Our situation today is much like having a front row seat for the die-off of the dinosaurs. Someday we will dispassionately study the bones of American education, American journalism, and American Big Government in order to analyze the factors led to their extinction, but we are now stuck listening to the appalling howls and grievous complaining that accompany their death throes.
First off, we are today watching all levels of our education establishment, their preferred pronouns clutched firmly in their shaking hands, march resolutely and blindly straight off a cliff. It is, if you can stomach the stupidity, a perversely fascinating spectacle of hubris and insanity combined to produce an disaster that is both terribly sad and apparently unstoppable because no one has the will or courage to speak out against it.
Enrollments at all levels of public education from Kindergarten onward are sinking fast. However, private K-12 schools and home schooling are flourishing—which infuriates the national teacher unions—so it is clear that many parents are moving their children into educational environments they feel are more supportive, safe, and beneficial.
The unnecessarily protracted school shutdowns during the Covid-19 panic both alienated many families and exposed the unrelenting mediocrity of most of our nation’s public schools to parents who were shocked to their socks by their Zoom window into the collapse of academic standards and expectations, which had been the largely invisible scandal of our public education system for many decades. Top this off with the overt sexual and racial agendas that now infect classrooms across our country and crowd out critical thinking in favor of implacable ideology, and it is all too readily apparent that our public schools are destroying themselves from within by discarding their core academic mission in favor of Woke-ism that focuses on teaching impressionable American children that their country is a hellhole of bigotry and oppression.
All things considered, it should be little surprise that a recent Gallup shows that only 28% of Americans have “a great deal or a lot” of confidence in U.S. public schools, which perhaps best explains why more and more parents are ditching our public education system in favor of alternatives that they believe will better serve their children. No students means steep financial cuts are dead ahead at school districts of all sizes across our nation, which is going to be a shock to an educational establishment that has been accustomed to maximum funding with minimal accountability for many, many decades.
Moreover, at the same time so many large school districts in states ranging from California to Illinois to Mississippi to New York are dealing with precipitous enrollment declines, yet another problem is afflicting our public schools: Apparently, no one wants to work in America’s Woke Educational Wonderland, and the well-documented difficulties so many school districts are experiencing with finding teachers and classroom support staff have escalated into a national crisis. The combination of more teachers choosing to retire and many fewer college students deciding to enter the bizarro world of teaching as their chosen career recently led Arizona to take the unprecedented step of allowing people to teach before they have even finished up their teaching degrees. This is just another unmistakable sign that the meteor has hit, the sun is rapidly being blotted from the sky, and a dysfunctional ecosystem—in this case an educational one—is on the verge of collapse.
It should perhaps also be mentioned that college enrollments almost everywhere are in a free fall, which is causing a number of layoffs and hiring freezes that are panicking those who are used to the unending comforts of cushy higher education jobs. Unsurprisingly, enrollments at trade schools are surging, which indicates that a lot of students have made the perfectly logical choice to privilege a solid paycheck over the questionable joys of those courses on the Sociology of Urban Living or Topics in Contemporary Gender Theory.
Fewer college students also translates into an unavoidable cataclysm due to the financial famine of tuition money, and this will force more and more ex-professors and their supporting cast of academic professionals into grueling private sector employment, where their many, many social and emotional grievances will be of far less interest than their actual job performance—this could be entertaining.
Of course, the tribulations of education are a ray of sunshine compared to the self-inflicted wounds of the news and information business.
Now that so many journalists have decided that simply reporting verifiable and unbiased facts is nowhere near as much fun as spinning conspiracy theories and pitching radical views on race, gender, and economics while insulting the very readers and viewers they need to pay the bills, it is little surprise that their visibility and status in America is in a free fall. The stark and endless evaporation of newspaper readership, the cataclysmic ratings declines at networks such as CNN, and the generally dismal downfall of any reasonable standards of objectivity at many supposed news outlets can be seen in the results of a recent Gallup Poll that found only 16% of respondents said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers—and only 11% of respondents said the same of television news.
Advocacy for leftist causes and insults for those who disagree may thrill a segment of hardcore Marxists in the newsrooms and beyond, but the inevitable outcome of bias, deliberate omission, and outright deception—particularly when so many other information sources are available at our very fingertips—is hardly surprising.
