Miranda Blue over at People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch wrote yesterday that “In an interview with conservative radio host Andrew Wilkow on Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz agreed with Wilkow when he said that there is ‘link between public education and bad civics,’ namely the failure to agree with Cruz’s ‘constitutional conservatism.’”
Wilkow: “You know what’s amazing about constitutional conservatism, is it seems like so many are lost on it, not because they aren’t intelligent enough to understand it, many people are too busy to follow politics the way those of us in the political media and running for president where you are. It seems like the more the federal government gets involved in education, the further away from an understanding of the Constitution we get. And do you see that problem, do you see a link between public education and bad civics?”
Cruz: “Absolutely, “and I would note that the Constitution is a way to unite all of us, to bring us together across divisive issues.”
Listen courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
What’s funny about the idea of constitutional conservatism is that the constitution is a liberal document, so the term itself must remain suspect at the very least.
This is funny for other reasons too. Really. It is. Because Ted Cruz is right about something. But he thinks it’s a bad thing when really, it’s good. Because it shows that the educational system works by teaching kids history and geography – the old “reading, writing and arithmetic.” But it also teaches kids to think for themselves.
Ted Cruz and his type call being taught to think “indoctrination,” when in fact is an immunization against indoctrination. The indoctrination Cruz is pushing with his “constitutional conservatism.”
As Thomas Jefferson said in a letter to Charles Yancey in 1816, “if a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was & never will be.”
Which is why Republicans hate public education with a purple passion.
Well, that, and the government’s roll in education eliminates the roll of the cronyism and corruption that drives the GOP machine.
Public education is why kids grow up, many of them, to dismiss crackpot theories like those expressed by Ted Cruz. Never mind that he’s been demonstrated to be the most conservative presidential candidate in like, forever, but his ideas are just plain crazy in and of themselves. Kids who have some measure of education about the world and how it works, will not buy into these crackpot ideas.
He is entirely right to blame public schools, and we should thank the Founding Fathers for their support for the idea of publicly funded education so that our kids have had a chance to grow up reading out of more than just the Bible. Because the Bronze Age isn’t with us anymore, Ted. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. And no, calling it a “commie plot” just gives hyperbole a bad name.
A third reason this entire discussion is funny is that Cruz talks about bringing us together “across divisive issues” when he is speaking as a member of the most divisive party in American history, a party that thrives on an “us” vs. “them” mentality, a party that says only “white Christian Americans” are really Americans at all, a party that wants to deprive anyone who doesn’t fit into a narrowly defined category of their constitutional rights.
This is the same Ted Cruz whose staff refused a meeting with a delegation of Texas Muslims. Because bringing us together “across divisive issues” doesn’t mean talking to Muslims.
There is a whole lotta funny here mixed in with the scary, and Cruz being able to say any of this with a straight face is not least among them.
We owe our public schools, and all our public school educators out there, a debt of gratitude we can never repay. That’s not to say we shouldn’t try.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.