Sunday, April 16, 2006

National Death Wish, part 2

Gradually, more and more Americans seem to be waking up to the reality that our current president and his cronies are bad for this country (forget about what they are doing to the rest of the world). Yet polls show there is no assurance we will do anything about it in the next election. Part of the problem is the apparent unwillingness of the opposition (the Democrats) to articulate anything like a reason they should govern. But part of is is also the continued success of Republicans at using misleading names for everything ("Death tax", "Patriot Act", "No Child Left Behind", "War on Terror", "Culture of Life", "Family Values") and getting away with it. These terms appeal to their "base", without requiring explanation.

This brings into clear focus the rationale for their war on education: the harder it is to read, the less people are willing to do it, and thus the less they will do it. With a population unwilling to read, all you have to do is give everything a clever moniker, and no one will be the wiser. This already explains why the "base" increasingly vote against their own interests. And it explains why we are unlikely to change course before we have irretrievably damaged ourselves. Unfortunately, we will drag the rest of the world with us.

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