Shamefully, the dumbing-down process has succeeded through the promotion of television and other technology. The television promotes the nuances of mind control — contrary to the art of book reading, which requires that people independently think out ideas. While public education brags about higher graduation rates, there exists documented evidence, over a 19-year period, of systematic grade inflation at Ball State University. Many suspect that this is a nationwide phenomenon.
If standards are lowered enough, could 70 percent of the population obtain a college degree? Can quantity of degrees be increased without a decrease in quality? We can all be proud of Indiana Tech’s Arthur Snyder for his leadership in bringing a law school to Fort Wayne. But how will he handle the dilemma of trying to increase the number of lawyers without lowering academic standards in the process?
Both parties at the local level tend to glorify the mediocre life of a non-critical-thinking public. Do our political leaders challenge their party members with literature of the great thinkers? Not really. The right does not have available writers such as Edmund Burke, Kipling, Bastiat or Ayn Rand, and the left has no Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn or Bertrand Russell. This assures the demise of a cultured society — one that should focus on reason. Where ideas do not rule, emotionalism and personality become kind. Democrats have thrown out merit and ability and jumped into the pool of affirmative action, where achievement ribbons are based on race. Rudyard Kipling, in “The Gods of the Copybook Headings,” discusses a society where “all men get paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins.”
Have you ever heard a political candidate mention this idea? Since thoughts and ideas no longer matter much, the richness of a Kipling and other great thinkers is lost to a culture.
In the U.S. Senate race this fall, it’s Mourdock versus Donnelly, who admires the late socialist Howard Zinn and believes in the perfection of a man through more government programs. The blatant lie of “equality” has been taught for years in our public schools. Various groups in our society are looking for an excuse for our natural inequality. It is said that true equality does indeed exist — in the cemetery.
Our educational system is creating a group of folks who believe their unequal ability, as shown on any bell curve, is actually the fault of others. This pent-up anger and aggressiveness and tendency to level, by lowering standards of redistributing wealth, can best be understood by reading “The Revolt of the Masses” by Ortega Gasset. No one will pull this book down from the shelves for our citizens to read. So I guess it’s more television and the Internet. There is the idea that today’s culture will someday be considered the “dark ages” (G. Lichtenberg) where the television and Internet have supplanted the critical-thinking mind.
Can you envision, with me, these two candidates standing on opposite corners in downtown Indianapolis on a Saturday morning with each giving a five-minute speech? Richard Mourdock would say he can’t make people equal, nor smart, and he can’t make them rich, either. He would imply that most of us have created our own problems, not a politician.
The other guy, Joe Donnelly, would say the rich man made the poor man poor, and the smart man made the duller man dull — a need to blame someone for our differences. The forced redistribution of wealth seems natural to him. Besides, Donnelly has a religion that can help man perfect himself down here on earth with the infusion of more government. More spending will bring about perfection and equality.
Donnelly seemingly has all the answers that seem right and logical, and he’s looking for an earthly Utopia, while the other guy sees more of a sad tragedy — his eyes observing people who have been taught not to be content with who they are and what they possess. Donnelly desires the continuation of big government and deficits while accusing his opponent of being unwilling to compromise.
The late Charles Colson described this era as one that “smells of sunset.”