By Alan Caruba

If you passed through any school system since the 1960s, you are a lot dumber than you think you are. Those of us educated in the 1940s and 50s learned the fundamentals of literacy, history, civics, mathematics, and science in ways that no system relentlessly devoted to “self-esteem” ever could.

The takeover of the educational system, traditionally the responsibility of the states and individual communities, is part of the legacy of former President Jimmy Carter who reorganized the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, establishing a cabinet-level Education Department. He signed it into law on October 17, 1979 and it began operating on May 4, 1980.

The other factor was the rise of teacher’s union beginning in the 1960s. The unions feathered their nests, ensuring that costly retirement and healthcare benefits would burden state budgets until the present when a number of Republican governors in recent years began to reduce their power, based on spending millions to elect legislators friendly to their interests.

It is no accident that the Game Show network has a program, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

Still another factor has been popular entertainment; in particular, television. For example, the programming of children’s shows are platforms for socialist propaganda, emphasizing the usual lies about the environment and other “progressive” agendas. As often as not, programs for an adult audience, particularly on the National Geographic channel, have engaged in the same dubious “science.”

Aside from the provision of sports and entertainment, television today is filled with programs that are designed to appeal to the lowest IQs. If you tune to the Arts and Entertainment channel (A&E) you will find yourself watching Parking Wars, Storage Wars, Duck Dynasty, and Finding Bigfoot. And why would you watch such shows?

The History Channel has little to no relationship to actual history with programs like Ancient Aliens that purport to show how visitors from other planets aided humans in long ago eras are responsible for the advances of human civilization. On TruTV you can watch Wipe Out as hapless fools try to get through a series of obstacles that knock them around or feel good about yourself with their World’s Dumbest series by watching people too stupid to take up space on planet Earth. Need cash? Watch Hard Core Pawn.

On the Life channel you can watch a show about hoarders, people so deranged they cannot throw out anything and on Biography you can watch Ghosts Caught on Tape. Cartoons directed at adults are filled with the crudest humor from South Park to American Dad and Family Guy. Watching The Real Housewives of anywhere is an assault on anyone’s intelligence as is Keeping Up with the Kardashians and any of its spin-offs.

Dance Moms and Toddlers and Tiaras are tantamount to child abuse. On TLC, there is the idiotic Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Meanwhile, entire generations of children can watch adults portrayed as idiots on shows such as The Office and Arrested Development, as well as popular sitcoms like Two and a Half Men.

This “entertainment” is barely offset by channels such as CSPAN or those on public television that must compete for viewers against this avalanche of moral decay. It says something about present fears and concerns when the most popular news channel, Fox News, retains some semblance of a conservative point of view though one must endure the liberal views of Juan Williams and Bob Beckel.

While the nation is roiled by talk of new gun control measures, most TV dramas feature all manner of killing with firearms to the extent that it doesn’t even register as “a problem.” Local news is almost entirely devoted to who was murdered or died in some accident that day along the weather and sports. This mayhem is so much a part of our lives that it does little more than create a generalized level of anxiety.

Various “man in the street” interviews display a frightening level of ignorance about national politics and events.

Considering that Congress is filled with the children of Baby Boomers and caucuses that include the Congressional Black caucus, the Zero Capital Gains caucus, and a caucus on the climate, among dozens of others that are often idiotic special interests, it is little wonder that this fundamental institution of our government now reflects the dictates of a Marxist President and the agendas of those seeking to strip our society of its moral values while also destroying the economy at warp speed.

You don’t have to watch these shows. You can turn off the TV and read a range of books that examine the issues of our times and of the nation’s extraordinary history. You don’t have to remain the victim of an educational system that has deliberately dumbed down Americans. You don’t have to believe the lies of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and their cohorts. In 2014 you can vote to put the brakes on the destruction of America.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

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Comment by Bill Hockstad on January 28, 2013 at 6:00pm

I would never send my child to a public school today. It was bad enough 10 years ago when they Graduated. now Charter or private. the liberals running the DOE is unbelievable.

