The Widdershins

Archive for March 2nd, 2012

Among a host of other pejoratives that have been leveled at Barack Obama, we can now add the word “snob” to the list.

In the limited worldview of the GOP, education itself is suspect.

For those parents over the decades who made huge sacrifices on behalf of their children for the chance for a better life through education, I seriously doubt they considered themselves “snobs” for wanting them to succeed.

If Barack Obama is considered a “snob” in urging kids onto higher education, he is not alone. In today’s competitive market one must come prepared. In a global community where students from all over the world spend the better part of 8 hours in classroom, followed by another 4 hours of homework, you had better believe the competition is going to be fierce.

Many kids from other countries speak more than one language. The school schedules in some countries are 12 months long with a few breaks here and there for teachers and students to enjoy a “breather”.

The book featuring “Tiger Mom” that caused an uproar last year featured a mother who based her children’s upbringing and education on the Chinese model. Study, learn, and study some more was her focus and though she went a little too far in my estimation, much of what she declined about Western education was on target. But what it did determine was the why and how Asian students are taught to excel and why they continue to blow out their contemporaries in test scores. They come prepared.

Education is the fundamental backbone to any society. It determines the desire to succeed by utilizing and tapping into the brain power of the individual. Where would we be as a nation had not the curiosity and the talent of students not been mined? It is through education that the mind is opened to thought, innovation, and examination.

What is “snobbish” about the desire to learn?  To reach beyond our grasp in exploring the world around us?  I don’t get it.

If “the mind is a terrible thing to waste” you would never know that from listening to the Right.  They deplore the very idea that an educated person is nothing short of an “elitist”.  They reject the premise that education itself is the key to life.  Without that key we are forever stranded in a dull landscape of ignorance, content to let others lead the way.

It is the right of each person to fulfill their own potential and if that includes the label of “snob” in the search, so be it.

Better a “snob” than an “ignoramus” who takes pleasure in knowing nothing.

Seriously, does it get much stupider than this?

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