Children–Key to our Democracy

The Young Don’t Know-The Elderly have Forgotten

 Civics was a required course in Jr. High School at one time, but don’t know if it’s still taught in our schools. It has been found that the subject today’s students are the least proficient in is American History. This title is a generalization, but worth exploring. If teachers weren’t forced to prepare students for standardized testing they wouldn’t have to neglect the more important skills needed in life.

 Richard Dreyfuss, an actor, is also involved in a nationwide enterprise to encourage the teaching of American history in American primary schools. He is a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony’s University of Oxford.

 Dreyfuss states “We need to teach our kids how to run our country with common sense and realism, before it’s time for them to run the country. If we don’t, someone else will run this country and the experiment of government by, for, and of the people will have failed.” The goal of the Dreyfuss proposal is to create a non-partisan study of the tools of civics and what is necessary to understand and maintain a U.S. Democracy. In the U.S., the idea among the minds of citizens has become one of ‘There is nothing we can do’, and the idea behind promoting the knowledge of civics shows that, ‘Yes, there is something we can do.” His design is to once again show American’s people that America is a country of, by, and for the People.

Sandra Day O’Connor has stated, “We share an important goal in seeking to educate the next generation about our system of government and how to participate in it. I believe civic education work to be among the most important endeavors of my career.”

My reason for this lengthily quote is my concern about the last two generations being lulled into thinking they were enjoying the American dream, with easy credit. They are now marching in the streets trying to rectify their gullibility. When my generation tried to warn them about the inevitability of the scrupulous tactics of “The Winner Take All Society” they were immune to the fact this day of reckoning would ever raise its ugly face. This was a global culmination of a façade created by the job creators of most countries of the world.   

My fear is, although it may be too late as our system of government is imbedded with enough dysfunctional puppets of the money changers to make necessary changes in our present system for a just and sustainable society. Disregarding the travesty of the meritocracy of our presidential hopefuls, Obama caved in again and signed the “Military Authoritarian Bill” he once opposed. I no longer have the audacity of hope.   

The drive for increasing or changing the redistribution of taxes will be meaningless as the rich over time can develop resistance to the redistribution of taxes. They use their wealth and power to carve out loop holes and lower taxes. Their fortunes balloon while inequality grows.

Our children are the key to preserving our democracy, but must be educated not only in the few hours they spend in school but by adults; such as the protesters. It is my hope the protesters will endure and grow in number. It may be time for them to separate into smaller groups and attack vulnerable institutions that will pressure congress to change their tune.

An important area is preparing our youth in history, government and analytic thinking. Introduce them to the power of books that are much more educational than tidbits on the internet. High school students should read history books by authors like Eric Foner and Howard Zinn  to learn the real history our country. My father had me read most of Irving Stone’s lively historical novels that were well researched and written in a form that holds your interests and gives the reader much knowledge needed for the future custodians of our country.

I know it may be difficult to reduce the time young people spend on Face Book and other gadgets and read a book. They are the future and it’s the parent’s job to prepare them. Developing a positive attitude towards learning comes from the home and should be an objective of the protesters. Reading someof my earlier blogs could be a step in the right direction.




4 responses to “Children–Key to our Democracy

  1. Vicki Sue McKinnis

    Thanks so much for this excellent article…sooooo many important points are made and it reminds me of the poem that made me think of you:

    ” The old crow is getting slow. The young crow is not. Of what the young crow does not know the old crow knows a lot.
    At knowing things the old crow is still the young crow’s master. What does the slow old crow not know? —How to go faster.
    The young crow flies above, below, and rings around the slow old crow. What does the fast young crow not know? —Where to go.” John Ciardi

    Let’s hope that the old crows have a desire to teach and that the young crows have an appreciation of how vitally important it is that they learn “where to go” with regards to taking charge of the governing of this country. Freedom is not free.

  2. I have to run to work but I can’t wait to read your latest article. Last night with my family we watched the Diary of Anne Frank. I had read the book when I was young and I knew the story but seeing the movie brought it more to life for me. We had a discussion about remembering history so we don’t repeat it and some of the current things happening. Thank you for taking the time to write to help us remember important things.

  3. The continuation of the protest movement is a wonderful example to the younger generation that ordinary persons can organize and have a voice. The press downplayed the protesters in the beginning stages of their movement, but as it has spread nationwide and taken on some specific topics the tone has changed some.

    I agree that knowledge of our system and the history of change needs to be addressed with the younger generation. We need organizers with some wisdom and energy to make changes because the battle against people with money and power will be a long hard fought battle. The education process needs to begin early, but the young people are transfixed in cyberspace playing silly games and chatting about their daily lives. Education along with action and organization could bring results and meaning to the young persons life as well as much needed change.

  4. I love the cartoon about the parent explaining the credit card. Democracy also hinges on the morality of people. When people find they can vote themselves benefits and everyone is out for as much as they can get personally the system becomes corrupt. The righteous principles which were mainstream a few generations ago is what will keep this country free.

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