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Doug Molitor

Doug Molitor

Posted: March 22, 2010 12:38 PM

Texas Solution for Smart-Aleck Kids: Dumb 'Em Down

What's Your Reaction:

Do you think Thomas Jefferson wasn't a real influence on revolutionary movements? Do you consider Confederate president Jefferson Davis to be a hero of equal standing with Abraham Lincoln? Do you feel the outcome of the Civil War was that states have the right to secede if they want?

Well, good news! While in most states those notions would brand you an ignoramus, in Texas you qualify for valedictorian.

But I have a feeling the new Texas schoolbooks have at least a dozen more surprises in store for us.

How did things come to such a pretty pass?

In Afghanistan, a couple of decades ago, the Taliban decided children were getting too much humanism and secular values in the schools, and not enough religious indoctrination, so they ran well-financed campaigns to pack local school boards with semi-educated extremists, to ensure everyone's children only learned what the Taliban wanted them to believe, however fictional.

Oh, wait, that wasn't Afghanistan. That was America. Okay, easy fix. Wherever I have "Taliban," just insert "right-wing Christians."

And this week in Texas, the battle for the hearts and misinformed minds has finally borne its bruised, maggoty fruit. If all goes as scheduled, within a generation, dimbulb secessionists like Gov. Rick Perry will be seen by Texas high school grads (if any) as rational statesmen.

And here's the really good news -- because of the size of the Texas school system, when its Board of Education gets taken over by rabid right-wingers, it means every textbook company in America will compete to squeeze out propaganda as messed-up as the Texas Taliban demands. Because God forbid that any kids in America be educated differently than they are in that intellectual bastion on the Rio Grande.

Once again, the ol' Invisible Hand of the marketplace gives us the finger. Not that I would say anything against monopolistic corporate capitalism -- excuse me, I should translate for any Texan children reading this, "free enterprise."

I'm sure this will all turn out just fine.

As Shakespeare might have said, "All's Orwell that ends Orwell." And maybe he did say that.

I better check my Texas English text.