Comment by catherine deanni on January 27, 2013 at 7:06am

Just look  at every country that is ruled by a dictatorship, most of the people are uneducated. This is a way of controlling what the people believe or think, because they do not know any better

Comment by Richie Laxton on January 27, 2013 at 3:51am

I attended mostly public schools in the 70's and 80's. I had a few really great teachers who inspired and challenged me and I love them to this day for it. But, the majority of my educators were a joke. They were lazy, incompetent and could care less. Many were pot heads and philanderers, sickos and psychos. I learned early on to self educate. I read voraciously and grilled and plied my elders for all of their knowledge of various things. 

I can say as a parent, the public schools are deteriorating year after year. All of my kids are practically grown, but if I had a little one, they would not go to any of the public schools where I live.

I had to raise the roof and challenge many of the principals and school administrators to get my kids the help they sometimes needed. I made myself a nuisance to the higher ups in the school district. They hated to see me coming for sure. But, if more parents got involved and demanded what our local tax dollars are supposed to be paying for, I can't help but think it would force some changes. You have to remind these public educators who writes their paychecks.

I also taught my kids about the Constitution, Declaration, the founding fathers, The American Revolution, The Civil War etc. etc. to the point where they knew more than some of their teachers! This of course annoyed those teachers much to my delight...

Also, no TV til the homework was done and then, only a little. I had only basic cable and a lot of the channels were blocked. Yes, they whined and griped. Tough tootie. Now, they watch less TV than my wife and I do!

Comment by American Infidel on January 26, 2013 at 10:14am

We do not have cable TV in our home, by choice. We do not watch any of the moronic shows mentioned in the blog above. We save approximately $600 a year, at the minimum, by not having cable. That buys a lot of ammo. We read books, we stream Netflix for only $8 a month, we read the Bible, we pray, we go lots of places, we go to church, we thrift-shop, we take walks, and we sit down for meals as a family and really listen to each other. We love our lives.

Highly recommended!

Comment by Andy Carlson on January 25, 2013 at 8:50pm

I'm not going to argue about most of the previous education comments but come on, the Duck Dynasty folks are my kind of people, even if I'm from MN.

Comment by J.R.Wallon on January 25, 2013 at 8:28pm


Comment by Lizzie on January 25, 2013 at 7:49pm

The Apple TV / Netflix streaming thing is working out for us.  With some searching, we can usually find something suitable.  I like the idea of Sky Angel, but every time I look into it, they have a different format, and different equipment, and I end up passing on it.

Comment by John Brunner on January 25, 2013 at 7:43pm

So I gave up on the TV almost entirely and get my view on the world from the Internet. Now we all KNOW that anything and everything on the net is without bias and is true, don't we?

Comment by Dario on January 25, 2013 at 6:32pm

What a great article!!!  I agree completely with the author.  There is absolutely nothing of redeeming value on the majority of television programs.  The exceptions prove the rule and can be counted on your fingers.  I have watched as some of my friends and neighbors who have home-schooled their children.  Those children all won scholarships (plural) to go to college.  These young people are confident, polite, helpful, respectful with a yes mam or sir and can converse with any adult in the most intelligent manner.  They are a joy to be around.  If they had attended the local public schools, they would have been socially graduated with a degree in "dialect speech", "brutha, girlfrien", etc and have no ability to enter college or ever any hope of obtaining a degree.  TV, video games, video phones, etc are the downfall of many of today's young people.  All they know to do is "text", take photos (many unspeakably revolting) and pierce their bodies with all sorts of objects.  I fear if that is the generation that is to rescue America we are doomed to be Amerika!

Comment by Jay Walker on January 25, 2013 at 6:12pm

A childhood friend remarked 28 years ago that he thought homeschooling might be the salvation of the educational system.  While I have seen homeschooling done very poorly, I have also seen it done well.  My four home-schooled children have a pretty good grasp on the world.  One has a master's degree in history, and one a bachelor's degree in another field.  Thousands of other homeschoolers have had similar positive experiences.  And it appears that the NEA wants to shut all the home schools down.

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