Friday, January 19, 2007
If you are not taught it then you do not know it. Civics is the expertise needed to understand the Western Enlightenment and Civil Liberties. It is not something you are born with you have to learn it.
You have to teach it, you have to find the time and creativity in schools.
It is the CONSTANCY that you can learn.
It is the constancy of CURIOSITY and OUTRAGE.
It is OK to keep asking the questions, to decent.
We owe ourselves and our children to re-learn the tools of DEMOCRACY:
- Reason and Logic
These are the non-partizan tools of Democracy and without them you can kiss thing called America good by. It was not because of a conspiracy that this left, it was thoughtlessness, what you have to do is get it back.
Unless we teach the ideas that make America a miracle in government. A MIRACLE, that everyone knows is a miracle. Then it will go away in your children's lifetime. Unless we teach what "Government by the People" means, then we will loose it, and we will become a fable; a tale told about this place called America. We will loose it to stupidly and fundamentalism of any stripe, we will loose it to the darkness.
What this country represents is a tiny twinkle of light in a history of oppression, darkness and cruelty. If it lasts for more than our lifetime it is only due to the fact that we put some effort into teaching what it is, this idea of America.
If we choose not to teach it, then it will go away, and in the middle of the night when the towers fall, we will not say "what am I responsible for?" We will instinctually react and ask "tell me what to do?" And the Idea of taking responsibility for your own government will fade from the earth, perhaps forever.
YOU have to teach the ideas that make America a free country. All men are created equal, a government of the people, for the people, by the people, with liberty and justice for all. If you do not, then it will perish and we will become a legend, just as Camelot.
It is up to US.
[The above was quoted from Actor and Professor Richard Dreyfuss on HBO's "REAL TIME with Bill Maher" on Episode 90, aired on November 17, 2006. Listen to it on iTunes or watch the video online.]