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Is America losing its free thinkers?

“We are a nation of dunces taking over every area of government and every area of leadership and the media and dumbed down is not a nice enough phrase for actually what's taking place,” said Chris Stewart, an activist, public school parent, writer, speaker, essayist, and education activist.

Stewart joined Freedom Media Network founder Curt Mercadante for a discussion on education, race, and free thought. Stewart’s focus is on increasing educational freedom and achieving justice for marginalized students, families, and communities.

He is the CEO of Brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and a brighter future for every child. The network includes news sites, such as Education Post, Citizen Education, Project Forever Free, and more than 20 other local and regional sites that spotlight education issues nationally.

“Thinking people are literally forfeiting their thinking and their ability to think,” said Stewart. “And joining kind of partisan thought causes rather than doing the responsible thing, which is just, give me any situation and I'll be able to think myself through it.”

He said this situation stems from our educational system.

“I mean, the education process is supposed to help create people that are capable of thinking, not people that know things,” he said. “I think we've mixed up the use of information as a way to create adherence to one way of thinking or other versus preparing people, arming people to be thinking people.”

Stewart said the opposite is occurring, which leads to default thinking along partisan or factional lines.

“I don't have to join Team A or Team B. I don't have to be Fox News or MSNBC. I don't have to be Republican or Democrat. I don't have to be left or right. I actually just have to think. I just have to be a thinking person. That's so unpopular now,” he said. “So every piece of information we get, depending on who's bringing the information, really the real motive of any piece of information right now is to get you to join an intellectual cult on one side or the other and to stop being a thinking person, a neutral thinking person.”

He added, “I'm not interested in joining a thought cult, but we're losing. The people who do want to be thinking, people of America, if anybody gets anything out of this conversation, I hope thinking people realize you're losing. You're losing. You're losing the soul of your country, you're losing the intellect of your country and you are giving it up to morons. You are seeding, you're forfeiting the nation to morons and they are loving it. They're totally loving it.”

Stewart noted that free thought is a key to true patriotism.

“When you and I talk, we should be talking as thinking people, right?” he said. “If we really, really are patriots to our country we should, just not as partisans, we should just be talking as thinking people.”

He said the solution is “education -- real education and real information and even shows like this and discussions.”

“I think discussions and conversations and podcasts and whatever, it's all part of the educative process to me,” he said.

Watch Mercadante’s full discussion with Stewart by clicking here.

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