It does seem as Jennifer Rubin says in a Washington Post piece of March 30 that Trump makes fools of the RNC and its supporters.
She points out, just how incredible it is that the members and followers of the Republican National Committee are themselves listening and paying close attention to Donald Trump, thereby doing much to create and promote his dominant place in the life of our nation.
Whereas according to Rubin the Republican elite should be refuting Trump at every turn,… and although they may be calling attention to Trump’s ignorant and lying statements the people are notlistening to them. And instead everyone, including the journalists themselves, are hanging on almost every word, not of the Republican National Committee, but of Donald Trump.
Who is to blame for Trump’s being where he is? Is it the Media that are making Trump? Some seem to believe that. For example, read Nicholas Kristof’s My Shared Shame: The Media Helped Make Trump.(“We journalists failed the public by letting ourselves get played by Donald Trump.”)
Or is it the RNC? Read these two pieces by Paul Krugman, Republican Elite’s Reign of Disdain (“Rather than blaming itself, the party establishment blames working-class Americans for their problems), and Trump Is No Accident (“Republican leaders have long laid the groundwork for the current G.O.P. front-runner’s strategy.”)
There may be other explanations. Not only for Trump, but for an endless series of earlier Trump-like demagogues, Hitler, Mussolini, Berlusconi, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Viktor Orban et al. But is this the best explanation for what is more and more referred as the Donald Trump phenomenon?
I think it’s principally something else. I think the schools are at fault, and of course that means all of us, for allowing our children to spend what should be the learning years of their young lives not learning, and instead mostly biding their time, staying out of our way of course, until such time that the demagogue appears on the scene and arouses them from what is a slumber, or rather the deep sleep of the rational faculty, of the intellect. Trump’s rise may then very well proceed from an earlier failure of the schools to do their job.
What countries are well governed? In every case it may very well be, although I haven’t done the research, those countries with the best school systems. Their schooling not allowing the rational faculty to sleep, and thereby promising to turn out an educated electorate, not subject to the machinations of the inevitable demagogues.
What education should be about is still pretty much what Thomas Jefferson, and Horace Mann a bit later, said it should be about; the “general diffusion of knowledge,” that which is essential to a free society, and that “if a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
Similarly, in a letter to George Washington (1786), Jefferson wrote: “Liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, of the people with a certain degree of instruction.” And in an oft-quoted letter to John Adams (1813), Jefferson expressed hope that public schools would become “the keystone in the arch of our government.”
Now that is something which has not yet taken place, and which now, today, Helas! seems even further beyond our reach than in the time of Thomas Jefferson and the founders of our Republic.