The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

More on Winning Against ID

This is what I get for posting without checking Majikthise first. Lindsay responded to the same Yglesias post I did, taking a perpendicular approach: mock ID.
I'm going to be contrarian and suggest that pundits should concentrate on subtle stigmatization of creationism and ID.


Education policy is shaped by parents' aspirations for their kids. What's needed is subtle oppo-marketing of creationism and ID as being backward and superstitious.
I'm actually clipping out the bit that some other have seized on, which is a defense of elitism, at least WRT evolution & ID. Which is more or less what had me flummoxed yesterday - evolution is unavoidably associated with blue state elitism. It's absurd, but no less true for being so. Lindsay suggests the ol' ju-jitsu. Specifically, she threads the needle between emotional appeal and demagoguery by leaving national competitiveness unmentioned and instead going straight to the parents: "Do you want your kid to learn real scence, or to waste school time on superstitious hoo-hah?"

Up 'til now, the vocal parents have been the one who don't want the little children told that they evolved from apes. But I think that, even in red states, parents who "want what's best" for little Owen and Nadia are actually the majority. The key is to get them riled up. Right now, they're indifferent on this issue - hence the big plurality for "teaching the controversy." But these are the same people who object to music and art classes, since they don't help Carson with the SATs. They don't care about learning for its own sake, but if they perceive that an ID-friendly education is a liability, they'll storm the barricades for us. It's worth noting that, essentially, this is what happened in Kansas a few years back - the next election after the controversy, the creationist yahoos were booted out. The battle continues because powerful forces are arrayed behind the creationists, but the parents on the ground are no longer asleep.

Of course, all that said, I'm not sure how we achieve Step 1, which is to get the message across to the reachable parents without driving them into the arms of the insane ones. As Amanda illustrated for us all, tribalism tends to trump interest (especially in that neck of the woods), and if the connection between sneering Yankees and the undermining of ID is too obvious, well, little Daisy's just going to have to learn the controversy. That'll teach us.

via Amanda at pandagon


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