And you’re the reason our kids are ugly, darlin’
–Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty
Except in cases of civil rights, I’m generally opposed to federal intervention in education. I’m also highly suspect of test scores as a valid measure of learning, but I have to say this map, which equates American states with their international education equivalents, well, it is startling. If you pair it with a recent poll of prospective voters in the South Carolina Republican primary, it’s a little frightening.
We are number one–ranking right up there with Scandinavia, but when you look at the South, the equivalents are literally Third World. Georgia is Libya. Alabama is Guatemala. Mississippi is Swaziland. (I’m not sure if Turkey is an international equivalent, or a cartographical op-ed).
Public Policy Polling recently polled South Carolina, and almost needless to say, the results are shocking, if not completely surprising:
The poll, which involved 897 likely Republican primary voters who were contacted Sunday and Monday, revealed significant support for banning homosexuals from the country (20 percent in favor), shutting down U.S. mosques (29 percent), creating a national database of Muslims (47 percent), banning Islam (25 percent), and allowing South Carolina to hang the Confederate flag on the state capitol grounds in Columbia (54 percent).
With the exception of the Confederate flag, none of these things is close to being Constitutional or in line with the rest of the fully-developed world. When it comes to Trump, the numbers are even worse:
-70% think the Confederate flag should still be flying over the State Capital [sic], to only 20% who agree with it being taken down. In fact 38% of Trump voters say they wish the South had won the Civil War to only 24% glad the North won and 38% who aren’t sure. Overall just 36% of Republican primary voters in the state are glad the North emerged victorious to 30% for the South, but Trump’s the only one whose supporters actually wish the South had won.
-By an 80/9 spread, Trump voters support his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. In fact 31% would support a ban on homosexuals entering the United States as well, something no more than 17% of anyone else’s voters think is a good idea. There’s also 62/23 support among Trump voters for creating a national database of Muslims and 40/36 support for shutting down all the mosques in the United States, something no one else’s voters back. Only 44% of Trump voters think the practice of Islam should even be legal at all in the United States, to 33% who think it should be illegal. To put all the views toward Muslims in context though, 32% of Trump voters continue to believe the policy of Japanese internment during World War II was a good one, compared to only 33% who oppose it and 35% who have no opinion one way or another.
There are many things wrong with our country, but there are some things that are deeply wrong. If we need a reminder of why this presidential election is important, why the Supreme Court is important, we need only look South.