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The High Cost of Ignorance in a Free Society

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Much is made of and much should be made of the freedoms that exist in our society. It is certain that these freedoms we correctly deemed as a fundamental rights were found to be rather attractive as many nations now offer their citizens these very same rights. Freedomhouse.org put a map together and you can see for yourself that we do not stand alone in our value of personal freedom.

It is also an unfortunate truth that the "American dream" is something more likely to be found in other countries than in our own. A full 26 other countries have a higher median wealth than ours.

I would not change living in a free country for anything, yet I must accept that those personal individual freedoms I cherish must be accompanied by a certain measure of intelligence and the capacity for critical thought since it is, we the people, who must choose our personal representation.

Democracy and the American dream cannot exist with an education system that is not rooted in those very same fundamentals of educational democracy, a system which ensures that the child of a laborer can achieve educational equality with that of the child of a senator or a corporate CEO.

Focus on education and increasing quality so that our students no longer founder when compared to other societies just make sense. Should I really have to present an argument for this statement? That seems foolish.

While some nations choose to pay their teachers the highest salary, place them at the forefront of the community and accord them the highest respect with far superior results in the education of their children, today's United States Republican Party consistently demonizes teacher unions, teacher pensions and teacher pay. Some states now allowing individuals without a teaching degree to teach our youth does not represent progress it represents a nation with little hope for greatness and a dedication to societal decline.

Education represents the key to our future. Until our state and national leaders make sure a high percentage of our best and brightest go on to pass that knowledge on to the leaders of our future we are doomed as a nation.

We live now in an age when one of our major political parties, the Republican Party, no longer glorifies pursuit of intellect, but exalts blind faith and ignorance. They are a party deathly afraid of anyone with critical thinking skills or at least anyone with the desire to apply those skills.

When they talk about loving the Constitution, they are desperately hoping no one in the audience has read the Constitutuion. They also pray very hard that their audience thinks that 6,000 years is entirely enough time for our universe to be formed and our crazy weather patterns have everything to do with God's displeasure over gay marriage and not the lax regulation requirements Republicans champion which strip our environment and create tragic long term effects. If we are indeed to be stewards of this planet then we have failed that task miserably.

Astonishingly Rick Santorum in 2012 made the statement, "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." Let us forget how boldly disrespectful of Republican voters this statement is, but let us instead focus on how this should make absolutely no sense to anyone who takes longer than thirty seconds to think about it and I assure you that 30seconds is all the longer it will take.

If you are running a business you go to the smartest adviser you can find for advice because you want the best result. If your child is sick, you go to the smartest doctor you can find because you want the best result. If you are in legal troubles, you get the smartest lawyer around because you want the best result, but if you are looking for an elected official to represent you and make decisions based on your behalf for the good of your state or country, according to Rick Santorum whatever you do don't go for the real smart guy if you want the best results. This should go against the grain of common sense, but so many Republican voters now believe this to be true.

Why would Mr. Santorum be afraid of the smart guy? Because Republican policies do not work. Smart people can present logical sensible arguments to the very policies Republicans are trying to present as legitimate. The GOP has neither the numbers nor the logic to prove their point and they are left with a response akin to, "oops."

Republicans like softball. They like Fox News and fear any debate environment in which the moderator might ask them a tough question. Are Republicans afraid? Yes. Should we consider their isolationist tactics as smart or or a demonstration of cowardice? I shall let you be the judge, but I have made my determination.

There is a very real and I believe intentional Republican tactic not only to enrich their private education campaign donors but also to contribute to the dumbing down of society. Creating a society where any job is acceptable and if two or three are required to pay the bills then even better. A nation of low paid, low education workers making products for nations who have a middle class is the Republican vision for American greatness and yet the recipe for an ever dwindling American middle class where the American dream will only be a memory.

Ending the Department of Education is so essential to their plans that most do not even conceal their zeal, just their intentions. Completely allowing states to control their education insures Republicans in power and those who have already obtained the means of wealth can hold on to their status by creating even more lower information voters completely devoid of inspiration and expectations for a life better than their parents. Republicans need their consistently red states to continue to score lowest in the nation in regards to education to preserve their electoral local and state dominance in those states.

If what I just said sounded sinister. That was my intention.

The future of our nation's lawmakers personal wealth does not depend on the ability of the American worker to be treated fairly, their future wealth relies on their ability to convince the American worker that the unfair treatment they are receiving is necessary to compete in a world market and that people that fight for their rights and rights of workers are nothing more than "evil socialists or communists" that you can never trust. Fear wins with Republican voters and reason is to be disdained and mocked.

We have two choices here that we can believe. An educated person will not accept failure or mediocrity, while an uneducated person will think he deserves nothing more than he has.

While we must never stop in our efforts to improve the educational access to those who seek it and deserve it, the battle right now is with ignorance. This battle is yours to fight and we all bare responsibility.

The time is over for talking reasonably to people with the last name Cruz, Rubio or Boehner. It is time to talk intelligently and reasonably with our friends and our family.

There is no blurring of lines when discussing which political party fights for the worker, for the woman, for the disabled, for the elderly, our LGBT friends and family, and for the war veteran. There needs to be no confusion and we must stop allowing Republicans to claim they are fighting for the same things. Their actions and policies dictate otherwise. We need Democrats, strong Democrats that will fight for progressive and liberal values.

There is no more wisdom or achievable positive result when we continuously make the politically "correct" attempt to equate the two parties in any way.

There is a difference in parties. We must not allow others to accept or imply that they are all the same, and when they ask the question "Why?" we must be prepared with an answer.

It is no surprise that when uninformed voters in a free society make a decision they frequently make the wrong one and a decision that affects them and the country negatively. We cannot make good decisions with bad information

In the most in-eloquent way possible I will state that in order to win elections and hide that their policies suck, the GOP must convince low information voters, predisposed to be fearful and scared people, with knee jerk reactions to the flag and the Bible that the other side is just "bad" or "evil". These are not the tactics of reasoned individuals. They are the tactics of cowards with nothing of value in their arsenal and personal selfishness for their motivation.

We no longer need to look at the head of the GOP machine as leaders, but we can view them as meager pawns with significant evidence to support our notion that their vested interested is not in the greatness of America, but the relevance of a failing party. Must we continue to demonstrate respect to those who cannot even provide a modicum of the same in return. No, that is not a requirement that we must meet.

The GOP elite such as Darrell Issa, Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor are content to sink the ship as long as they are drinking the right brand of champagne and their heads stay above water.

They do not seek to raise up Americans, they seek to own America.

As Republican leaders continue to pay homage to such "thinkers" as Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck and Trump, Democrats are no longer compelled to treat the GOP as reasonable people. Hannity, Limbaugh and Beck do not hold any secret truths, or represent the pulse of the people, but they do possess an amazing capacity to create their own wealth preying on those who fill their "collection plates."

When John Boehner uttered those words "I reject the word compromise." He acknowledge that he had no intention to lead and the people were just in determining that they were not obligated to follow.

When Mitch McConnell said "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president," it was imperative that the people understand that his priorities had nothing to do with the advancement of the country, but rather the advancement of the ever-growing and omni-present Republican ego. An ego so big and obscene that Reince Priebus has difficulty opening his mouth without making the Republican "tent" so much smaller than it already is.

Republicans were so hopeful at one time that they could widen their base, months later they have learned that Reince Priebus does not have the ability to aid in that process only the ability to hinder the process and get his picture in the news.

Critical thinking and an educated populace gets in the way of the goals of the GOP. They will fight it all costs. We must fight to preserve it with our last breath. We must do this for our children and our nation.