I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of Constitutional power. – Jefferson
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. – Thomas Jefferson
Today’s civics students are hopefully learning more important skills than merely memorizing dates, people and places. When the Common Core Standards are written for Civics, it will surely signal a much more informed public. Right now, standards are written for only mathematics and English/language arts, yet not everyone favors such standards. GOP Governors especially are ‘against’ them for obscure, political reasons. Keep them dumbed-down?
While American students wait for new civics standards to be written, our nation slides further into the dark cave of misinformation. I have often postulated on this blog my belief that in comparing the ‘enlightened’ nations of the world, the U.S. no doubt ranks at the bottom. We have masses of gullible, propaganda-absorbing citizens who ‘believe’ things said by so-called authority figures. Rush Limbaugh, for example. Or Laura Ingraham. Or Pastor Bloviate. My brother-in-law, for example, often tells me, for verification, that “he heard it on WSPD radio.” Right-wing talk radio. Sadly, he has a college degree.
Take the current bugaboo fixation by the herd of sheep on grazing on the right-edge of the pasture: Obamacare. Or, graphically represented in their minds: OBAMACARE!!!
The facts regarding the Affordable Care Act are not important. Not at all. Rather, nincompoops spout the lines of propagandists that they hear on WSPD radio. The skill of the propagandist lies in the tactic of linking fear of the other with a specific agenda and it doesn’t take much to imagine what ‘fear’ they are mongering regarding the black president in the white house.
I suspect that our cultural bombardment with hours and hours of TV and the associated slick commercials have softened the brain of the viewers and this cerebral atrophy, in my non-professional opinion, enhances their susceptibility for propaganda absorption.
Altogether, the picture is dim- as dim as the altered brain state of many on the far-right. How is a democracy suppose to function, to prosper when so many of its citizens have been zombie-ized, traumatized by slick propagandists in the media? I fear that it can’t- looking at the fiasco currently unravelling in DC.
We may be doomed.
And this may be just the beginning…