Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First Big Bird, then what?

For a long time big game hunters of the ultra conservative persuasion have wanted to put Big Bird’s head on their private club’s wall as a trophy. Big Bird is a symbol of PBS, a widely trusted broadcast network many rightwingers like to portray as a liberal propaganda machine.

But remember, lots of Republicans also regard CBS, NBC and ABC as tools of the left; Reuters and the Associated Press are seen through a similar prism. So defunding PBS is more than just a craving to muzzle another voice that doesn’t adhere to rightwing dogma.

Stifling Big Bird is also about seeing public education itself as a liberal institution dominated by socialists.

Underlying that narrow-minded perspective, it's about wanting to force-feed the proper ideology and religion into what's taught to children. That, at the expense of an education based on truth and reality. At the visceral level, it's also about hating unionized teachers and hating the science of elitists.

Many Republicans today don’t want to pay a nickel for the education of other citizens’ children, because they don’t believe in universal public education. The push for vouchers that would facilitate parents sending their children to private schools, by taking their tax money out of the system, has been part of a concerted effort to siphon off funding for public education.

After all, public education is pure socialism.

What's next?

The end of public parks? Private roads for everyone? No more publicly owned fire departments?

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