Encouraging Ignorance

Richard Turcotte
6 min readApr 25

Another GOP strategy with a downside

The Day Begins [Photo by Richard G Turcotte]

Rewarding stupidity and promoting ignorance by denying supporters important information and lessons about America’s rich, complex, and occasionally unpleasant past is at best unwise. Unfortunately, here in America too many right-wing extremists haven’t quite figured that out. Signs that they might or will do so any time soon are not encouraging.

The annual PRRI American Values Survey, released this October, found that 92 percent of Americans believe that their children should be taught the good and bad aspects of American history, as opposed to omitting portions that might make them feel uncomfortable or guilty. The poll also found that while 66 percent of Americans think public school teachers provide students with appropriate curricula that teach the good and bad of American history, 29 percent overall believe that teachers and librarians are indoctrinating children. But the majority of Republicans, 54 percent, believe that teachers and librarians are indoctrinating students with ‘inappropriate curricula and books that wrongly portray America as a racist country.’

That divide is even starker in red states. —Grace Segers

Unpleasant though it may be to acknowledge racism’s ongoing, ugly mark on our nation’s history, denying it ever happened or that it does not exist now is not how the problem will ever be resolved. Embarrassment or the guilt some of these parents might harbor because those disturbing truths mirror their own behaviors today won’t make racism go away. It certainly won’t expand our understanding or make us better citizens and neighbors. So there’s that.

When petty grievances are at best appeased by charlatans and anti-democracy leaders who have no intentions of actually doing anything worthwhile about voter concerns, no one should be surprised when those same authoritarian wannabees actually do nothing to address those very same grievances. Convenient for them, certainly. But how misleading supporters benefits their communities and/or makes us all better citizens remains a mystery. That may be because it offers no benefits to those same constituents. So there’s that, too.

The obvious inquiry: What the hell does that accomplish except to promote more divisiveness, widening our already too-wide (and pointless)…

Richard Turcotte

Partisanship has no good ending. I’d like to do my part to change that. A better future is a choice.