I think we should be able to agree on this: someone who is elected to a state school board should not be a) criminally ignorant and b) an idiot. Yes, I know that no one elected to any public office should be either of these things, but there is something especially offensive about the educational policy in a state being made by people who by all available evidence are either uneducated themselves or uneducable.
This naturally raises the matter of Texas State Board of Education member Ken Mercer (R-San Antonio). You think I am being too harsh on Mr. Mercer? Consider this statement on the topic of evolution, which Mr. Mercer considers a laughable myth:
“If your theory’s right, all these species would get together and form a new species, then where is the cat-dog or the rat-cat, whatever it be. They don’t come together. Cats go with cats, and dogs go with dogs.”
Idiot? Ignoramus? You decide: the fact is that this man is passing judgment on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which he has been fighting to marginalize in the Texas schools for years. If he hasn’t read it, than he is unforgivably ignorant, but at least ignorance explains his rat-cat theory—sort of. If, however, he had read enough about evolution to explain it, and his level of comprehension produced the rat-cat argument, then he is, res ipsa loquitur, an idiot. I think that’s fair.
You still doubt me? Consider this brain-teaser, from the same interview:
“We cannot teach openly creation and ‘intelligent design,’ but where we draw the line is that we allow kids to ask honest questions in class. And that’s the strength of it right there because sometimes in debate it isn’t you really don’t have to prove your point, but if you can just prove another point.”
Right. Mercer is also on record as opposing what he calls “liberal indoctrination” in textbooks, as opposed to what he calls “education,” but which the Thomas B. Fordham Institute described this way, critiquing the social studies standards that he and some of his colleagues on the Board championed:
“…Complex historical issues are obscured with blatant politicizing throughout the document. Biblical influences on America’s founding are exaggerated, if not invented. The complicated but undeniable history of separation between church and state is flatly dismissed. From the earliest grades, students are pressed to uncritically celebrate the ‘free enterprise system and its benefits.’ ‘Minimal government intrusion’ is hailed as key to the early nineteenth-century commercial boom—ignoring the critical role of the state and federal governments in internal improvements and economic expansion.”
The problem with this particular breed of proud, unapologetic and arrogant idiot is that if given the power, they will try to replicate themselves, soon flooding the land with dangerously ignorant people just like them. And you thought zombies were dangerous…just wait til you see..
The Night of the Living Mercers!!
6 thoughts on “Incompetent Elected Official of the Week: Texas State Board of Education Member Ken Mercer”
I think a zombie already ate his brain.
This guy ran for office on the Texas State Board of Education and clearly won. So the only logical conclusion is to expand on Fred’s comment and presume that the majority of the electorate in Texas have lost their brains to zombies, too. Not only are his ideas moronic, his powers of communication make me wonder if he ever graduated kindergarten…
This is just ONE example of why our public education system is under attack, and why we are graduating morons just like him. Go U.S.!!!! Leave no child behind… behinder and behinder is more like it…
I saw an excellent documentary on the subject… I believe it was called “A Herd of Dodos”. One of the things prominently pointed out is that creationists and their ilk tend to have much better PR than scientists. They’re better at winning over the masses (who, let’s face it, don’t have much knowledge of biology) with charm, while the scientists tend to get indignant and defensive when faced with willful ignorance. That’s how these people get elected. School board elections are essentially the same as a high-school SCA election: a popularity contest. Competence never enters it.
I think you should also look more closely at that quote from a the Fordham Institute, an organization with a history of support to anti-Christian groups. I may or may not agree with Mr. Mercer’s opinions on creationism, evolution or intelligent design. But I’d far rather have one of his personal opinions who’s still dedicated to public education in preference to one who attempts to institute true junk science and sexual vice to schoolchildren to suit his political ends.
I think you should also look more closely at that quote from a the Fordham Institute, an organization with a history of support to anti-Christian groups.
What “anti-Christian groups” do they support?
But I’d far rather have one of his personal opinions who’s still dedicated to public education in preference to one who attempts to institute true junk science and sexual vice to schoolchildren to suit his political ends.
False dichotomy. Strawman. Take your pick.
Also note that intelligent Design is junk science.
Well, I guess I’d rather have an idiot on the school board than be hit over the head with a rotting camel or be stuffed in a locker with Ed Schultz, but so what? Rendering opinions and making policy regarding what you are either too lazy to read or too dumb to comprehend is still the mark of an incompetent boob. Call me crazy, but I THINK there are available public servants are aren’t dedicated to promoting sexual vice AND have the brains to know that “rat-cats” have nothing to do with evolution.