Monday, January 9, 2012

A Pundit! How Twee

Meghan McCain has put on her big girl pants and is sitting at a table of talking heads on MSNBC.  She just used, twice in nearly the same sentence, the new, Internet-inspired term "emoticon" (a smiley face?) for the term "modicum" - which means "small amount."

Granted, she has a very pretty face; she has a great deal of self-assurance; she has been around politics all her life; she may appeal to young people; her father is a U.S. senator with a very recognizable name. 

Apparently these are the attributes that win you an interesting job associated with enlightening the public. I would have thought something more exceptional would be required.

On this same television channel, Lawrence O'Donnell has been doing promos for education. In one he reveals the information that only 20 percent of the population in this country is college educated.

He made the argument that when the G.I. Bill of Rights was instituted after WWII, (when only six percent of the  populace was college educated) conservatives called the Bill "welfare." O'Donnell pointed out that this educational advantage (given in exchange to his father for risking his life for his country) allowed him to get a good job and put his five children through college.

Why is it conservatives are so eager to keep mediocrity a standard to strive for?

In the half century since that war, the rise from six percent to 20 percent of college graduates is not a very impressive advance. While it is in itself a startlingly modest figure, added to that is the depressing fact that many college "educated" leave their alma maters nearly as stupid as when they entered.

As much as I am egalitarian by nature, I truly hate ignorance and those who wallow in it. No, I don't like unkindness and unfairness to the least among us, but it makes me wild with fury when those with more material wealth than they need are chary of sharing with those who have nothing. Especially when the plight of the underprivileged is brought about through lack of educational  and cultural advantages denied to them by the resistance of the right to invest in their betterment.

While I have no real beef with Meghan McCain, I would hope that since her advantage over others has been mostly a fortune of birth, she would make every effort to expand her horizons and invest some time in exploring the mysteries of her mother tongue.


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