The Tourettic Bully-Proofer | Blog

Dumbing Down?

I feel quite certain that we have all heard about how the middle class is disappearing. American society is slowly deteriorating into a society between the have’s and the have not’s. Oddly enough it seems like the have’s are the people with the best educations. I do not necessarily mean the people with degrees from Harvard, although that would indubitably be a plus. I am talking about the people who can read and write in grammatically correct English.

The people who can still add two plus two and get four. These people can make intelligent, rational, and critical decisions on their own. This does not mean that it is imperative that we should all be business owners. That‘s just not realistic. But it does mean that we should not allow a select group of public, private, or educational officials to turn us into a society of trained robots that can regurgitate facts and figures upon request. It now seems that we no longer have the ability to think for ourselves.

We seem to rely more than ever on someone else for accountability. How often do you hear someone say something like, “It’s not my fault.” Whether it is or not really isn’t the point. The bottom line is that if there is something that needs doing, then DO IT! Don’t make excuses. Excuses are like a certain part of the human anatomy; everybody’s got one.

One more point. The parents of today have been looking the other way for far too long. It’s time that you started to take an active role in your child’s education instead of just housing, feeding and clothing them. By not taking an active role, you are perpetuating the effects of dumbing down. The following is an example of the profound effect that dumbing down can have on American society. True, it is a very simple example; but it does make my point.

Several years ago, I went into a Home Depot looking for some landscape lighting. So I walked up to an employee, and said, “Where is the landscape lighting?” His answer caught me off guard. He turned and looked at me and said, “What is it used for?” As I turned around to walk away, I caught myself thinking “I guess that Charlotte was right.” I am referring to the book written by Miss Charlotte Iserbyt, “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.” This book is free to anyone who wants to read it on the internet. The title is very descriptive.

The more I look around me, the more I see examples of this. Some of the statements that Mrs. Iserbyt make in this book will probably scare you to death, I know it did me. I don’t mean that you will feel physically threatened. I am referring to how concerned you might feel about your child’s education. 

So far I have not seen or heard anything that would prove to me that she is wrong. The following is another perfect example of what I am talking about. Several years ago, I had a member of the Southern Methodist University ( SMU ) Board of Regents tell me in a private conversation that the school knows going into each year that more than 75% of incoming freshman will need some level of remedial coursework before they are ready for college level material. He then said that this number is growing each year.

No wonder, our standards continuously lower for everything from police recruits to high school graduation. Then you have someone like Texas State Representative Rob Eissler, who earlier this year introduced a bill that would lower the standards again, if passed, for students to graduate from high school. I only have one question for him, “What in heavens name were you thinking?”

This article was not written with the intention of obtaining a catalogue of stories about how many dumb things you may have heard or seen someone else do. My purpose is to point out how unwilling or unable a significant percentage of American parents are to put forth the necessary effort to make sure that their children have a reasonable chance of success as adults. Coincidentally, this seems to be the middle class more often than not. They seem to be completely unwilling to make rational, intelligent, common sense decisions on their own, the kind of decisions that do not require an inherently genius level IQ.

These are also the types of decisions that do not necessarily require a sheepskin on the wall either. All they require is a willingness and a determination to give it your best effort; a downright refusal to just be average. If you feel as I hope you do, then please let your elected officials know how you feel. Do not just sit back and think, “Oh well, I am just one person. I really cannot accomplish anything.” I will guarantee you that you can make a difference. But you have to at least make an effort first. Those of you who know me know that I speak from personal experience. You CAN make a difference. Now you just need to go out, and do it.

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