Recent news that President John Kerry's grades at Yale were less than stellar has spawned a flurry of anxious emails from readers who suspect that Bush is somehow behind it. While I appreciate the correspondence, I'm afraid you folks are missing the point. If Bush manipulated John Kerry's grades in order to make a progressive intellectual look like a slackjawed dunce, then he has failed miserably. If anything, Kerry's low marks are a testament to his complexity, a portrait of a man too nuanced to be pigeonholed by primitive methods of measuring intelligence. In fact, the entire grading system itself is a flawed construct of the military-industrial complex and should be scrapped.
Grading students like sides of beef isn't only barbaric, it's impractical. Although some white males have managed to slip through the moist, tender cracks of affirmative action, college campuses are far more diverse than they were 40 years ago. The good ol' boy, country club colleges of the ango-elite are a thing of the past. Today, students hail from a variety of racial backgrounds, belief systems, genders, and subgenders, each with their own socio-perceptual and multisensory learning style. As a Professym of Midget Studies and the Kama Sutra at Evergreen State College, I would find it a daunting task to pass any of my little buddies under a grading system that doesn't take into account the cornucopia of cultures that comprise a typical student body.
That's why most progressive universities have discarded such antiquated methods of measuring acquired knowledge. If the principal task of the educational system is to ween students away from the selfish ideals of materialism and class consciousness and mold them into subordinate servants of the international community, then an affective, not cognitive learning scale must be used to determine intelligence. Students must no longer be judged by what they know, but by how they feel about it. In a world struggling under the iron boot of corporate America, math, science, and logic are far less important than sensitivity to social injustice, stewardship for the environment, and compassion for the countless victims of western civilization.
Sure, Bush may have received better grades than Kerry - but while the Shrub spent his college days leading panty raids and drinking margaritas out of the skull of a dead indian, John Kerry was a young man driven to excel, giving brilliant anti-war speeches and denouncing imperialist U.S. aggression at every opportunity.
Dumbya and Kerry's college report cards may be good material for late night jokesters, but when one considers how the students spent their time at Yale, there's little doubt who the real moron is.