The obnoxious crusades mounted by the legacy media and their governmental compadres against what they deem to be “misinformation” have done little to restore the irretrievably lost credibility of journalism as a whole. Much of what we have recently been instructed to believe is true—that Covid-19 vaccines are entirely safe and effective, Hunter Biden’s laptop is a Russia plant, the Afghanistan withdrawal was a triumph, price inflation is transitory, and Joe Biden is sharp as a tack—has since been shown to be both deliberately deceptive and easily debunked, so it is little wonder that so many Americans dismiss much of what they now read and hear on the mainstream news media as outlandish propaganda.
This is too bad, but it is to be expected. It soon will be impossible to ignore the simple fact that being an activist instead of a journalist is a poor adaptation to a world today being changed beyond recognition by online news sources that are faster, more agile, and better able to evolve in order to survive in a new, harsh, and unforgiving information environment.
And perhaps the most ponderous dinosaur of all is the apex predator who has long survived by heedlessly gobbling up our taxes while paying no attention to its own increasingly precarious existence: our disastrous and terribly inefficient systems of government.
It has long been my own observation and belief that the vast majority of Americans are decent, kind, and thoughtful individuals who are moderate on social issues and conservative regarding economic matters, favor a strong national defense, are frustrated with the wild overspending of our government, expect their public schools to educate not indoctrinate, want our borders and streets protected, are tolerant up to the point where their own beliefs and values are not being respected, and generally want as little government involvement in their lives as possible.
So how is it that we have ended up with almost exactly the opposite?
The short answer is that America’s two Jurassic institutions, our schools and our news media, have spent the past half century advocating for values that are not favored by the majority of Americans while attacking those who offer differing views. Both are now, as has been discussed, paying a steep price in the form of economic distress and diminishing public approval. However, the hard-left ideology driving them is so deeply imbedded among our college educated elites as to be impossible to excise, and this has increasingly become the animating force of oblivious government bureaucracies that suck up resources and excrete mountainous piles of idiocy that are causing more and more voters to turn up their noses in utter disgust.
The outcome of the entrenched Leftist world view in both education and journalism has been the relentless flogging of ideas that denigrate America and Americans, demand endless wasteful spending that pile up stupendous public debt, stigmatize the socially conservative and deeply religious, insist that schools promulgate a set of opinions and values that are distressingly contrary to both free inquiry and academic rigor, open our borders, set criminals free, and demand that an intrusive, all-powerful government monitor and manage the lives of all Americans in order to promote an elusive and corrosive goal of “equity” that punishes the most hardworking and talented among us. It is little wonder that our present systems of government, having wallowed in the swamp of this foolishness for so many years, have now mutated into a monstrosity that seems to care little for the wants and needs of your average, hardworking, non-Marxist American.
The consequences of fifty years of foolishness by our public school systems, our nation’s journalists, and our political elites is a fiscal and economic crisis unlike any we have seen since The Great Depression.
Rising interest rates, which are the blunt instrument that must be employed to bludgeon the economy and slow down runaway inflation, will soon make it much more difficult for American government, American businesses, and the American people to bridge the gap between what we have and what we are spending with more and more debt. The result is going to be a cascade of financial retrenchment that is going to be both very painful and profoundly shocking to those who work in education, journalism, and government—and is going to, sad to say, trash the standards of living of most average Americans in the process.
However, the loudest howls will come from the Wokester dinosaurs as they slump to the ground in despair.
This fiscal reckoning resulting from the debt supernova about to hit will mean that no more taxpayer cash can be sprinkled on the dreams of those who are certain that they are battling the forces of darkness by shouting their abortions, calling everyone else a bigot, and singlehandedly keeping Crocs on our store shelves. The easy money will disappear—and will not be replaced—because capitalism and common sense will cruelly cull the herd of those who want us to continue to pay for yet more Marxist nonsense that thrives on a parasitic relationship with the very nation it claims is too evil to continue to exist.
The future of America’s Wokesters will be both ironic and amusing to watch, which will be a grim comfort as we navigate the financial and societal wreckage their ideas have left in their wake.
The most glaring gap—more of a chasm, really—that is increasingly being exposed in America today is the one that exists between the plain and irrefutable realities that rule our lives and the slap-happy fantasies of Wokesters and their cheerleaders in education, journalism, and politics. We are, whether we realize it or not, witnessing the bitter end of an insular and sneeringly smug universe of unworkable and generally unwelcome ideas and behaviors that is going to destroy both education and journalism as we have known it over the past half-century or so, and the fall out will have a profound effect on every aspect of our political systems for many, many years.