In addition to Rick Santorum’s enthusiastic attack on women’s rights and individual liberties, he has recently been quoted referring to President Obama as a snob for wanting all Americans to be educated beyond the high school level. Mr. Santorum describes colleges as “indoctrination mills” citing a questionable study which suggests that a college education diminishes religious conviction.
Never mind that Mr. Santorum himself holds 3 university degrees yet, his religious convictions seem to be in tact. And, just ignore the fact that he intends to send his children to college. Could it be that only the Santorums and those like them have the fortitude to withstand the evils of secular indoctrination? Or, could it be something else?
Why would a candidate vying for the highest office in the land be such a vocal champion of ignorance?
From the time of Thomas Jefferson to this very day, suspicion and ridicule have been directed towards intellectualism in politics. Anti-intellectual sentiment is nothing new nor does it mean the absence of intellect. Richard Hofstadter wrote in his Pulitzer-prize winning book, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, that anti-intellectuals are neither uneducated or unintelligent rather, they comprise the ranks of the “half-educated” who are “…often obsessively engaged with this or that outworn or rejected idea.”
This observation could account for Mr. Santorum’s astonishing comments about post-secondary education. It could also account for his willingness to re-litigate the issues of contraception, abortion and the separation of church and state, instead of providing voters with his grand vision to lead the country into a better future.
We must never forget that the most important ingredient for a democracy to work is an informed, active and enlightened electorate. Because, in the words of Thomas Jefferson; "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
By Jackie Lambert
LTAI Word of the Week – Indoctrinate
To imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle.
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