Sunday, November 07, 2004

Hang on tight, or we'll all slide off the edge of the big, flat world

Wisconsin School District to Teach Creationism

1. Neo-Cons want your children ignorant. They want Americans to be (even further) divorced from reality and easy to manipulate. They are willing to sabotage science to acheive their political agenda.
2. Creationism and so-called Intelligent Design, which Stirling has previously explored here, are part of their flat earth science strategy.
3. When progressives fight against unscientific religious dogma being added to school science curricula, this plays into the GOP frame of Democrats as "anti-religion" (re-branded this week as "anti-morality") and increases the partisan divide and the polarization of our communities.
4. The reason the GOP started running candidates for the down-ballot, unsexy* positions on schoolboards years ago was in part to put candidates in the pipeline (i.e., to develop campaign and policy experience towards running for successively higher office and groom a candidate talent pool), but less obviously, it was to influence school curricula to influence local political culture (i.e., to indoctrinate your kids) and to dumb down America.
5. In order to do this, they need to control schoolboards. The solution: start by taking back school boards, with the byproduct of getting our own candidates in the pipeline for higher office.

Small, local races are SERIOUS business. In the big picture, they are where the game for the country is won or lost, frankly. Without young minds we don't have intelligent, informed voters. (To paraphrase what Clinton said a few months back on The Daily Show, "people who think vote Democrat." By extension, keep'em ignorant and they'll vote GOP.)

So, what can you do about it?

1. Find out the partisan breakdown of your local school board.
School boards may be "officially" nonpartisan, but in reality, they are very, very partisan, and the starting ground for a lot of long, successful political careers. If you don't know who is who in your area, your local Democratic committee will be keeping tabs and should be happy to tell you.

2. Look ahead to your school board elections.
- Do you care enough to run? Unlike national races or even state legislature races, school board campaigns don't have as high an entry threshhold--the turf is smaller, it is easer to walk (shoeleather, shoeleather, shoeleather politics), it doesn't take a fortune.
- If elected office isn't your thing, go recruit your own candidate. You see, you don't have to "ask permission" to do politics. Just do it. Find someone who will go door to door talking to voters, and make fundraising calls (the candidate test); and who will stand up against the provincial Neo-Cons and stop the book burnings, the installation of dangerously ineffective abstinence-only programs over science-based sex ed, and the rest of the flat earth science. File their papers, raise some money, knock on doors, and put a new Democrat on your school board.
- Get involved in helping out on other Democratic candidates' campaigns for school board. (As a downballot race, they typically rely on strong coattails from larger races and are starved for volunteers.)
- At the very least, make sure you vote, make sure you cast an educated vote, and make the progressives around you aware how critically important school board elections are.

3. Pay attention to what is, and isn't, being taught in your children's schools.
And raise hell about it. You know, like the Republicans do.

The threat of this aggressive ignorance and pre-enlightenment "science" is hard for many intelligent people to take seriously because it is so absurd. But, it is really a fight over the national culture, and certainly the minds of the next generation of Americans.

*No offense intended to school board members. Some of the sexiest people I know (I'm talking about you, Janet Oleszek) are on school boards. :)

It's not just science...

Texas Board of Education forces health textbook publisher to change wording of definition of marriage to "lifelong union between a man and a woman"

Cross posted to BOP News

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