IB: Isolationism isn’t the answer

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The protests over the International Baccalaureate Program are the result of a small group of ideologues who are not Nazis but overly controlling and conservative. This can be seen by Duncan Koler’s characterization in Tuesday’s Press of global warming as a program of indoctrination that promotes anti-American and socialist theories. 

Global warming is supported by a number of American scientists as well as the world scientific community. To claim it is socialist is as wrong as Hitler deciding that relativity is an anti-Aryan theory. It’s funny how authoritarians not only want to avoid certain ideas but to prevent others from even being exposed to them.

The IB program is oriented to open-minded inquiry. It leads to the patterns of thought of a free mind. Far from being anti-American those skills are the essence of our national character. Think of the freethinkers like Franklin, Paine and Jefferson, who were deeply moved by French thinkers of the time. They said, “The innate rights of man are inalienable.” They didn’t say, “Those philosophes are anti- British; we must prevent our students from reading them.”

True conservatism doesn’t fear free thought. The Kolers and their followers obviously are heirs to the Pre-World War II isolationism of the Republican Party. They saw an international perspective as a danger to the American way of life. They forgot the Founders and they could not see the dangers of Hitler and Stalin (if we hadn’t intervened in Europe, sooner or later we would have had one of them on our shores). Again we can see this from the perspective of global warming: If the world as a whole doesn’t act now we will be facing a massive methane spill on the order of that which killed 95 percent of Earthly species in the Triassic Period. 

The Kolers have forgotten their history and are trying to force the rest of us to live in their warm little cocoon of isolationism.

JEFFREY E. BOURGET

Coeur d’Alene

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