Tag Archives: Barack Hussein Obama
There is an undeniable connection between the political battles of the 21st Century and the move away from teaching civics at all levels in the public education system during the later part of the 20th Century. The benefits of reinstituting a solid curriculum of civics into our school system, and ultimately our way of life, will be monumental.
We need to look no farther than our television set to find the cause and effect such a slide away from teaching civics has had on America, and in a larger sense, the global society.
Academy Award winning actor Richard Dreyfuss is promoting an initiative to make civics education a vital part of our public education process. According to the Dreyfuss Initiative:
“Research over the past fifty years has demonstrated that the average American has, to say the least, a rather poor understanding of civic knowledge. But, by example, America has made democracy the governance system of choice.
“Democracy, in any incarnation is the only governing system that requires some engagement by the civic body. In one fashion or another, sooner or later, the sovereignty of the people is the difference between democracy and monarchy, theocracy and totalitarianism or any other system that has been devised thus far; so that the people, as sovereign, the responsible party who ultimately makes the decisions, is the irresistible ‘sell’ to the world, that makes Democracy America’s most successful product.
“Democracy argues that people are responsible for and can control their own lives, that they have a role in affecting their future, of improving their present, of achieving participation in the pursuit of their own happiness. The youth of America needs certain skills to become great sovereigns. These skills have been taught, will be taught and must be taught to each generation of Americans, because no gene will ever be found that passes along civic expertise and knowing how to run a republican democracy. It must be taught in realistic terms such as how you explore the substance of an issue, the necessity of debate, the ability to stand against popular opinion or the majority view, and the raising up of the values of dissent and civility. In a nation founded by dissenters, we shoot dissenters on site. Civility is not just manners; it is the oxygen that democracy requires.”
As to the point of civility, one needs to look no farther than many of the opinion-based talk radio shows and television programs that masquerade for the news. No longer do people discuss issues in a give and take manner, using civil rules of debate. Instead, it’s common practice to simply yell over the other person, as if shouting your opinion in angry, ear-tickling sound bytes makes your point of view that much more valid than the other person, who’s also angrily shouting out his or her sound bytes and talking points while the moderator shouts his or her own dissent or approval.
The sound byte is king. Those who teach others how to properly address the media also evidence this by promoting the ability to use two or three words, or maybe a short, simple sentence, to try to get their point across when being interviewed. Woefully lacking in this education of sorts is the idea that our republican form of government was not born by sound bytes, but by volumes of speech and writings that take multiple library shelves and numerous bound editions to chronicle.
Dreyfuss spoke recently to the Commonwealth Club about his initiative. Audio of his speech can be found here. According to Dreyfuss, the benefits of such an initiative, when fully realized, will be equivalent to that of the Marshall Plan during the post-World War II era. According to Dreyfuss, the US-funded effort to rebuilt much of Europe ultimately created economic markets abroad that greatly benefitted the United States by providing the kind of wealth that could afford to buy US goods and services. Another classic example is our annihilation of large parts of Japan during World War II. After the war we helped Japan rebuild and ultimately became an ally and important trading partner.
Under the economy of today, which was borne out of the greed for more political power by the ruling class, the American dream of owning a house and other items is fast disappearing as the ability to generate the wealth necessary to buy such items has been taken from the people by their government; this theft of our ability to generate private wealth has been allowed to take place in large part because Americans are simply ignorant of the kinds of civics lessons that would otherwise illuminate the dangers of such political decisions. It’s entirely plausible that this forced ignorance is a political calculation by the ruling class, bent on creating their own exclusive class where they are the only ones with power and wealth, while subjugating the rest to a class of serfs.
For example, the financial decisions being made today by the Obama Administration are not only in direct conflict with the limited powers afforded government under the US Constitution; those decisions are having a direct impact on the ability of the private sector to thrive and prosper. The fact that many Americans have largely been uninformed of civics for several generations has fostered the kind of ignorance necessary for political despots on both sides of the political aisle to slowly gain more control over our lives and erode our precious liberties and freedoms.
Much of Dreyfuss’s discussion centered on the need to teach children about the true history and founding of America as a means of combating the kind tyranny our American government has successfully enacted over the decades. Moreover, the Dreyfuss Initiative seeks to “create a demand for a more expert learning experience and to give our kids the splendid pleasure of learning what power they have.” Doing so will not only help students develop a lifestyle of learning, but can benefit society by helping them to articulate in their own conscience why people fought against things such as despotism, slavery and racial superiority.
