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GOP Opposes Critical Thinking

Party platform paints original ideas as a liberal conspiracy

By Richard Whittaker, 1:17PM, Wed. Jun. 27, 2012

Who needs a frontal lobe anyway? Texas GOP platform opposes critical thinking.
Who needs a frontal lobe anyway? Texas GOP platform opposes critical thinking.

It's official: The Republican Party of Texas opposes critical thinking. That's right, drones, and it's part of their official platform.

One of our eagle-eyed readers emailed us to point out this unbelievable passage in the RPT 2012 platform, as adopted at their recent statewide conference.

"Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."

What this really means is that the GOP is doubling down on learn-by-rote fact recitation – of the kind spearheaded by the worst of the pro-testing advocates, and locally by IDEA Public Schools, which has committed to the anti-analytical direct learning model (aka "press button A, B or C.")

But what the hell is all that bunk about "undermining parental authority"? Could it be that the Texas GOP has shown its paternalistic streak a little too overtly? And, let's face facts, that's just policy-wonk speak for "honor thy father and mother." Yup, the Texas GOP is officially enshrining blind obedience into its doctrine of political domination. And be careful that you don't disturb a student's fixed beliefs, like, say, that the Loch Ness Monster is real.

Sadly, this is just one of 30 pages of head-in-the-sand, pretend-the-Enlightenment-never-happened thinking from the state's dominating party. Other gems include:

– Abstinence-only sex ed (yeah, because that's worked so well so far.)
– Trying juveniles as adults
– Faith-based drug rehab should be emphasized (Scientology front operation NarcAnon should be rubbing its hands at that one)
– Oppose the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Yeah! Who's the UN to tell us we should ban child slavery?)
– Flat rate income tax (go Team 1%!)
– Repealing the minimum wage (suck it, wage slaves!)
– Opposing homosexuality in the military (don't ask, don't tell, and don't do that!)
– Opposition to red light cameras (because if you run a red, kill someone, and there's no witnesses, was the light ever really red?)
– Oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, because firms should be able to fire people for what they consider "sinful and sexually immoral behavior." Like, say, growing a beard?
– Continued opposition to ACORN (even though it has not existed since 2010)
– Opposing statehood or even Congressional voting rights for the citizens of the District of Columbia (who writes this crap, Rand Paul?)
– And no-questions-asked support for Israel because, and this is another direct quote, "Our policy is based on God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise."

Yes, for every measure that everyone can agree on, like labeling GMOs, there's another entry or three from the crazy ideas discount bin.

So, next time some Tea Partier tells you the GOP is all about freedom and liberty, remind them that the GOP doesn't want people to learn how to think critically. Because people who can think critically might start looking at their platform.

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