Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Governor Ron DeSantis is winning kudos from the "Conservatives" for insisting that the evils of Communism and the virtues of Capitalism be included in Florida's school curricula.  As politicians go, the governor of Florida is one of the best we have, but he is not an educated man and does not at all understand the evils that have been perpetrated by American public education, and, since he does not understand the causes of the problem, he is incapable of devising a workable solution.
The basic problem is not, as "Conservatives" like to claim, the take-over of universities and schools by Sixties Leftists, nor is it the fault of those non-existent beings Talk Radio has invented to keep their listeners awake at night, listening for the things that go bump.  Of course, things have got worse over the past 50 years, and of course the deterioration is partly the result of leftist  indoctrination,which has meant that large parts of the curriculum are devoted to destroying the mind and character of the students.  But ideological indoctrination might be resisted, if American adolescents had acquired the knowledge and intellectual skills needed to detect the lies and illogic of their teachers.
The plain truth is that American students today, as a group and on the whole,  are the dumbest human beings who have ever walked the earth.  We used to say of dull-witted people that they were too dumb to come in out of the rain, but the people under 40 I meet these days don't even know that rain is wet and cannot seem to understand whys they are coming down with a cold.
If only the schools would teach anything EXCEPT the bogus ideologies that began destroying American schools in the 1920s.  The failure of American schooling did not begin with Communist propaganda.  It began with teachers, fresh out of teachers' colleges that filled their heads with nonsense, began replacing traditional studies of math, language, and history with courses designed to make them good patriotic Americans.   The Godfather of ideological education was Horace Mann in the 19th century, who wanted to starve the minds of  Christian students by feeding them the  thin gruel of Unitarian ideology.  It is usually claimed that he borrowed his ideas from the Prussians, but that is only partly true.  Post-Puritan Massachusetts was already assuming the right to educate the children of the Bay State, and the education reformers of the early American republic had already launched a war against classical education.  The Revolution reached critical mass about the time of WW I, when  the leftist Democratist John Dewey became the leading educational expert, promising to use the schools to create a new democratic man.,
The neoconservative take on Democratic Capitalism that Desantis is pushing is just an earlier less destructive ideology, and the progress to soft core socialism to feminism to every other ism was inevitable once the system embarked upon the project of transforming the character of Americans.
They need to concentrate on math and writing, foreign languages, and history. Most of the "science" taught is simply ideology with a scientific veneer, and some years ago the NSF declared that what future scientists really needed was a solid foundation in math. A 20 year old who with solid math, a knowledge of ancient and modern history and four years of Latin would not be so easy to manipulate, and that, in the end, is the whole point of American public education:  To create a race of dupes who positively refuse to come in out of the rain and despise anyone evil enough to own his own home.  
Avatar photo

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

11 Responses

  1. Michael Strenk says:

    I live in a school district which is considered to be one of the better ones in the county and yet, here in the Mid Atlantic region, the boys generally arrive at the bus stop wearing shorts and a light hooded sweat shirt all winter long. There is something to be said for a Spartan upbringing, but this would seem to be simple neglect and an unwillingness to establish any semblance of discipline. The prevailing attitude regarding education is that the schools are entirely responsible for it. As long as one votes for the school budget one’s children will be geniuses and one will derive the added benefit of keeping up property values, a lie that teacher’s union propagandists long ago succeeded in seeding in the minds of homeowners.

  2. Stephen Chaplin says:

    John Fogerty’s lyrics include these lines:

    “Long as I remember,
    The rain’s been comin’ down.
    Clouds of myst’ry pourin’
    Confusion on the ground.
    Good men through the ages
    Tryin’ to find the sun.
    And I wonder,
    Still I wonder
    Who’ll stop the rain.”

    From these words we can conclude that Fogerty saw that a few “good men” were trying to do things right. Yet, where is that guy today who is going to step up and move us in the right direction? Since the days of Jefferson and Madison, and Calhoun, where has “that guy” been? Fogerty saw the problem, at least in part, as a failure of leadership. And ain’t that the truth.

  3. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Thanks for drawing attention to the title.

  4. Michael Strenk says:

    Fogerty’s alright, but if we are to have rain and learning, let’s have Swift’s “A City Shower” for our next poem. That should help clear the filth away.

  5. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Everything in its place. Whatever taste I once might have had for the popular songs of the 1960s was tempered by a preference for more serious music and I was always puzzled and amused buy fellow students who would quote Bob Dylan or the Beatles as sacred writ. For the most part, the earlier generation of lyricists–Lorenz Hart, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, Otto Harbach–all wrote more competent verse with generally deeper insights into human life. Throw in the country songwriters like Hank Williams, and you have a body of work worthy to compare with Parisian cafe songs and Neapolitan songs.

    Nonetheless, a comparison of John Fogerty with Jonathan Swift is something like, in the midst of an oyster roast, talking about entrecôte in Béarnaise sauce. It might strike the hosts of the oyster roast as ungrateful.

  6. Michael Strenk says:

    No offense intended to yourself, Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Swift or Mr. Fogerty. I would put oysters prepared in any way on a level with beef prepared any way prejudiced only by mood or circumstance. I would not, of course, feel the same about Fogerty and Swift. Having only recently been introduced to Swift’s poetry I would have to come down on his side if comparison were forced, despite a long liking for Mr. Fogerty’s music in the past. I don’t listen to much music of any kind any more. In the words of Tim Roth’s character in the movie “Don’t Come Knocking”, “I don’t like to be influenced.”

    Sorry to introduce a skunk to the oyster roast.

  7. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    No offense taken and no need for an apology of any sort.

  8. Robert Reavis says:

    Yes teaching anything would be preferable to the nothingness. Here is a Dr. graduate of …. (just fill in the blank) defending the devout practices of modern Maoist :
    “Morality, like all values and ideas, is by nature subjective. It is constructed by humans within the context of their cultures and histories. Even the idea that God did this or that was written, as you know, by humans. “
    It would do no good to reply with ancient texts from East and West, 4000 years of evidence from the Code of Hammurabi to English common law, from Aristotle to Fred Astaire —- the good Dr.said it, has a right to say anything she wants and has a hundred years worth of educational experiments to confirm her error.

  9. Dot says:

    The worst word bandied about is justice. That word plus racial can do irreputable harm to the country. No amount of appeasement will matter or do justice.

  10. Josh Doggrell says:

    Don’t forget “equality,” that word said, screamed, chanted, and written by people who don’t really want it to people who also don’t want it.

  11. Mark Atkins says:

    Thanks for the overview Dr Fleming.