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There are many opinions published these days, thanks to the Internet.

Everybody’s got an opinion – and almost everyone has a blog.

I can’t say that I have read them all. In fact, I hardly read any of them. But of all the published ideas I have become aware of, I can tell you without equivocation that I have found the dumbest. It’s not even a close call.

It’s so bad, so inane, so absurd, so asinine, so idiotic, so fatuous, so illogical, so insipid and so ridiculous, I’d actually like you to read it. Why? So that you can see for yourself how the liberal mind works – or, more precisely, doesn’t work.

I give you a column in Slate.com by Allison Benedikt, the managing editor of Slate’s Double X, a section of the site apparently geared toward women. (Though it seems more like Slate’s voyage into mental pornography. If so, this is an excellent example.)

It was the headline that grabbed me, because I wrongly assumed it was going to be a parody column about government schools. It reads and, as of this writing, has not been altered by the editors of Slate: “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person.”

Her thesis is one shared only by the leadership of the National Education Association, the Communist Party USA and the late Benito Mussolini: Every parent should send his or her children to public school because it will make the schools, not the students, better.

I’m not joking. Like I said, you need to read this for yourself to peer into the totalitarian nature of the progressive soul.

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Let me give you an excerpt for those who do not have the time or the stomach to read the column as I suggest: “I’m not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good. (Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)”

My guess is Ms. Benedikt doesn’t have any kids. If I’m wrong in that assumption, I feel sorry, indeed, for her offspring.

She knows the government schools are no good today. She acknowledges that. But she’s willing to sacrifice what’s best for children today – in fact, for generations to come – to test her own untested theory that if only every child was forced to attend government schools, eventually those institutions would improve as a result.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. If you have any understanding of the way the world works, just the opposite is true. If there is no alternative to government schooling, there will be no competition. Thus, government schools would become a monopoly, and even “progressives” theoretically understand why that’s bad, though they tend to rationalize that state-run monopolies are somehow the exception to the rule.

There’s nothing leftists like more than social-engineering schemes that take generations to test. That way, there is no obligation to measure results, and, by the time the results are in millions of children will have been denied the best education available to them. But, according to Ms. Benedikt, this is a good thing – the greater good and all that.

Amazing, isn’t it? Is this not clearly the worst idea you have ever heard? Ms. Benedikt should almost be congratulated for lowering the intellectual bar to Dead Sea depths. Now everyone with a bad idea can rest assured there’s a worse one out there.

It’s so bad, even the Slate crowd trashed it unmercifully. I have been kinder to Ms. Benedikt than the comment posts below her article. Here’s a brief sampling:

  • Frank Meyer: “For a better take on dealing with schools, see John Taylor Gatto: ‘Weapons of Mass Instruction,’ either the lecture or the book. For those who prefer to retract the delegation of their children’s upbringing to unaccountable strangers, whether ‘public’ or ‘private’ see suggestions of what their children need to know here: ‘John Taylor Gatto’s 14 Principles of an Elite Boarding School Curriculum.’”

  • Interbeing: “There is a very obvious answer to this problem that provides both equality of opportunity and the ability for parents of all income levels to have choice in their children’s education, and has been shown to be extremely effective … School Vouchers.”
  • The Fire-Starter: “Ms Benedikt, my friends often ask me why I spend at least an hour each morning banging my head against a brick wall – it’s due to articles like this.”

I was frankly surprised at the lucidity of the Slate audience – or perhaps it was the link from WND that accounts for so much cogent feedback.

In any case, that’s it. I just wanted to bring to your attention that the Guinness Book of World Records needs a new category to consider – the worst idea ever published. I think I have the clear winner. Do I exaggerate?

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