Santorum Decries American Mills


Despite his supposed pretend working class background, on Thursday Nov 23, former PA Senator Rich Santorum decried the American mills that are no longer churning out like they once did.

By the way, he wasn’t talking about the paper mills, the steel mills, the clothing mills, or any other mill that makes  a product.  Those are long gone.  No, ex-Senator Rick blasted the indoctrination mills, otherwise known as colleges and universities.  As Wonkette so aptly put:

Santorum continued his ‘Knowledge Is Evil Tour’ this week with a visit to husband Glenn Beck’s radio program, where he went the farthest he’s gone yet — no guarantees that by summer’s end he won’t be recommending locking children in a dungeon with a Bible, some water and breadsticks i.e. the body of Christ for 18 years — in condemning higher education as an expensive and frightening thing that sucks Christianity right out of us, even those of us who are not Christian but had the potential to be until big heavy textbooks whalloped us over the head. Santorum, in this hour-long verbal makeout session, basically compared college to a factory, and cited some probably invented statistic that “62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it,” which really is great news, if true. As the National Journal politely put it, Santorum “declined to cite a source for the figure.”

Anyway anyway, the worst thing about this is calling colleges “indoctrination mills.” INDOCTRINATION OF WHAT, PRAY TELL? A worldview? Ideas? Creativity? Awareness? Respect? Ambition? Keg stands? Sports? Dance parties?

Santorum: “I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely … The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.

In this interview, which apparently was some weird kind of circus magic performance attended by other media members, Santorum also “expanded on his vision of dramatically reduced involvement in public education by both the states and the federal government,” in other words, the only persons who should have any say over a kid’s education is their sheltered, culturally deaf and blind parents, who know nothing of this world beyond the fact that they and all their neighbors have an average of 38 kids each and they are all beautiful gifts from this one particular lord.

Let’s see. If universities are so bad, then how many Republicans in Congress, including Ricky himself, chose to forgo the college?  More to the point, would you go to a doctor who claimed “I just learned this on my own.  No need for any formal schooling”?  Since when is education bad?  Since when is learning more than your parents learned an evil little thing (to mix metaphors)?

It is the lack of adequate funding of education is the real problem.  The U.S. far behind every other Western country in providing higher education at an affordable cost. I want the next generation to be smarter and more creative, to discover new knowledge, and to make this world a better place.

As for the 62% figure pulled out of thin air, Desert Beacon did some interesting digging:

Actually, perhaps we can clear up part of the mystery of the 62% by conjecturing that what Mr. Santorum was speaking of was a 2006 survey by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government which found that 62% of college Republicans said “religion was losing its influence on American life.”

If this is the source of the Magic 62% figure, then [Santorum’s] commentary missed the report’s most important point:

“Seven in ten college students today say religion is important or very important in their lives. What’s more, a quarter of students (25%) say they have become more spiritual since entering college, as opposed to only seven percent (7%) who say they have become less spiritual.”

Interesting, while 62% of college Republicans bemoaned the declining influence of religion in American life, 25% of their cohorts were becoming more spiritual while only 7% were becoming less so.   A smaller study conducted by the Newman Society of specifically Catholic institutions found that only 6% of the young people educated at Catholic institutions had left the faith after graduation.

Be that as it may, after an afternoon of “Googling” to find the source of the serious 62%, as close as I could come was the Harvard Study, and it’s impossible to conclude that because 62% of college aged Republicans are dismayed by the “decline” in religious influence they perceive in American life that their collegiate friends are having the same experience.

Whatever Santorum was trying to claim, I would suggest that he return to school and get real facts under his belt, rather than create them on the fly or misquote them out of context.  Clearly he needs to spend a little more time in the “mills”.

About SamStone

A Steel City Skeptic who thinks science and reason is the light that we should follow to find our way in this world.
This entry was posted in Current Events, politics, Science and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Santorum Decries American Mills

  1. Sk8eycat says:

    “He’s Mean.
    He’s clueless.
    He’s Bigoted.”
    He’s a Liar.
    And he’s very, VERY wierd.
    If he were anything approaching an honest human being he would label Sunday schools as the most powerful “indoctrination mills” in the world. (How does he account for those of us who never had the opportunity to go to college…Judith Hayes aka “The Happy Heretic is one, as am I…but still managed to overcome our religious upbringing?)

    The GOP seems to be committing suicide…or maybe it’s already dead.

  2. Laurie Mann says:

    I’ve been arguing about his claim that he made in Michigan this week “I grew up in a manufacturing town.” Mount Lebanon is a manufacturing town? Really? Where is the manufacturing? I can tell you where the golf courses are. I can tell you it’s a rich suburb. But he lied to an audience, probably comprised of people who work/once worked in manufacturing, to make it seem like he had a clue about their lives and economic struggles. He has no clue.

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