Using States to Transform Higher Learning
In the wake of what might appear to be a disastrous presidential election, it must be remembered that Republicans now control half of the fifty state governments outright. So while Republicans can do nothing at the federal level except obstruct radical leftist plans, Republicans at the state level can do a great deal to transform America. There are lots of areas in which this political muscle could be used to defeat leftism.
Why not start with the macabre obscenity of taxpayer-supported higher education? We do not need public universities -- or, for that matter, any universities -- to produce genius. Some of the brightest minds in our nation's history never attended college at all (indeed, many never attended school at all, like the great polymath Benjamin Franklin). Ray Bradbury, for example, the mind behind some of modern America's most hauntingly beautiful literature, went to the children's section of the public library and read every single book. That was his equivalent of a college degree.
The real purposes of college are grimy and mean: to subsidize with tax dollars a well-heeled army of pompous, lazy oafs, to create the illusion of learning for hapless young minds who seek the credentialing of wisdom and knowledge, and -- most crucially -- to trick American taxpayers into funding the indoctrination of millions of brainwashed cadres who provide indispensable shock troops for the toxin of leftism.
Why in the world do state governments not reform academia by making self-guided, cheap, validated, and politically neutral education the goal? As a start, except for specialized courses of study in a few areas, there is no longer any need for colleges at all. The cost for the middle class, groaning under heavy weight of debt already, is horrific. A low estimate of how much in-state resident students have to pay in tuition for one semester at a land-grant public university is about $300 per credit-hour -- and this does not include student fees, textbooks which are required to be purchased, and housing costs for on-campus students.
Our information society is bursting at the seams with different ways to learn, and often these can teach in ways outside the capabilities of college professors (or, more likely, their bored and sullen graduate assistants). Why on earth are we paying for the modern equivalent of quill pens or buggy whips with tax dollars? If the goal is for people to learn, then government should be supporting learning, not some hoary and moldy version of same.
If the purpose is to insure that learning actually happens, then the grading and graduation systems of bureaucratic academia are dreadful ways to reach that goal. The new graduates are often dullards who are worse than ordinary dullards because they have been solemnly tricked into believing the lie that they have actually learned things in college.
Why not let anyone, however he learns, have the state government credential him with a degree if he passes standardized tests which show mastery of relevant subjects? Why not also require that students who graduate from colleges validate that they have learned by taking exactly the same standardized tests?
Not only would this allow the high school graduate who works at a full-time job and studies on his own time (which is going to be much more serious studying) to earn his college degrees as soon as he has mastered subjects without paying vast treasure into the pockets of academic bureaucrats, but it would also open the whole of lifelong learning to every citizen of the state. A single mom in her mid-thirties who is stuck in a dead-end job could study at home, with books and online learning systems, take a few tests at very reasonable costs, and earn the degree which could allow her to create a new career -- and the same would be true for the fifty-year-old man nearing retirement who wants to stay productive.
Tests are imperfect, of course, but the grading systems of bigoted leftist professors are much more imperfect. In the real world, like when accountants become CPAs or lawyers enter the bar or software engineers are certified for particular systems, we use tests, and professions strive to strip bias and create testing systems which truly evaluate knowledge.
The Republican Party at the state government level can begin the sort of true revolution which is our only real hope. The third world and the streets of dying European cities are teeming with embittered and indoctrinated young leftists who are the spawn of the self-destructive system of higher education. Why not begin, in those states with Republican governments with enough nerve and gumption, to really show how to begin to change our world?