If anything, history is screaming at us right now, yet there’s a whole generation of Americans willingly ready to allow government to shred the US Constitution and cede liberty and freedom for the fallacy that is the kind of safety and security only government can provide.
Benjamin Franklin said it best when he stated: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” hence the need to for a much more thorough and proper civic education in the public school system, and to a greater extent, in society at large.
This dangerous slide towards despotism here in America has been played out throughout the history of the world. While we can look at the regimes of those dictated by the likes of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez and Kim Jong Il as more recent examples of life under dictatorial rule, the more popular historical figures that ruled by fiat include names like Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin.
Without a careful understanding and respect for civics however, these names might at best be tired political talking points rather than shocking reminders of where we in this nation are heading because many of those who fail to understand have long since become of age to vote in elections here in America. Worse yet, those in the media who are likewise unskilled and ignorant about civics and history have preyed upon gullible voters; those members of the media artfully seek an ear-tickling sound byte as they put together the kind of propaganda that benefits power-hungry politicians.
The connection between our ignorance of civics and racism is also evident in the incessant bickering and downright offensive language fostered by some of the very same people who claim to be working against it. But if ever there were an articulate defense for conservatism and its colorless boundaries, as opposed to the race bating and pimping that are fostered by the politically liberal it was at the National Press Club on August 4th.
Whatever happened to the utopia that was supposed to be ushered in after the tears dried in the faces of all those black reporters, who on election night 2008, openly cried as it was reported that Barack Hussein Obama had been elected President? You’d think by now that racism in America would be a thing of the past as Obama himself promised a post-racial America absent of the kind of racism that divided this nation for so long. Yet it would seem that the very press that seemed willing to publish racism’s obituary the day Obama was inaugurated is playing up racism in America.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case as we continue to watch and listen to members of the Obama Administration openly espouse racial hatred. We also saw it on Election Day 2008 as racist groups armed with various deadly weapons were caught on camera allowing only black people into polling places. Had white men dressed in white sheets stood with shotguns in front of polling places to allow only whites in to vote, there would have been a righteous call for the National Guard and likely even the FBI to come in and remove them. But because it was armed black men, somehow that was okay.
Why is it that Liberals feel the need to identify and categorize groups of people from one side of their mouths, while out of the other side of their mouths they extol the praises of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he called for a colorblind society in which all of us were judged by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin?
Eliminating racism in America might be one of those laudable goals that is unachievable, however, it’s doubtful that those who claim to seek it really want it themselves for the very reason that it would strip their power. Race bating and pimping is one of the few power tools that Liberals have in their arsenal and they’re not about to give it up.
Building and promoting a solid civics curriculum may very well be America’s next Marshall Plan. Prior to implementation of the Marshall Plan, however, was the destruction of much of Europe during World War II. In order to develop this plan America is likely going to have to destroy the current ruling class that is artfully subjugating Americans through ignorance and the very technology that has in part helped improve life for many people in America.
Ridding society of the Internet and iPad isn’t the goal; according to Dreyfuss, those who helped build and invent these technologies, however, have a huge stake in helping America succeed and regain its status as a shining example of democracy and limited government rule where people are free to invent, succeed and live their lives in prosperity and relative peace. Doing this will require a concerted effort to educate children and the public at large on civics and the civil rules of debate and discussion.
The Visalia Times Delta reports that unemployment in Tulare County, CA, the second-leading agricultural producing county in the United States, rose in February to 18.7 percent. This compares to 16.1 percent for the same month last year.
Meanwhile, California’s “unadjusted” unemployment rate for the month was 12. 8 percent while nationally the rate was 10.4 percent.
But I thought the economy was turning around? Isn’t that what the state-controlled American media keeps telling us. And wasn’t the stimulus package supposed to keep the US unemployment rate from going above 8 percent. Maybe they meant 80 percent and the media just got it wrong — again!
While Obama campaigned on a slogan of hope and change, it’s fair to give him credit for providing at least half of his campaign promise. I’m just wondering how that translates into hope for the rest of us. While this is certainly change we can believe in, maybe the audacity of hope that he writes about wasn’t so much about himself, but about the rest of us for daring to have hope that he was willing and able to improve the lives of the 300-plus million Americans he is supposed to serve.