Category Archives: college loan rates

The GOP War on Higher Education

 
 
 
 
The Republican Party has no incentive to renew the low interest rates for college loans because, along with their “war on women” and their “war on big government” and their “war on takers” and their “war on minority voters”, they have also declared “war on higher education.” Those extremist right wingers, who are controlling the agenda of the entire GOP, have made it clear that they cannot support higher education as it exists today because colleges are all involved in turning out brainwashed adults with liberal ideas who will be highly likely to vote for Democrats. They refuse to accept that this paranoid party line could be confusing cause and effect, or caught in a which-came-first, the chicken or the egg, argument. Perhaps exposing learners to a wide swath of literature, art, music, history, philosophy, sociology, mathematics and science will produce adults who are more open to compassionate consideration of the people in societies and their dilemmas. Students who finish higher levels of schooling may be likely to have views that are less narrow, broader in scope.

I guess Republicans are suggesting that we need to create a curriculum for college students which will produce fundamentalist Christians, who are brainwashed to think like the right wing of the GOP, who would favor laissez-faire capitalism, and who would base their view of acceptable behavior on a strict interpretation of the Christian Bible with some Ayn Rand thrown in. These students would not put too fine a point on human rights except for groups acceptable to the Christian church. They would be against abortion and birth control. They would be against welfare or any benefits that might be offered by the federal government. Each state would go its own way and determine its own policies except for a few areas like interstate commerce and federal highways. Of course, none of this would count as brainwashing because, in the Republican matrix, they would be thinking and acting correctly.

One Texas Senator lamented the teaching of “critical thinking” skills because I guess when people understand things like propaganda techniques they are more skeptical, which the GOP interprets as being “difficult”. Why have colleges at all if this is the kind of lockstep indoctrination that will happen there? This is all of a piece with the desire of the Republicans to stamp out liberals completely and turn America into a theocracy of like-minded, white-skinned citizens who do as they are told, vote as they are told, and are punished as if the Old Testament was resurrected. A key word here is vote. A lot of this is about how the GOP can corner the majority vote. If we don’t send people to college to become thinkers, if we just send them to train for some career, so that they can become doers, society will straighten up and fly right. And the liberals will lose a lot of votes and the Republicans will be back on top.

Republicans have been passing all kinds of voter suppression laws but one of the oddest and, I suppose, most creative, attacks on liberal voters has been their attempt to prevent college students from voting in their college towns, and even to charge a penalty to parents of college students who allow their offspring to vote in their college towns. The hope is that if these laws make voting more difficult, fewer of these young people in college will vote, and since they tend to vote liberal because of the “brainwashing” they have received in college, it will benefit the GOP if these young people don’t vote. Who thinks of these things? Apparently the tea party is especially good at this type of reasoning. Will tactics like this actually lessen the liberal vote and make it more likely for GOP candidates to get elected?  Well, no one really knows if these strategies will work as predicted or if they will backfire. We really don’t want to let these laws go into effect so that we can find out either.

So, for the Republican Party to stall any decision about whether or not student loan rates should stay at 3.4% makes perfect sense to them, because if they stall rates will automatically rise to 6.4% and this fits in perfectly with their overall (mindboggling) attitudes towards higher education in America. If students can’t afford college fewer students will go to these American institutions which are stamping out little liberal robots and that will be all to the good. When did we allow these nuts to seize control of our government? I think we can look to the election of 2010. It is shocking how many states are controlled by Republican governors, and although they are showing a tendency to moderate their views once they take office, they still must listen to those who have power over them in their party because they will want to get re-elected.

The only solution to such twisted logic: elect Democrats in 2014.

 

This is the view from the cheap seats.