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Education as applied to Politics: Why knowledge really IS power

Photo courtesy of  NBCLatino

Photo courtesy of NBCLatino

We hear it. We say it. We wish the message would strike a deeper chord in all our kids.

 “Knowledge is power. Education is the key.”

But not just the key to the obvious considerations, such as getting out of poverty, getting a good job, upward economic mobility, or greater stability in life… and not even just for the individual… but also the key to turning the whole country around, getting it back on the right track, and keeping it stable for generations to come.

EDUCATION is key to how America got into the social, political, and economic bind it’s in today… Or maybe I should say LACK of education is the key. The dumbing down of America and the overabundance of uninformed, under-informed, misinformed, and under-educated voters is a DIRECT result of big government deteriorating yet another thing it decides to get its dirty little fingers into – the education system.

Public schools are starting to be referred to by many as “government schools”, a term more often heard in communist countries. As deeper understanding and application of foundational subject matter is replaced by such material as Gay Studies, Study of White Privilege, Science of Climate Change, and the now infamous Ebonics, it becomes increasingly clear that students are spending more time being indoctrinated and less time really learning things that will truly equip them for a solid future.

At the time the founders designed and wrote The Constitution, the average farmer or blacksmith with an eighth grade education was far better educated than the average college Freshman is today. In the early days when America was born, it was expected and taken for granted that the typical American would go to the voting polls well informed and with a sufficient attitude of civic responsibility. But something has changed since then. As government has gotten bigger and certain agendas have progressed to impose upon the lives and freedoms of individuals, people have become less educated and more detached from our unique American system of government.

But why would the government want a less educated population?

To answer that question, here are two other questions to consider:

Why weren’t slaves allowed to learn to read?

Why do the labor unions so strongly oppose home schooling and school voucher / school choice programs?

While there has likely always existed the “accidental voter”, the American electorate is now exponentially growing dominated by what is often termed “the low information voter”. We now live in an age where many voters rely more than anything else on comedy shows which mock serious news programs, 25 word tweets from Hollywood celebrities, and meme posters to be their body of knowledge regarding candidates.

Add to that that only about 40% of eligible voters were estimated to have actually voted in the 2012 Presidential Election. Some cite their disgust with politicians, in general, as a reason for disengagement from the process. A poor excuse, at best, considering that using the rights we’ve been given is the best way to make that system work more to our liking. But even more disturbing might be the number of eligible voters who say they simply don’t feel informed enough to cast a good vote… but who also don’t feel motivated to take a little time to educate themselves on the issues and options and who aren’t really concerned about that apathy.

Any vote which is squandered on shallow considerations and any vote which sits home is a vote wasted and a precious freedom thrown away, and that’s not only sad. It’s also very dangerous.

It is lack of knowledge and lack of interest in obtaining sufficient knowledge to effectively participate in our political system which gave us the poor quality of leadership we have before us today. And it is lack of knowledge and lack of interest which will be our undoing as it makes it far too easy to remove the power from We, the People.

Knowledge really IS power. It is literally and directly linked to the KIND and QUALITY of power that leads this country, now and in the future. Conversely, lack of knowledge is lack of power, and this can ultimately determine whether we even have a future.

Comments (2)

  1. DukeMachado DukeMachado

    Nice write up Valerie! The truth is, students are not receiving the quality education we did. I remember my father in-law saying we didn’t receive the education his generation received. I guess we can say the “dumbing down” has been going on for decades…

    • Valerie Santiago Valerie Santiago

      This topic is yet another reason why education initiatives and mentoring programs like Stepping Stones are so important.

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