To the editor:
I can't help but respond to the letter written recently by my good neighbor, John Gochenouer, who discusses how the Republicans are embracing "stupid." He seems to have a pretty low opinion of Republicans like me. He states, "The Republican Party has targeted and strongly appeals to people who, as children, suffered in school." Sorry, but I just can't think of any of my many Republican acquaintances who fit in that category. As a matter of fact, many of them did quite well in school. I know of one who graduated from college with a 4.0 and a double major-and his wife (also a Republican) graduated with a 3.84.
You mention, John, that the 13 most poorly educated states went for McCain in 2008. Perhaps a fair comparison to that would be to research the percent of low-income tenement residents and/or receivers of entitlement programs that voted for Obama... By the way, I don't consider "smart" and "well-educated" to mean the same thing, even though I hold my masters degree. One of the smartest people I know has an eighth- grade education (she raised the guy with the 4.0). She can do math in her head, at age 95, in a way that puts us all to shame. Nowadays we have lots of Ph.D.s running around somehow functioning while totally lacking that ability.
You stated that the Republican V.P. candidate in 2008 was "undereducated and unfit to take over the leadership of the United States." That comes awfully close to describing the Democrats' 2008 PRESIDENTIAL candidate (just change "undereducated" to "inexperienced")-I think we Republicans are "less guilty" than Democrats on that one!
Your letter speaks afoul of Republicans wanting to end federal funding for the Dept. of Education. As a teacher, I would vote for that in a heartbeat! Over the past 40 years, I have seen repeatedly that federal decrees on education have ended up putting unreasonable financial burdens on local school districts and stifling teachers' abilities to actually TEACH all their kids. There's not a state in the Union where the folks don't care about education, and each state has a dept. of education to regulate, etc., the education process. Why should we send all that education money to the federal government in order to receive only a part of it back - with strings attached, of course!?
You mentioned that Rick Santorum warned about sending kids to college because Obama wants to "brain wash" them. I know, John, that you are a professor; and I hate to say this, but after reading all your distortions about what Republicans are and want (as if you should be speaking for us), I think I kinda know what the guy was talking about...
The Republicans are not anti-education, as you would label them. They might have a different vision about education than the Democrats have - but then, I would not venture to speak on behalf of the DFLers. So please offer the same respect to my party's beliefs and values. And make sure to search the Republican platform at: mngop.com platform. This gives a brief one-page overview of the MN GOP platform, and then goes on to explain each section in greater detail.
I'm a Republican, but I'm really not the school-traumatized, under-educated, anti-school person you described in your letter. I'm just your neighbor, and glad that I know you!