The Friday Letter / Issue # 186
Stephen Combs / The Federalist Review
People who live in a society of advanced development are said to comprise a civilization. The process may take hundreds of years as a society experiments, taking two steps forward and one step back, sometimes enduring reversals that may take generations to erase. As a society matures, should we not expect it to improve?
We should. And in our society, the United States, in just the last century we have made astounding advances in many areas.
Medicine – yes
Nutrition – yes
Lifespan – yes
Air and water quality – yes
Crop yields – yes
Energy efficiency – yes
Data processing and information retrieval – yes
Communications – yes
Transportation – yes
Crime solving and evidence gathering – yes
Worker safety – yes
Then why have we failed so miserably to improve government?
Our population’s profound ignorance of American civics – including our economic system and history – is astonishing. Jesse Waters, producer of “The O’Reilly Report,” went out to the beach on July 4 and asked young people when our Declaration of Independence was signed. One 20-something girl said 1964. Several people could not name the country we fought in our war for independence. Russia? Mexico? Canada?
Those who would destroy our society know that keeping us ignorant of our history and culture is a key. It is no accident that in our government/union schools, students learn more about Malcolm X and Che Guevara than about Paul Revere and Ronald Reagan. This is part of the answer.
How indoctrination like this affects politics today is easy to understand when Barack Obama snarls that Mitt Romney’s self-made prosperity is evil, and people believe him. Because their education has not included the study of logic and reasoning, they do not evaluate news reports critically but instead accept them passively. And so, when the media collaborate with Obama in painting Romney as an out-of-touch elitist, ignorant voters say Amen. They don’t care that Romney didn’t inherit his wealth but created it himself by taking risks. He is rich, and this is all that matters. It’s the ace in Obama’s class warfare hand.
Does anyone remember criticism of John Kerry – beyond that ridiculous picture of him windsurfing during the 2004 campaign – for acquiring his enormous wealth through marriage? Does anyone remember criticism of Ted Kennedy for his enormous inherited wealth – he who never earned a dime working outside of government? No, because media portray leftists as compassionate and caring; never mind that their charity is always with somebody else’s money.Maybe political science majors are the butt of so many jokes because the field isn’t science and because it hasn’t developed like true sciences such as medicine and physics. Why we tolerate 16th century thinking in politics when we don’t tolerate it in other fields is puzzling. We tolerate corruption, stupidity and incompetence. And why we allow people to go to Congress and stay there for 20 years is incomprehensible.
Photo: John Kerry in 2004, pretending to be a hunter. Photo appeared in protectwhatsright.wordpress.com