When you encounter a problem, most people try to determine a solution for it. Easy problems have obvious solutions. Harder problems take more effort, but the solution is found inside the bounds of expectations.
Really complex problems require a bit more thought. When you’ve exhausted all of your obvious clues, and nothing you’ve tried works, you’re forced to take a step back and reevaluate everything you’ve done and are doing to find a solution. Make sure you’ve thought something through from all sides and that all of your assumptions about the problem are true. That’s called critical thinking. Thinking outside the box. More generically, you could call it ‘problem solving’. It’s a basic skill that it utilized every day by scientists and engineers. Many employers consider it a valuable skill in their most productive employees. I’ve been asked about it numerous times in interviews.
So, I’m disappointed to see the Texas GOP specifically come out against it. I can’t say I’m surprised by it. The signs have been there for years. It’s just not often that a group like the GOP can be that honest. They’re against critical thinking. As part of their platform, they specifically call it out and declare themselves opposed. They even give a rationale, if you can call it that. They’re against it because it has “the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”
That is almost as depressing as it is revealing. If I’m reading that right, the basic gist is that they want the children to have the exact same thought patterns as the parents, and they’re willing to legislate it to make it harder for children to learn that authority figures aren’t always right. Or even to give them a mental framework to learn that simple life lesson.
Honestly, it’s straight from a fascist handbook. And I’m not using that term lightly or loosely. It’s forcing cultural thought patterns into children as a method of maintaining authoritarian control, while eliminating potential foreign influences. It falls in line with the belief structure of the GOP and tea party. They don’t want their children to question their parents or the majority authority.
Your parents were Christian, and you will be to. Your parents didn’t believe in evolution, so you won’t either. Your parents hated the gays so you will to. Your parents vote republican, so you will to. Your parents hate immigrants, so you will to. Your parents oppose taxes, so you will to. Your parents didn’t go to college, so you won’t either. Your parents were racist bigots so you will be to. Your parents didn’t question authority, and neither will you. Your parents were sheep. Baaaa.
It’s a disgusting plank to exist inside the platform of any party. The fact that they’re so proud of this that they not only publish it, but stand up and act like it’s a good thing…. Well, it boggles the mind.
I suppose that’s the difference between myself and the GOP. I would actually prefer that my child questioned my beliefs. If my ideals are strong and sound, they will withstand any scrutiny.
Of course, if that’s true, the corollary is that the GOP doesn’t think their ideas can stand up on their own without undermining the thinking skills of its supporters.