Friday, February 24, 2012

Weird Enough For You Yet? That Would Be Santorum.

Rick Santorum doesn't like higher education. That's not at all surprising if you place him in the twelfth century where he belongs. But it's still fascinating that he is quite open about the reasons for it. Those reasons are very much the same as the reasons the Taliban has for opposing education for girls (to force people live the way a particular group wants them to), but Santorum hides them better:
Texas - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Thursday that President Obama wants more young adults to go to college so they can undergo "indoctrination" to a secular world view.

In an hour-long interview with conservative television host Glenn Beck, Santorum also defended his record on abortion and his vote in favor of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind education law.

On the president's efforts to boost college attendance, Santorum said, "I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely ... The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country."

He claimed that "62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it," but declined to cite a source for the figure. And he floated the idea of requiring universities that receive public funds have "intellectual diversity" on campus.
Hmm. What does he mean by "intellectual diversity?" Affirmative action for conservative thinkers or religious fundamentalist thinkers? Affirmative action for Marxists?

Little Rick is afraid of criticism and analysis, methinks. Because that's what colleges ideally teach to their students.

I can't see how they could be seen as indoctrination mills. Some kind of brainwashing? Caused by the droning on and on by a professor and the very long reading lists? And the need to write term papers?

That's all fun and games. But Santorum's anti-education arguments are pretty bad news in this "new globalized economy" (as the conservative economists celebrate it) where the US has no special edge in low worker costs or large labor forces. Education matters more than it did in the past.

Unless our Ricky wants to make the US competitive as a low-wage country, his approach is extremely odd. Theocratic, I'd say.