I have a pretty good excuse to not be all that knowledgeable about the government of the United States. You see, I did most of my high school in Australia. I learned a bit about Australian government I got some education about European history and government. The Australian school system saw little reason to teach very much, if at all about that relatively new upstart, America.
I came back to the U. S.—specifically to the state of Hawai’i—they too, were not excited about American history or government. To be fair, by the time I came back to the country, I was in the eleventh grade. The fact that I did time in schools down under, meant that I had an education considered roughly equivalent to having graduated high school in the nation of my birth. The result was, I was only required to study English when I returned. This is ironic, since my mother has a Master’s Degree in Library Science, and another Master’s in English Literature.
To add insult to injury, I (and probably wrote, and that’s saying something) better english than did my teacher of that subject.
The main consideration though, is that I had virtually no school learning where American government was concerned.
Since as a younger man, how the government worked was of little consequence to me—at least in my mind and eyes—I pretty much ignored it and how it worked until a bit later in life.
And lest you labor under the delusion that in my earliest years in U. S. Schools had even the slightest focus on such things, allow me to assure you this moment, no such thing occurred. The schools I attended in Louisiana, barely taught the basics. If you learned to read and write in school, you managed to do a good deal better than most.
Here’s where things get interesting. Precisely because I received no significant knowledge of America, its history or pattern of government, I had to take the time to study those subjects on my own when I came to the conclusion they were important. This happened much later in life.
As a young man, I spent roughly nine years in the United States Air Force, and believe it or not, the only significant thing I learned from the military about the country I served, was that the sitting president was the Commander in Chief of the entity in which I spent my waking hours, barring off time. I’m not saying other things were not taught me, just that most of them meant little to me, so in one ear and out the other they went.
The funny thing? I probably knew roughly as much about America as did the majority of those with whom I did my time—and most of them had lived their entire lives in the confines of their country.
I want you to keep in mind, I entered the military in earnest in 1983, and left in 1991. For those not considering what I just said, that means I left the armed forces almost thirty years ago. The point is, even that far back, civics was not a thing one typically acquired knowledge of before graduating high school—keeping in mind most serving with me were barely over eighteen, if that old, but had attained a high school diploma.
One might be inclined to vainly hope that things improved after I left school. The sad reality is, as far as I’m able to tell, that was not the case. If anything, things got worse.
“How could than have done that?” you may be asking. After all, just about anything would be preferable to nothing at all, right? You’d be incorrect in that assumption.
Imagine going from schools that taught little to nothing about their country, to ones who spread disinformation and propaganda about both it, and other less desirable forms of government.
Consider the idea, that teachers going through their education, were schooled by individuals with largely radical agendas, who it appears, sought to quietly overthrow not just the standing government but the system upon which it was built.
At this point, many are arguing that I’m some sort of nutty conspiracy theorist. Yet others will say that I’m just not willing to accept that the way politics and government work, is a matter of evolution. They’ll say this is what I’m seeing.
The first issue I have with this idea is, people are not being properly taught what was initially intended, and as such, have nothing against which to compare what’s now being espoused. They don’t see that the United States largely in the form put in place by those who founded the country, brought not just their own nation, but the entire world to a place of recognition that where they had been was far less reasonable, than where this entity had managed to find itself.
Rather, those “teacher” inform their charges that the Founders of the place in which they now find themselves were vile, despicable individuals with no virtue whatever.
Being clear, from the first to the last of those who began this experiment, I’m quite sure on exploration, you’ll find good and bad things.
That as a rule, slavery was seen to be an acceptable thing is but one example of that. That’s the reason, in the course of time, we moved away from that way of doing things. Not only did our doing that require only minor changes to our base documents of law (and they should’ve required none, since the base documents didn’t inherently support slavery), but we were able to continue on basically the original course until comparatively recently.
To say there are issues and problems with any system of government of with any person, should all but evoke a yawn out of anyone with any experience of life. Of course this is the case.
In the end, the point is, moving from a system of government that informed the creation of the newer systems of political management now found throughout much of the modern world, to another that has been tried many times, and consistently failed seems more than a little counter intuitive to me at this point. I submit we’d be far better off perfecting what we’ve had, than shifting to something that seems never to have functioned at all. All that I’ve said to this point matters little if people aren’t even willing to explore what was and what is, and what might be, in good faith.
Thanks for reading and may your time be good.