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Editor: Trump and Trump University promise "success!," as a recent CNN election editorial reminded us. This was meant to be a criticism and remains a just one, and offers a perfect example of the empty highs that Madison Avenue traffics in.

There is a second, linguistic, reason why this is particular criticism is sound—though I doubt many are talking about it. When one looks at it origins, the very word “success” means literally, “to go under”—not what we generally think of in relation to education, eh? Thus, in addition to its more common usage, the word “success” possesses a meaning that may describe the real truth about what this Trump enterprise is up to—after all profiteers rise on the backs of others who must of necessity fall and “go under.” I use the word “profiteer” here so as not to taint the notion of profit associated with an honest wage, “the laborer being worth his hire.”

But what this editorial critical of Trump and his university doesn't tell you, will not tell you, is that this is the same rhetoric that sells "education, "public and private, all over the nation! What you probably don't know is that every public College and university that I know of spends tens of thousands of your tax dollars on advertising—even in communities that have only one college, and therefore no other choices! And would you be surprised to discover that the most commonly used word on “education” billboards is “SUCCESS”? Strangely, both private and public schools use the language of the marketplace, and often the very same words, to sell a thing everyone already knows they need! Of course there is attached an admixture of language pointing to “higher” purposes but, strangely, there is no college course-work corresponding to this idealistic language. The whole enterprise is of course called “higher” education, and there are courses in Philosophy, etc., but what comes under these headings is too often reduced to mere “information” and completely useless outside inflated and equally useless coffee-shop chatter. Certainly students in our schools are not invited to walk in deep converse with the great men of old who often put themselves in grave danger for repudiating, publicly, such examples of public deceit!

Does a community with only one college need more than $100,000.00 in advertising—the first $40,000.00 or so of which is for the salary of somebody whose job it is to spend the rest? The very notion is as silly as the “public service” argument that is given to justify (i.e., sell) it to taxpayers!

But the thing is not just silly and wasteful. It is also dangerous since these budget dollars give school administrators a fairly significant voice in what gets said about education from the local media pulpits. This mutes criticism and that is no small thing since in addition to already having control over community information, the media is, in general, the place wherein serious community dialogue might take place. But the power to control what is said in public is as hard to refuse as any form of power, is it not? Indeed, it is a heresy in this world to have a power and not exercise it. For those who are enamored of power only, to have a power and not exercise it feels the same as not having it!

Thus, there is a direct link between big advertizing budgets (paid for by citizens to inform them of what they already know) and institutions that we think of as expanding the Light, but which often work to keep those same citizens in the dark and ignorant of the full spectrum of ideas relevant to them! In this way, the modern agora becomes a gated community were, instead of an open sharing of ideas, only approved voices are admitted. Sure, in a truly open discussion the occasional goofball will waste an hour of the people's time. But what is this to the alternative—which is the loss of an essential elements in a republic, a free and open public discussion?The agora is of necessity open to all. But a community dialogue controlled by the private interests of the market is never going to be open to all ideas, or all voices. The market place must control its trough. But light does not sell; it only disrupts the empty and dangerous myths offerd at this trough.

In conclusion, the elitist international cabal that is behind the referenced CNN editorial is the same cabal that is quietly 'dumbing down' all American education. Of course Trump frightens this Cabal, but he is doing exactly what they do! To their embarrassment, and with seemingly more honesty, he is just louder. So please read between the lines here. Both public and private schools lie from the rooftops but, culturally speaking, trusting students are quietly, as we say, “going under.” JWC