February 16, 2015

Story In Stupidity: Republican legislator: We don't need no [higher] education [funding]

I actually wasn't going to do a Story in Stupidity today. I wasn't sure that I had anything that I was fed up with enough to generate an entertaining post.

Enter Ed Brayton, blogger extraordinaire to the rescue, over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars. He posted an entry titled "Republican Legislator: We Don't Need No Education Funding." Totally worth a read.

Here's the comments in question, as Raw Story recorded:

“I’ve taught for the past 18 years at the college level, and before got a Masters and Ph.D. and all that,” Rep. Brat began. The greatest thinkers in Western civ[ilization] were not products of education policy.” 
“Socrates trained Plato on a rock,” he continued. “Then Plato trained Aristotle, roughly speaking, on a rock.”

Unpacking this could take some time, but I'm going to keep it brief.

Does this guy really and truly think that a reference to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle is relevant to modern higher education?

I mean, I didn't see Socrates or Plato or Aristotle launching rockets. They weren't making decisions that affected millions of people. They weren't trying to cure cancer or HIV or Ebola. They weren't trying to train the minds that would be doing those things in the future.

I just...I am purely flabbergasted.

They also didn't have central heating; is that relevant too, Representative Brat? They didn't have anesthesia for surgery. They didn't have antibiotics or understand basic sanitation. I just...what? Just...what?

Brat also said:

“You have kids coming out of the high school system, and if you ask them what a business is, we’d be challenged to get a good answer,” he said. 

I just...no. Just no. I honestly can't believe that THIS is what he takes issue with.

I mean, it's been longer than I like to admit since I was in high school, but even here in South Carolina, we were required to take an economics class, one that clearly explained what a business was. Rest easy, Brat.

I just...I don't even know how to riff on this one, folks. I just don't.

Leave me your best responses in the comments, would you? I can't handle it.

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