in life, and standing in danger of losing even that, they desperately cling to their whiteness because that’s the only asset they have. The value of which – in a multi-racial America where participation in the work force is more and more based on merit rather than racial and gender nepotism – becoming more and more like Confederate money.
However while the Republicans take ridiculous positions like disparaging educational achievement in order to discredit the President, and hold up transparent ignoramuses like Sarah Palin and Joe The Plummer as “heroes” and Presidential candidates, they are encouraging educational failure in our students by stigmatizing academic excellence. They are echoing the rap of high school drop outs who disdain school and think its hip to be dumb. And this is by all measurable indices a disastrous course for the United states that will hasten our demise as a world power. That the future belongs to the nations whose students master math and science in the largest numbers is beyond question. So what does the arithmetic tell us about America’s future?
According to the latest results of the Third International Math and Science Study American 12th graders who are a few months away from college, were out performed by 90% of the students from the other 21 nations who took the math exam and 76% 0t those who took the science test. China is graduating four times as many engineers as the US and Japan is graduating twice as many. On advanced placement math and Science exams American students were outperformed by 94% of students from these other nations in math and 100% in science! The result of these frightening statistics is summed up by Rice University Professor R.E. Smalley, a Nobel Laureate in Science, who predicted in 2005 that if current trends continue: ”By 2010 90% of all Ph.D. physical scientist and engineers in the world will be Asians living in Asia!
Even if Dr. Smalley’s timetable is off by a decade, the trend is unmistakable and spells the end of America as a dominant power in the world, let alone the leader in science and technology. Especially when we consider the conclusions of the American Association For the Advancement Of Science that “90 percent” of our math textbooks and 1oo% of our science textbooks are inadequate.
Furthermore it is no secret that India has outpaced the US in the production of computer scientist, and this is due entirely to the decision of the Indian government to fund the Indian Institute of Technology as a vehicle for making the most of their intellectual capital. A closer look at the cybernetic revolution in the so-called “Silicone Valley” of Northern California will reveal the IIT engineers played a major role in that development. Hence if ever the United states need a strongly pro-education President it is now. And I can think of no better example than President Obama, who is living proof of the power of education.
George W. Bush, who bragged about being a C student spoke to school children; Ronal Reagan, a smiling ignoramus who said you could call nuclear missiles back once they were launched, and George Herbert Walker Bush all addressed America’s school children with the blessings of the same crowd who are now up in arms because President wants to address the nation’s school children! The racist rage that the Republicans and their media spokes are whipping up in this country may well retard the President’s efforts to make the changes that are necessary to put America in position to compete in this new century. And for those who argue that it’s a good thing for him to speak because “minority students” need to hear him are also missing the point: All students need to hear this president; the future of the nation my well depend on it!
Commentaries On the Times
September 8, 2009