Monday, June 20, 2011

Civic Ignorance - How Bad Is It?

This video, Civic Ignorance - How Bad Is It?, illustrates just how bad it is. This is exactly why we're even having such an uphill battle in the fight for liberty and freedom in the first place and it's disturbing.   It highlights the root cause of the problem - our education system

We've all seen it with videos of various members of Congress wrongly interpreting Constitutional concepts or boldly saying they just don't care what's in the Constitution anyway because they believe, like Pete Stark, that they can do whatever they want. We have also seen Herman Cain's speech where he talks about lack of knowledge of what's in the Constitution saying people need to "reread" it, then he goes on to describe it with words that are in the Declaration of Independence. It's pathetic.

I've been following Dr Ron Paul for years and his campaigns for president. He's a great guy, but he's certainly not our last hope. Our children are our hope, for they are the leaders of tomorrow. He knows that and that's why he spends so much time on the college circuit, to teach tomorrow's leaders and sow the seeds that are so sorely lacking in our schools.

As Thomas Sowell said:
"...a constitutional government does not depend on the Constitution, but on us. To the extent that we allow clever people to circumvent the Constitution, while dazzling us with rhetoric, the Constitution will become just a meaningless piece of paper, as our freedoms are stolen from us, much as a pickpocket would steal our wallet while we are distracted by other things."
In watching the r3VOLution take shape and grow, I've always been impressed with the exceptional knowledge exibited by the average "Paulite" drawn to the cause as compared to the people who use slurs to define them as a cult specifically to discredit the liberty movement. They actually discuss the issues and philosophy of Dr Paul as opposed to the majority of voters whom, as Jack Hunter points out, make their decisions based on the Identity vs Philosophy of candidates.  I don't know how much of their individual knowledge comes from Dr Paul's teachings or from their own self-study. However, one place I'm sure it doesn't come from is our public school system or our universities as the civics study results indicate. Well, that has got to change!
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
   - Thomas Jefferson
Now there is a strange thing about that quote. It was also used in this perplexing speech by Liz Coleman, president of Bennington College, calling to reinvent liberal arts education. How many times can it be "reinvented" where nothing ever changes?  She uses eloquent words to describe little more than most "progressives" want, that being a call for action to tear down our republic by teaching political activism to be achieved through such education with a willful ignorance to the truth or at least opposing views. If you can watch that entire clip, notice how many times she mentions the word democracy. Remember how the teachers mobbing the capitol in Wisconsin kept chanting "This is what democracy looks like."? That's apparently what they think. How can our kids learn if their teachers don't even know?

The values of liberty and freedom protected by our Constitutional rule of law from such mob mentality of democracy start taking root only if we instill them in our children in our homes.  Those values must be reaffirmed in our schools should they continue to exist. That is sadly not what is happening today in many places. There should be none of this teaching kids to sing the praises of Obama, and I cringe every time I see these type of videos for they conjure pictures of classes of grade school children singing the praises of the likes of Chairman Mao, Kim Jong Il, Hitler, and Lenin.

We should never worship the man in the position, not even Dr Paul if he happens to be elected. Our children need to learn our elected officials are hired to do a job like the type of civics lessons that 8th graders learned in 1954, and that job is to protect our individual liberties under that rule of law. They may certainly be admired for their accomplishments or skills, but never worshipped.  That is not what America stands for.

So how do we "fix" it?  Being more involved in schools at the local level to ensure our kids aren't being brainwashed and make your voices heard helps, but is it working?  Can more privatization with charter schools as was done at Locke High School in LA which brings in limited free market competition help?  What should the role of the Department of Education be (and I do recommend you review it carefully before making any comments to condemn or praise it), if any, or is it even necessary?  Is school consolidation to "cut costs" a good thing or does it simply consolidate the power to indoctrinate vs educate in the hands of the few which makes the phenomenon of "dumbing down America" easier.  Are all minds "a terrible thing to waste" that we have to make it so?  Is focus on multi-culturalism a cure or a virus? 

I certainly don't know all the right answers, but I do know those are at least some of the questions we should all be asking ourselves as per pupil costs continue to rise and the results are often less than stellar.  I do know that Thomas Sowell has been highlighting the problems in education for many, many years with little effect in slowing the downslide.  Perhaps more should read at least some of what he has written.

Basically, it is in our schools that the concepts of liberty, freedom, and critical thinking must be nurtured in our leaders of tomorrow. Failing grades on simple civics tests in the majority of the general public just doesn't cut it.

Here is a link to the quizzes in the study if you would like to take them yourself.

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