Two things about America are inarguable: It is an immigrant society, and those immigrants made the richest, most powerful place the earth has ever seen. As a sidelight, the immigrants displaced indigenes whose efforts had left the continent largely primeval. And as another sidelight, those immigrants’ relatives who stayed home, followed America into a parallel but lesser wealth and power on the earth. Why were these differences?
Here, one may argue; we believe that the differences were that the Old World was locked in static societies that tended to hold people in the places into which they were born while the New World raised no barriers against people doing whatever they wished to attempt.
The remaining ‘new’ worlds’ on this planet amount to Greenland and Antarctica; places whose times have not yet come and may well never arrive. So what are we to think of America’s closing gate of opportunity?
American government has expanded to the point that, if you wish to undertake any significant action, you are forbidden to do so without government permission. And, once possessed of that permission, you may undertake the activity only within the guidelines of enforced government regulation. The old opportunity that attracted the immigrants has gone; today’s America does not differ much from the constricted and restricted homes those immigrants left, excepting the living standard. And the narrow window of government approved opportunity is closing further.
Americans have tended toward the anti-intellectual, deriding professors as “eggheads in ivory towers.” They have at the same time, revered intelligence that produced things. Engineers have taken precedence over philosophers. Descartes and Kant struck no sparks in America; Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, did. And: So did public education, which many saw as the road toward a successful future. A practical public education, one that would empower succeeding generations to be Edisons and Fords.
But that was intercepted by the Left; the Progressive Educators (John Dewey et al) took control of American public education in the 1930’s, replacing educating kids to be the best they could be, with brainwashing kids to be good, obedient citizens. Government-enforced uniform curricula are the latest version of that, called: “Common Core” and now being enforced in increasing numbers of states.
In New Mexico, the graduation rate of the state’s high schools was among America’s lowest; that has now been ‘fixed’ by reducing the test scores needed to graduate.
The government evidently recognizes that the McJobs remaining after manufacturing and tech have emigrated abroad will not satisfy educated citizens.
It seems more than ironic that the America that was built upon unrestricted opportunity will proceed to join those places whose restrictions once sent their talented citizens to America by withholding opportunity. It is even more flummoxing to contemplate Americans who will accept it. But that seems the way to bet….