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May 20, 2019


Professor Sheila S. Kennedy in a recent blog again decried the loss of civic education in our schools and how such a failure to teach the meaning of the Constitution and the democratic principles and institutions upon which this nation is founded ill equip such students to make well-considered choices when they achieve voting age. I commented as follows.

We used to have an old saying that “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Thus I think we have the same problem with students where constitutional history is taught as well as in some jurisdictions (notably Texas) where such courses are not offered at all courtesy of the Texas Board of Education, apparently with the design of keeping the masses ignorant of their rights and those of others as well and, of course, to deprive such future voters of their own country’s history from Bunker Hill, the Preamble, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights etc., which makes them open to propaganda from Fox News, Trump and others who profit politically from such ignorance.

The readin, writin and rithmetic crowd of those who insist that the basics must be taught should have civic literacy added to their list, especially with infiltrating libertarian views of government and economics which are already being taught in school these days at the higher education level. Witness the naming of business schools and worse, the teaching of nihilism in government, courtesy of such hard right zillionaires as the Mercers and Kochs, whose contributions to colleges and universities are (to top off this insult to Peter Abelard’s classic view of the role of education at the university level) tax deductible, thus making all of us who have to make up, however indirectly, what these libertarians don’t pay to support a system we detest.

I am told that in addition to content, some of such business schools only appoint new faculty after approval from such libertarian contributors, and I presume grants of tenure are subject to the whim of such libertarian moneybags as well. Can anyone imagine that the Kochs and Mercers and their greedy ilk would support curricular requirements of constitutional history and critical thinking K through PhD in public schools and universities? I can’t.     GERALD          E

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