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Why Republicans Hate the Humanities (And Reading More Generally)


Why do Republicans hate the humanities and want to turn institutions of higher education into nothing more than training schools for employers? The story of Ivy Ziedrich, now famous for challenging Jeb Bush on ISIS, tells it all:

Ms. Ziedrich, a high school debater who specialized in the parliamentary style and still helps coach her former team, said that all the attention she is garnering from those on the right (who thought she was rude) and those on the left (who want to canonize her) is confounding given her own political journey. Growing up in Northern California, she considered herself a conservative like her mother and father, who is a loyal Fox News viewer.

Then she identified as a libertarian and, ultimately, as Democratic, influenced by her time spent debating and by books like Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.”

There we have it. When people read and learn about the world, they become less conservative. When students read, especially radical texts like Zinn, they start questioning the world around them. That might lead to them to challenging power like Ziedrich just did. And we can’t be having that now. So instead, let’s eliminate the humanities entirely and get everyone majoring in business so that our elites can continue their wars and their exploitation of the world’s workers without pushback from the plebs.

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