With Glenn Beck trolling the outskirts of decent society (mentally and professionally), his nightmarish ravings have taken on a distinctly science-fiction hue. Not that he hasn’t always been on the verge of some paranoid breakdown with his frequent admonitions about apocalyptic “perfect storms” and impending alliances between radical Muslims and secular progressives to form a worldwide caliphate, but his regression is surely spiraling downward.
Today’s sermon addressed the dangers of education, a pursuit so horrific that Beck will not permit his children to partake of it.
“I said to my wife the other night, my kids aren’t going to go to college. They’re just not going to go to college. They won’t. We can find somebody that they can intern for. They’ll have to do their own thing. I am not sending another child to college. I won’t do it. They are being indoctrinated. I am not going to give them my money. […] I’d rather be a mechanic than in the system that is coming. And your kids are going to be in an absolute system. And I know what that means. This is a really scary thing. Just be aware that there are many ways to mark people.”
Beck has been railing about the covert forces plotting to control the minds of America’s youth for some time. Although he never mentions whether his own Glenn Beck University is part of the problem. His latest conspiracy theory was hatched by something he found in the 2009 stimulus plan that tickled the paranoia sensors in his cartoon brain. As reported by Right Wing Watch, something called “Common Core” is at the heart of the next phase of creeping tyranny.
Beck’s theory is that the 2009 stimulus legislation contained $5 billion dollars designated to be given to states in support of public education, but carried a requirement that any state accepting the money must set up a “longitudinal data system.” The data gathered by such a system, Beck insists, is being harvested by the federal government and stored in a massive facility in Utah and will be used by both the government and corporations to monitor every student from the time they enter school for the purpose of controlling their futures. From the moment a child enters school, his or her future will be determined and those with skills deemed valuable by the corporations will be guided into areas that serve the needs of the corporations while all the others “will be a cog in the machine forever.”
No wonder Beck is prohibiting his kids from attending school. As a delusional, alcoholic, drug-abusing, college dropout, he sees the modern education system is the manifestation of “The Matrix.” And this fits nicely into the conservative model of higher learning wherein acquiring too large a portion of knowledge makes you suspect and alien to the American way of life. A degree from Yale or Stanford is not nearly as useful to an aspiring leader as the charisma of someone with whom you would want to share a beer. This is something I addressed in an essay on “Elitistism” that included this observation:
“Education is a key component in this new paradigm. It is absolutely critical that you not have too much of it. And never, ever use the word paradigm. Once the American people get the impression that you know more than they do about issues like economics or foreign policy, you’re disqualified from service. Achievement and expertise only spotlight how different you are from ordinary Americans.”
The result of this hypersensitivity to learning is that conservatives will continue to be, as GOP Gov. Jindal of Louisiana said, “the Stupid Party.” They will continue to score highly on those polls that rank the most ignorant consumers of media and show Fox News viewers at the top. And they will churn out additional Republican voters who are convinced that the math in every poll is wrong and who value bible fables over science. Consequently, Beck’s advice to shun academia is consistent with advancing the interests of the Republican Party. Isn’t that convenient?