What’s going on with the latest “Not Mitt” candidate and his educational plan? Last week Santorum made quite a name for himself by senselessly calling the President a snob for wanting more American’s to reach for higher education. WHAT?? Okaaaay…If opportunity is bad, what other brilliant ideas does Santorum have?
According to his website, Santorum says “Education is the responsibility of parents, local schools (public and private), and states in that order.” He has said recently that “the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly much less that the state government should be running schools, is anachronistic.” So he is against government spending on education, right?
Wrong. Continuing with the common motto in the Republican field: He was for it before he was against it.
In 2001, Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind which significantly increased the Department of Education’s scope and budget. And don’t buy into his “take one for the team” answer when asked about his vote at an Arizona debate. Make no mistake — Santorum was all in. In fact, the then Senator tacked on the Santorum Amendment to the bill, attempting to open the door to teaching Intelligent Design in the classroom while simultaneously questioning the validity of evolution. After passing in the Senate, the Amendment was ultimately stricken from the final bill, although wording did survive the bill’s Legislative History.
Fast forward to 2012 and suddenly Santorum is against federal and state support of public education. How did he get HERE? The answer lies with Phillip E. Johnson, a leading proponent of Intelligent Design and founding advisor of the Discovery Institute. Johnson claims to have authored the Santorum Amendment and points to its passage in the Senate as progress for the campaign entitled “Teach the Controversy” – the strategy of drumming up of manufactured debates regarding evolution.
The Discovery Institute is actively fighting to have Intelligent Design taught in public school classrooms by using a tactic they call “The Wedge Strategy.” The wedge strategy is a whole lot of things but the down and dirty is that it is an encompassing plan by which the Discovery Institute plans to drive a WEDGE into the educational system in this country to create an opening for God in science. Johnson claims in order to win, proponents need to “change the subject a bit”. “Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy, ” Johnson says. “Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters.”
So THERE it is. The missing link. Santorum is changing the subject “a bit”. He’s mentioning homeschooling and churches as part of his educational solutions. He is not talking directly about Intelligent Design or Creationism- he’s taking the “Bible out of the debate”. Instead he utters pearls of wisdom like “The government wants their hands on your children as fast as they can…They want your children from the womb so they can indoctrinate your children as to what they want them to be.” He knows his base is there, excited by the “OTHER” that is Obama, and a desire to continue to blur the lines of church and state.
In 2001, Santorum was on the bandwagon of increasing budgets in public schools because he saw an opening for his religious views. He is seeing that opening yet again. He wants to destroy federal and state educational systems and he wants to spread the manufactured “controversy” across this country. As Johnson’s Wedge Strategy stated “This isn’t really, and never has been a debate about science. Its about religion and philosophy.”
Religion. In our public schools. The missing link. This is a direct attempt to discount evolution. Discount science. He failed in 2001. We must make sure he fails again.
Courtney Eastone often feels like the lone liberal living in the heart of conservative America. After years of quietly playing Mommy, she is now taking her thoughts to the keyboard in hopes of soothing her frustrated mind.