Civics

I wonder if perhaps we all need a serious civics lesson.

Not a lesson in civility (although God knows we desperately need that!) but in civics, the study of American government. I don’t know when they stopped teaching it, but it seems they must have abandoned its teaching sometime after I took it.  Watching the news and the protests, it appears that many have forgotten all about what the system is about, how it operates, what checks and balances are and why they are important.

I first became aware of this with some of the extreme right, and their fears.  The fears expressed were that the power of the President was sufficient to allow him to ban all guns, and to outlaw Christianity.  Of course, if the President had that power, I suspect some (several?) would have used it.   These, interestingly, are the same people who think the President can unilaterally build a wall and deport aliens.  Uh, no.  On all of those topics.  But I see a thread, that the fear of the power on one hand gives rise to its being used on the other.

On the other side, there seems to be some belief that the outcome of the election can be changed because it isn’t what some wanted, it isn’t what some desire.  Again…uh,no.  We have elections, and we have outcomes.  The outcome remains regardless of whether you agree with it or not.  The outcome was (in this case) arrived out without election fraud, bribery, hanging chads, or any illegal means.  Not liking the outcome and having it overturned for that reason….that just leads to anarchy, because once you do it to the candidate you don’t like the opposition will do to the candidate you do like that they don’t.  Total anarchy.

I suspect that it’s too much to expect an understanding of civics in a country where the most divisive and contentious election in memory fails to move 50% of the population to bother to even cast a vote (including a knee-taking quarterback and several quoted demonstrators on the west coast). Maybe that explains why half of those that did apparently think the President can do all manner of actions without regard to the law, courts, or Congress.

Maybe we need to bring Schoolhouse Rock back :/

 

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by hmunro on November 14, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I think your idea to bring back Schoolhouse Rock is a very fine one, Jeff. Make it so.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jack on November 15, 2016 at 3:16 am

    It’s a strategy that has worked to protestors’ advantage on college campuses – thin-skinned students who were never taught to cope with diverse opinions scream and bully administrators into “making statements” or stepping down whenever their feelings have been hurt. They think it works everywhere.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Lisa B on November 15, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    We need Schoolhouse Rock in overdrive to make up for lost time. No, they don’t teach civics anymore. Not much social studies in elementary school, Middle school doesn’t have much in the way of American History until 8th grade. By the time they get to high school, they are pressured to take AP History and it’s ALL test prep to get them ready to score a 4 or 5 on a stupid test that doesn’t have much to do with actual history. Nope, no civics….boy are we screwed! I don’t like the outcome (but then I didn’t like the other candidate either), but it’s something that we have to live with for the next 4 years. I am amazed at how much people DON’T know about the Constitution and why it was written the way it was…. and that scares me more than anything!

    Reply

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