Parents should recognize classical education as an alternative to critical race theory-ridden public schools, says Pete Hegseth, “Fox and Friends” TV co-host and author of the 2022 book “Battle for the American Mind: Uprooting a Century of Miseducation.”
In a conservation with the president of The Heritage Foundation, Kevin Roberts, on “The Kevin Roberts Show” podcast, Hegseth explained what he regards as the decay of the American republic as a result of its education system.
“[American culture] is really fragile and not heading in the right direction, and a lot of it does come back to our education system,” he said. “If you’ve removed God, and you’re teaching people the country they’ve inherited is evil and racist, then what optimism can they have? What are they defending?”
Hegseth said he wants to empower parents to take their children out of government schools in favor of homeschooling, classical education, Christian schools, or charter schools. Classical education, according to Roberts, is a “lifelong search for greater meaning in life.”
Public schools, however, inadequately educate students by failing to provide them with the necessary foundations, Hegseth said.
“When you strip God out, and you strip classics out, you strip Latin and Greek out, and you strip real history out and turn it into a sort of whitewash, textbook version, where you’re not reading original sources, and you’re not dealing with big narratives, then it’s not interesting, and you get a very superficial view of human nature in the world,” the Fox host said.
“Remember, we’re a small part of human history, and we should draw and learn from it, and gain wisdom from the past, and then understand our place in the future,” he added.
The ideas of critical race theory infiltrating American public schools originated from Nazi Germany, Hegseth said. Nazis fleeing Germany in the 1930s spread critical theory at teaching colleges in the U.S., where they were surprised to be welcomed.
“The story starts not with what they put in, which is now sheer indoctrination,” Hegseth said. “It started with what they removed, and it was God they knew they needed to remove, because it was the immovable object to get rid of an understanding of human nature and understanding of original sin, understanding of our limits as individuals, that we can’t create utopia on earth because man is not perfectible.”
Once critical theorists removed God, they were able to promote the ideas of a Marxist utopia.
“Today, these cultural Marxists, the direct descendants of economic Marxists, control every strong point, every chokepoint, and every inch of high ground of the realm of American education, and by extension, American culture,” Roberts said.
Though the state of American education appears bleak, Hegseth said, being a conservative is easier today than ever before because the structures that need conserving are basic to defend.
“We’re not defending marginal tax rates. What we’re conserving at this point are the absolute basics: ‘Can a boy become a girl, or a girl become a boy? Do we have borders? Are our police good? Should we allow God in the public square?’ If we can’t defend that, then we will lose our republic,” he said.
Hegseth said he has hope for the future of American education.
“Truth is out there if we expose our kids to it,” he said. “God is divine and sovereign, and ultimately, I believe that truth will win out. It starts in our homes, and it starts in our children, and it starts in our classrooms.”
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