Sanders, Socialism, and Schooling

Owing to his enthusiasm for the Soviet Union during the Cold War (he actually spent his honeymoon there!), Bernie Sanders was indeed morally unfit to have ever be President of the United States, as Independent Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence J. McQuillan argues in The Beacon. According to a recent poll, however, the senator’s socialist credentials pose no problem for one-fourth of the Millennials it surveyed; they may even favor a socialist on principle.

Could this attitude have anything to do with the decline of American education?

Independent Institute Senior Vice President Mary L. G. Theroux argues that this may indeed be the case.

Since its creation more than three decades ago, the U.S. Department of Education has been a troubled underachiever—at least by the standard of ensuring academic excellence. But there is, of course, more to the story. Citing Charlotte Twight’s article in the Winter 2016 issue of The Independent Review, Theroux suggests that while the agency is a failure when it comes to the three R’s, it may be judged a success by a different standard: the undermining of support for liberty.

“American students,” Theroux writes, “have ‘unlearned’ the concept of liberty during their passage through the government education system—with the result that they have been formed into increasingly compliant subjects of an increasingly powerful state.” The situation is desperate, but not irreversible. “If we want children who can succeed in a global economy that runs on tech, children who embrace and defend individual and civil liberty, who value and help their fellow-man, we’re going to have to educate them ourselves,” Theroux continues. “And that can only be done privately, wholly divorced from government involvement.”


Editor’s Note: If Public Education is Failing then it has been doing it for a very, very long time. Progressive Reformers have been hacking away at Constitutional issues since the 1870’s. Some good… Some not so good. Progressive era reformers have used education as their primary tool. Public education in such areas as hygiene, would solve the problems of venereal disease and alcoholism. The Catholic Church pointed out that the introduction of secular knowledge did not equate to spiritual knowledge. Reformers then, as now, silenced those voices with ridicule and embarrassment. Sound familiar?

The progressives were concerned over inequities in wealth distribution and banking reform were central to the progressive push in the early 1900’s.

In the election of 1912, Roosevelt’s progressive Bull Moose party wrestle away 4.1 million votes compared to Taft’s 3.4 million votes and Wilson’s 6.2 million votes. Wilson, a progressive Democrat, won the election with 6.2 million votes. The ominous note was sounded by the candidacy of the avowed socialist Eugene V. Debs, who received almost a million votes.

Locally progressive socialist’s applauded the sale of a local christian college to the more secular state of Tennessee.

Why Bernie Sanders Is Morally Unfit to Be President, by Lawrence J. McQuillan (The Beacon, 3/4/16)

So You Think Public Education Is Failing? It Helps to Understand Its Goals, by Mary Theroux (The Beacon, 3/11/16)

Through the Mist: American Liberty and Political Economy, 2065, by Charlotte Twight (The Independent Review, Spring 2016)

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