Enough political manipulation, use your brains!

The current culture of this country has really become “do as I say, not as I do.” Forget all the hypocritical politicians who tout “family values” but have cheated on their spouses or actually don’t care about keeping families together. Put aside the “good Christians” who work and vote to punish anyone who doesn’t think like they do and spread more hate than love, despite the supposed teachings of Jesus. No, just focus on one major aspect of why the US continues to fall behind the other major, “first world” countries in just about everything: education.

Every single politician, no matter the party affiliation, talks about how we need to raise the level of education in this country so we can compete with the other countries of the world. They initiate STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) programs in schools, demand more accountability for schools and teachers, push for increased standards in the Common Core, but then completely refuse to accept data given to them by well-educated people.

Why are people still arguing about climate change? There is scientific proof that humanity has affected the climate of the Earth and continues to do so in a very harmful way, not to the Earth but to the continued existence of the human race. The planet will survive, we won’t.

Why are we still increasing testing, standardization, and the push for more academics at younger and younger ages when actual research has shown that education needs to be as differentiated as possible because each child learns differently from the one sitting next to her. More research has shown that standardized testing shows nothing and that we would get better teachers if the profession were seen as a prestigious career as opposed to “those who can’t do teach.”

Why are books being banned, evolution denied, and scientific thinking deemed “elitist”? What the hell is wrong with this country? It’s simple: money.

The more controversy that is stirred up by a politician, say over the teaching of evolution, the more money he makes. How? Special interest groups have money put aside to support politicians who support their causes. An anti-evolution group will put money into the coffers of a politician who espouses the removal of evolution education in schools. Then, those who oppose that stance will often attempt to convince the politician of their point of view — more money spent. Also, this funnels more money into the fight between the two sides from both sides for more “research” into the matter, more speakers to support each side, etc. All that money doesn’t get spent actually doing anything.

Then, while everyone is arguing over a non-issue like the validity of evolution, people ignore the real issues that deserve spending such as poverty, hunger, real education, and so on. All this bickering leads to apathy on the part of most voters, and the politician who started it all gets re-elected because no one goes out to vote except those he has wooed to support him and he gets his fat government paycheck and health benefits that he then votes to refuse anyone else proper salaries or healthcare. He claims to “save” the taxpayer money and he’s a hero, getting more money from lobbyists and corporate supporters.

We don’t need to just get the money out of politics. We need to get manipulative, anti-sense politicians out of politics. People need to ignore the rhetoric and vote against anyone who stands for making as much money as possible. Money is not a goal; it is a tool for achieving goals. Which would you rather see your tax dollars spent on: tax breaks for big companies that abuse every loophole in the law or insuring that no child goes hungry in this country? Do you prefer having money spent continuing a public argument over a scientifically proven fact like climate change or having it spent on actually moving this country to alternative fuels to counteract some of the effect our burning fossil fuels have had on the climate?

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the answers to these questions are pretty straightforward.

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