Democracy and Education

Nothing sells news like fear. If marketers can make us afraid of something, we will buy any product that promises to help us avoid that fear. Those who create a fear in order to sell a product are known as snake oil salesmen.

Today there is a new ‘product’ on the market, a product for which new (unfounded) fears have been created and the lemmings are falling for the ploy – hook, line and sinker. The product? Donald Trump. The fears? Everything from Muslims, Mexicans, people with disabilities, free trade agreements, jobs, and more. He claims that only his product, himself, can keep us safe and “make America great again”. .

An excellent post by writer-blogger Hugh Curtler explains why so many Americans today are vulnerable to Trump’s marketing strategy and that the solution to this “politics of paranoia” lies in our education system. He claims, and I agree, that democracy cannot continue to exist in an environment where education is declining. Please take a few minutes to read his post and let him know what you think. Agree? Disagree?

hughcurtler

Years ago John Dewey wrote a book about the relationship between democracy and education, making the claim that the former relies upon the latter. Without an educated citizenry democracy cannot survive. I have been harping on the same theme for many years now and am saddened to say that Dewey was spot on. We are seeing his prediction come true, especially of late.

Thousands of qualified American citizens are ready to vote for a demagogue who has openly lied and insulted whole classes of people while making it abundantly clear that he is an autocrat in the mold of Vladamir Putin: he wants to (and thinks he can) run the show by himself. He doesn’t realize that as president he must work with the sitting Congress in order to achieve anything. Given his past performance it is fair to say that if the Congress doesn’t act as he would want them…

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14 thoughts on “Democracy and Education

  1. Jill, thanks for pointing people toward Hugh’s blog. Like you, his is a thoughtful and learned voice on things that matter. If people would care to look, everything one needs to know about Trump’s lack of veracity is easy to find and it has nothing to do with the campaign. Yet, people buy into his schtick, which is what it is. Bill Maher noted he has met tons of guys in his home state of New Jersey like Trump with this false bravado, Trump has just taken his BS national. Keith

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    • You hit on the key phrase, Keith … “If people would care to look …” That is the problem … they are either too lazy, or prefer to keep their blinders firmly in place so that they do not have to consider the consequences of their actions.

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      • You may want to check out two interesting articles, one in The Atlantic which defines Trump’s scandals over the years, which are documented and not innuendo and the Newsweek piece out yesterday, that notes all of Trump’s global dealings that he will need to resign from or be the most conflicted president ever. The concerns over national security with his dealings predate his candidacy and will be an issue.

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    • Yes, sad but true. And those rulers who claim to be the answer to our fear, not only here, but on your side of the globe also (thinking Hofer at the moment, but there are others too) are the very thing that is likely to cause our fears to become reality. Hugs!!!

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