David Gelernter: A modest proposal

David Gelernter is professor of computer science at Yale and the author, most recently, of America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats), just published by Encounter Books. Earlier this month he wrote “Why do we live in America-Lite?” for us, briefly summarizing the themes of his new book. He returned to expand on the themes of his book in “What keeps this failed president above water?” This morning he offers thoughts on the campaign:

The sheer intellectual emptiness of the Obama administration will be on display at the Democratic convention. This is a party fallen so low that it doesn’t even have bad ideas. Thus is an important opportunity for Republicans — which they probably won’t use. Having neatly taken Medicare away from the Democrats and made it a Republican issue, Romney and Ryan could do the same for education.

Granted, polls suggest that people don’t care much about education; but that’s only because they have given up: they have cared for decades, and what good has it done? The teachers’ union, a paid-up member of the special interest cartel that owns and operates the Obama administration, is unpopular; vouchers are popular. Start there. But if Republicans care not just about winning but about the future of America, they won’t stop there.

Education is a local issue but it’s also a nationwide problem that needs national leadership. Where is the politician who’s willing to say that this nation demands public schools and public colleges without political bias, without anti-American bias, without anti-Jewish or anti-Christian bias? That this nation demands public schools and colleges whose first mission is to produce patriotic American citizens, who know who they are — who know their own history and culture, the history and literature and culture of this country and this Western civilization that belongs to them, that will stand or fall based on their stewardship of the future?

We make a big deal about bigotry and bias in this nation, and it’s right we should; but it’s crazy to ignore the biggest bigotry engine in the nation today, the US Education Establishment — our school systems and text books and some — not all, but too many — of our school teachers and college professors.

And are we pleased with ourselves and with this nation now that sexuality is a topic for classroom discussion at high schools all over the landscape, and some of our fanciest private colleges celebrate “sex week” on campus with porn-star lectures and kinky-sex workshops? Did we really mean to take sexuality, family, morality at large out of the family’s or churches’ or synagogues’ hands, and present it (done up nicely on a plate) to our public school teachers and college professors to impart as they choose to the next generation? Who put them in charge of American morals? Are we happy now that they are in charge?

Who will say these things if leading Republicans won’t? When will they speak if not now? Each presidential campaign season where the GOP keeps quiet means four more class-fulls of imbeciles, students the nation has failed, released into the dense, darkening cultural atmosphere. The nation needs leadership on radical school reform now, this week, today. Yes on voucher programs, for every school district in the nation, but those are just the beginning; we must have it out with the Education establishment publicly today, we need a nationwide debate (or argument or bare-fisted boxing bout) on the topic of what our schools should be and what makes a teacher, and what we require of our schools before we spend one more nickel on a corrupt and shoddy product.

Get all the schools in America to shut down for a week (or a year) and reflect on their sins. That would get people’s attention. But at any rate, speak. Romney and Ryan, speak for America, now!

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