Instead of changing themselves to better represent all Americans, Republicans are resorting to Hitler like tactics
The Republican Party is increasingly becoming the party of older, white men. The problem with being known as the party of older, white men is that America no longer looks this way. We are entering a period where whites will soon be in the minority. And typically, nonwhites tend to lend heavily toward the Democratic party.
Another group that tends to vote Democratic is younger voters. As a result Republicans are looking for ways to influence young people. What better way to do that than by ripping a page straight out of Hitler’s playbook by shaping young minds through altering what is being taught in schools.
Hitler understood that the most efficient way to unify a population was to shape young minds through a new educational curriculum. “The Nazi leadership appreciated the difficulty of indoctrinating the older generation… They were all the more determined to mold the new generation along Nazi lines…create a new type of student…” Conservatives have incorporated Hitler-like tactics by focusing on science and history subjects in order to indoctrinate new generations of youth into Republican ideology.
Conservatives have already released a book of pure fiction, Of Pandas and People, for use in “science classes.” The book is used mostly in religious charter schools and claims to offer a supplemental “textbook” for biology teachers in public schools. It focuses on creation science and offers half-truths to discredit evolution.
The teaching of “creation-science” in public schools was precluded in June 1987, when the Supreme Court decided Edwards v. Aguillard. At issue was a state law that authorized “creation-science” instruction in the schools of Louisiana. The Court characterized “creation-science” as “a religious viewpoint that rejects evolution in its entirety.”
Teaching it in public schools would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which forbids any law that would establish an official religion. While illegal in public schools, government funded religious charter schools are just fine.
Charter schools have essentially become a conservative wet dream. Over 90% of charter school teachers are non-union, the schools receive much of their funding by private (corporate/conservative) donors and they are free to teach creationism and leave out or rewrite important history.
History Shapes the Future
Conservatives are promoting a history curriculum that promotes “citizenship, patriotism and respect for authority.” A conservative led school board in Colorado has proposed “instructional materials that present positive aspects of the nation and its heritage. It would establish a committee to regularly review texts and course plans, starting with Advanced Placement history, to make sure materials promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights and don’t encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”
The Texas Board of Education changed the way social studies and history classes are being taught back in 2010. The goal was to put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks that stressed the superiority of American capitalism, questioned the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presented Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.
By discouraging civil disorder, Republicans are hoping to quash one of the most effective means of social and political change. Riots have forced the government to act where inequality exists. The race riots in Detroit and other cities around the country forced recognition of the violence and unequal treatment that blacks faced on a daily basis. The Stonewall riots forced changes in the way gays were being treated by police and helped to bring about more acceptance. Likewise, the women’s movement was instrumental in bringing about changes in the treatment of women by government and in the workforce. Civil unrest is a powerful tool in addressing unequal treatment.
The hope is to create a more obedient society, based on conservative principles, that doesn’t question authority. Just as Hitler worked to shape young minds to support his agenda, Republicans are working to shape young minds to cement their future. Rather than work on changing the party to meet the needs of a more progressive America, they are lapsing into the same old dirty tactics.
“Never Forget That Everything Hitler Did Was Legal” – MLK, Jr.