Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Big or Small Difference Between Republicans and Democrats?

In a car forum, of all places, under the title "Both Parties are NOT the Same Example #347, I saw this thread:

The Texas GOP can't be any plainer when it says "We oppose the teaching of...critical thinking skills".

Originally Posted by New York Times
No Comment Necessary: Texas GOP’s 2012 Platform Opposes Teaching “Critical Thinking Skills”

Via Talking Points Memo

The Republican Party of Texas’s 2012 platform has a plank on “Knowledge-Based Education” that reads:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

It also says, “[e]very Republican is responsible for implementing this platform.” Party spokespersons say the plank should not have included the line on “critical thinking,” but that it will remain unchanged until 2014.
Hmmm....  Should NOT have included the line on "critical thinking".. but they aren't going to change it?!?  Now how much sense does that make?

As usual, the comments are interesting, as they show us how people think in this country.  Here are a few with my comments in parentheses:
  • "Well the left only feels their message should be what is pushed in universities too. Only difference is they have succeeded in making it so.

    Both parties are the same. This thread is going to backfire"

    (So.. teaching critical thinking skills in universities is a bad thing?  If that is what this person believes, how do you argue that?)

  • "Seriously, you're an idiot if you can look at the most polarized time in American politics, and the bitterest, most existential legislative debates we've had in any of our lifetimes, and think there is no difference.

    The Left didn't force anything on any universities. Universities are already filled with Lefties because higher education and liberalism go hand in hand...

    Also, you may draw some parallels to the political correctness problem, but no Democratic body would ever say 'we oppose critical thinking'

    I personally think the GOP is just trolling us with this crap at this point "

    (I like the little guy up there.  And, of course, I agree with this assessment.)
  • "I don't think you really understand when we say the two parties are the same.

    You could keep arguing the small differences regarding abortion, religion, gay marriage, but the truth is anyone with power on both parties holds no interest in the bettering our nation society or relations with foreign countries. Not Obama, not Bush, not anybody I have seen that tried to run for office. Our country will continue to spiral downwards as people put all their focus in problems that have no relation with the longevity and sustainability of our country."

    (I would never consider issues of civil rights "small differences".  Civil rights advancements were among the major accomplishments of the middle of the 20th century.  We might still have segregation in the South without these "small differences".  Now, the Southern Democrats (who are now Republicans) did have to be pushed in the direction of Civil Rights back in the 50's and 60's, but there is a clear difference now between the party that opposes various forms of Civil Rights and the party that does not.)

  • "Progress is slow because its a democracy. You can hardly get 400+ individuals to agree on what pizza toppings should go on the 3 large pizzas they will share, let alone matters of national economics, safety, and spending, all of which are divisive by nature of multiple effective paths, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. 

    Having interacted personally with both my house Representative, and even my Senator (McCain) I can say that both McCain and Gifford have their constituents desires at heart, not strictly their own, particularity in McCain's case, seeing as hes been re-elected multiple times over, and has broken with his party on many issues in the past to do what he was elected by Arizonans to do.

    I simply grow tired of the lambasting of congress on the basis that it is an amorphous entity with a single set of beliefs rather than an amalgamation of hundreds of individuals, particularly from those who cannot even name or describe the reps from their own state. I've met a handful of reps from other states and I must say that many of them were caring people who wished to make a change not only for their district or state, but America in general. 

    Browbeating reps and senators for both the inherent weakness of democracy (Slow to no change) and the sheer apathy of the public (How many people voted in the last election again?) is absurd and seeks to undermine the hard work and sacrifice that many people make to help guide our country. Pick out the shitheads who are abusing the system or their power for personal gains, hell, even call out the weaknesses or stupidity in either parties platforms, but don't lump all individuals together, particularly when you know so very little or nothing about them.

    (This is a good explanation of why it is hard to get things done and why the two parties may seem the same sometimes..  All of these different people with different philosophies representing different interests need to come together.)
If you are interested, this discussion goes on for six pages HERE.

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