No, big D isn’t that place in Texas. It’s that Dogma state of mind. When someone firmly believes their direction comes from a higher source, no amount of logic or reasoning can ever sway their direction. “In their hearts, they know they’re right.”

America’s dogma is simple: Me supersedes we. The mutual respect, balance and compromise that make partnerships like marriages and organizations work has not only been banished from public dialogue, but is being driven from public institutions as well. Married to a hierarchical world-view, these dogmatists allow no room for conflicting views, much less new information that may upset their internal purity. When people believe they’re better than you, it’s hard for them to take your beliefs or feelings seriously. When they find demagogues reinforcing this bias and appealing to their base fears, they’ll follow them into the Valley of Death.

Claiming to be returning to America’s roots, our dogmatists cherry pick out-of-context facts and selectively ignore institutions created for a common good. Unfortunately, America’s education system is their current target. The objective? To replace a democracy of educated citizens with a dogma-led elite.

Public education’s purpose is to build an informed society. Private education is designed to teach selected skills in the context of specific worldviews. When private groups use public resources to promote their own worldview, our common good is denigrated.

When you think about it, it’s easy to destroy a public institution. Simply underfund it at the same time you increase its workload, then claim it’s not working. When underpaid teachers are leaving underfunded schools in droves, the brain drain accelerates a downward spiral. [Sounds sort of like rising seas accelerating the ice melt that’s causing the seas to rise, doesn’t it?] Once you’ve “proven” that a school or other public service isn’t meeting the goals you’ve set, offer to substitute a private, profit-based model to do the same job. Did I mention that these private institutions rarely have the same oversight required of public ones? To borrow an old phrase, “Follow the money.” Who profits from private schools? Financially? Politically?

Education isn’t about learning to march in step. That’s called training and we do it to dogs, horses and troops. Education opens minds to new ideas and gives students a love of learning new things. For any political system to work, its participants need to be educated and interested. Non-public profit-driven institutions create advocates and technicians, not citizens.

D is more than just a grade, it describes the process:

Defame – Defund – Discredit – Destroy.

Then replace the school or other public institution with Demagogues and Dogma.

Oh, and there’s one more D we need to mention:

It’s Dumb.


Note: The banner in the photo hangs on the campus of University College Cork [UCC].