Sunday, November 30, 2008

Civics 101...

starts in the home. Read the following Bismarck Tribune - Bismarck News - Americans struggle with civics test and then consider what the root of the above problem might be. The article blames the schools and media, neglecting to mention the ready tools at our disposal to easily find information. What would I blame? The number one reason our citizens are resoundingly ignorant about our government and political process is manners. Yep. Manners. We're told it's impolite to discuss religion or politics, yes? Inappropriate dinner conversation, best to stick with Aunt Myrtle's gall bladder or cousin Bonnie's new BMW. Nothing helps the digestion like gallstones or Bonnie's ability to show off. So what are our children, our littlest citizens reared on? Materialism and ailments. Throw in some choice comments about another race, religion or nationality and you've covered family values in America. Unless of course everyone agrees, hell then, when we all agree we're political geniuses !! Discoursing about just how much WE love Bush, Palin or Obama ! Why the sheer brilliance of us all as we nod knowingly content in our little universe. Every problem is the result of the other guy just not seeing the world like we do ! So after a couple of generations of "politics and religion a no no" (not in Europe by the way, Europeans would never fall for that crap, your average Greek one year old could talk about what's going in the Balkans), we are now faced with a citizenry that doesn't know it's collective civics ass from it's congressional elbow. Unless of course, and this is rich, you go to church. Why where else is it FINE to discuss politics AND religion within the same hour? Why CHURCH, of course ! Duh. Now there's a place to go to really get to a broad working knowledge of political issues. Why just the other day our local bishop was saying how much he'd love to marry two guys but the Pope hasn't come around yet.
So let's recoup about what's missing among our citizenry, civics classes? Well yea, but really they include all that stuff in other subjects. An intellectual media? It's there folks you just gotta look for it, better yet reach your own conclusions. What's really missing is your least favorite cousin stumping the hell out of you at Thanksgiving dinner while defending his own candidate. So you, in a fit of piqued rage sneak off to Grandma's laptop to find out just what the hell Keynesian means and why did it make you feel like you're an idiot. Hence a new politics buff is born and suddenly, what's this? You realize there a whole world out there that matters and it's your civic duty to give a damn. For all of us that really don't want to send our children to war or over pay our taxes it's the least we can do.

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