Americans who have lived longer than 30 years are likely aware that fascist Republicans and their corporate money machine have had enormous success whittling away at the idea that America is a representative democracy despite counsel from a Founding Father on how best to preserve the nation. Thomas Jefferson knew, and said, that “an educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” However, because Republicans depend on “the widespread ignorance of objective reality,” their fascist threat to democracy is only succeeding due to the abundance of ignorance and gross stupidity of America’s uneducated citizenry. Subsequently, Republicans are building on their success and slashing education funding at a record pace to produce an entire population of stupid conservative voters.
A couple of years ago a survey asked 1,000 Americans to take the U.S. citizenship test and surprisingly, only 38% of them failed miserably. The number is obviously higher today and at the rate Republicans in Congress and particularly red states are slashing education funding, it is not going to get better any time soon; if ever. Republicans could not exist as a viable political party without overwhelming numbers of ignorant, and frankly intensely stupid, Americans, and announcements from at least three Republican governors over the past month inform they are intent on adding to the number of Republican voters by creating the next generation of stupid Americans.
The latest Republican to announce severe cuts to education is Illinois’ Governor Bruce Rauner. Rauner told lawmakers that “It’s time to make education our top priority again – and that’s what this budget does.” He promptly cited the benefits to education in his “turnaround budget” that slashes $209 million from the state’s higher education budget. Rauner said the education cuts are just one of several “difficult choices no one wants to make,” and then stressed the importance of filling the gaping $6.2 billion budget hole the state faces in the coming fiscal year. His turnaround budget plan includes no effort to raise taxes, close corporate tax loopholes, or raise revenue in any way; a typical Republican fiscal scenario playing out in red states across America. Illinois Republicans have spent the past four years giving the rich and corporations generous tax cuts that created the “gaping $6.2 billion budget hole.” It is exactly like the Kansas “trickle down” model that stupid Kansas voters continue supporting as their governor Sam Brownback proposes more education cuts.
Barely a month ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal told conservatives in Washington D.C. just how incredibly important public education was as a fundamental pillar of America’s democracy. Jindal asked the audience, “Why is it important to fund and support public education? Because if we want to keep the republic we have, we need an educated population with critical thinking skills. I always hear from parents, from the Chamber of Commerce, from business groups that we’ve got to fund education.” Jindal’s funding solution was immediately cutting the state college budget by over $300 million; or about a third of the system’s total budget. Even Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter slammed Jindal’s gifts to the rich and corporations and accused him of “exacerbating the state’s outrageous deficit woes by recklessly expanding tax breaks for the wealthy.”
Another Republican governor, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, announced education cuts to the tune of $300 million he claims is crucial to try and make up a $650 million budget shortfall. Like Illinois, Louisiana, Kansas, and Arizona, the state is suffering major revenue shortfalls due to Walker’s $2 billion in tax cuts for the rich. Walker is currently pushing for more tax cuts for corporations that will put the state budget further in the red. Walker won re-election despite the state’s budget woes and it is due to stupid voters; Walker’s education cuts will increase the number of ignorant voters he, and Republicans, depend on to stay in power.
Newly-elected Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is pushing at least $75 million in education cuts in his budget to “help address this state’s $1.5 billion revenue shortfall.” In typical Republican fashion, like Jindal, Walker, Sam Brownback, and Rauner, Ducey claims his education cuts are necessary to “preserve major business tax cuts” and “protect taxpayers by rejecting calls to address the budget shortfalls by raising taxes.” Ducey says that cutting education funding and preserving tax cuts for corporations are the only reasonable solution to Arizona’s red ink and they are fair because they “ask all areas of government to share in the work to develop and find savings.”
This list of Republican governors and state legislatures slashing education funding to continue providing tax cuts for the rich is long and demonstrates why Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said, “Republican charlatans and cranks have gained increasing favor in the party, despite, or maybe because of the fact, that they get things wrong.” Krugman makes a valid point, but he held back from stating the obvious; Republicans are gaining favor due to ignorance among the electorate that continues supporting Republicans despite the incredibly stupid fiscal decisions they have made over the past thirty years.
Republicans understand that, as Jindal said, an “educated populace with critical thinking skills is crucial to maintaining the republic.” However, Republicans have no interest in maintaining the republic as a representative democracy any more than they want a well-educated citizenry with critical thinking skills to know when they are being crushed by corporate fascism. Many Americans wonder aloud after every election why a preponderance of voters in Republican-controlled states perpetually vote against their own best interests and by extension their freedoms; it is sheer stupidity.
As much as one grieves to state the obvious, it is because too many Americans are beyond ignorant; they lack critical thinking skills borne of stupidity. The “widespread ignorance of objective reality” is better stated as “willful rejection of objective reality;” not ignorance, just sheer stupidity. It means that although Republican voters see and feel the effects of Republican economic and fiscal policies favoring the rich at their expense, they continue supporting conservatives.
If the Republicans’ storied trickle down scam was an exciting and novel fiscal policy, one may understand how ‘ignorance’ might play into the support from Republican voters. But for dog’s sake, Republicans have been pushing the same failed agenda for over thirty years and despite the damage to the population, stupid conservatives continue electing Republicans. And, to increase the number of stupid people, Republicans hasten their horrendous cuts to education funding. They know that ‘an uneducated citizenry is a vital requisite for their survival as a party intent on rule by corporate fascism,” and tragically they are seeing their efforts reach fruition.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.