Republicans stay in power by exploiting an uneducated, ignorant mass of voters by manipulating them with fear and emotion. Teachers educate people and train them to develop their minds, critical thinking ability, and gain an understanding of things like logic and science.
The work of our teachers makes people naturally immune to what is the only method Republicans have to stay in power, so it’s no surprise when you see conservatives use the very old trope of the “incompetent and expensive teacher” to attack them on a daily basis.
Now, things have gone to a whole new level. Republican senator Ron Johnson has suggested we eliminate teachers all together, and use video recordings to “teach” people from kindergarten all the way through graduating from university.
A portion of Johnson’s stupidity is below:
If you want to teach the Civil War across the country, are you better off having, I don’t know, tens of thousands of history teachers that kind of know the subject, or would you be better off popping in 14 hours of Ken Burns’s Civil War tape and then have those teachers proctor based on that excellent video production already done? You keep duplicating that over all these different subject areas.
Johnson also suggested there is a massive conspiracy to educate people, perpetuated by a “higher education cartel,” because if we have the internet, why do you need teachers in the first place?
There’s so many problems that arise from this, from the immediately obvious stupidity to the sinister ulterior motives.
First, you have the obvious stuff. Teaching via video recording doesn’t allow for questions to be asked, or tutoring for those having difficulty. It doesn’t guarantee any form of retention or understanding. I could memorize the words in a quantum string theory book, but I guarantee I wouldn’t understand one damned thing without someone helping me interpret it. It also doesn’t allow for critical socialization skills to be developed, because children will be “taught” by media bombardment in their homes. You don’t really think Republicans would keep paying for school buildings if their plan worked. Do you?
Second and more serious is the quality of the material provided. Republicans have a documented track record of trying to force only “approved” material to be used by teachers — which includes revisionist history that does things such as whitewash America’s legacy of slavery, genocide, racism, bigotry, and that whole Civil War thing.
Can you imagine the positively frightening nature of “Republican approved” educational material? Did I forget to mention that it would include forced-religious teaching as well? Only for Christians, though, for sure.
Republicans absolutely hate smart, well-informed voters capable of critical thinking. They hate the people that create these voters even more. That’s why they hate educators, and the idea of education in general. It isn’t about fiscal responsibility. It’s about control. The true tyranny in America is modern conservatism.