Where did we put those blueprints?

Dimmer grasp of civics imperils nation's future

  • Follow Editorials

What happens to a free country that has lost
its blueprint for freedom?

We may be finding out.

Indeed, that American self-governance is at risk may not be a matter of opinion.

Certainly it’s a subjective view, held by increasing numbers of Americans, that our government is ignoring the Constitution, which is alarming. But it seems an inescapable conclusion.

The 10th Amendment, for instance – which requires that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” – appears hopelessly neglected and passé, if not extinct. The growth of federal government reach alone is evidence enough of that.

But the argument that Americans have lost its blueprint for self-governance is hard to refute and impossible to ignore. In the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, high-school students nationwide proved just 22 percent proficient in civics, and only 18 percent in history.

That means about 80 percent of them are ignorant of precisely how the country functions and the historical reasons for it.

Adults aren’t much better: 71 percent got an “F” on a national civics test, with an average score of an embarrassing 49 percent. Only 3.4 percent got an “A” or “B.”

And our elected officials? Their average score was 44 percent – worse than the public at large!

We ask again: What happens to a free country that has lost its blueprint for freedom?

Comments (7) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
carcraft 07/12/14 - 05:04 am
We have a large percent of

We have a large percent of voters who voted themselves into the treasury. To show you how ironic and stupid this can be look at the protest against the Hobby Lobby decision. The left wing carry signs. "KEEP THE BOSS OUT OF MY BEDROOM " while demanding the boss pay for thier birth control and abortions!

hoptoad 07/12/14 - 06:45 am
I remember the dems pushing

I remember the dems pushing the idea that Mr. Bush was defiling the constitution during his administration. Although I never saw any evidence of it other than the claim that we were being spied on via telephone and e-mail. Which turned out to be only those who were in contact with terrorist nations being targeted.

This administration has truly defiled and trashed our constitution and you don't hear a one of the dems saying how wrong that is.

When I went to school, we had civics class - it was mandatory, we had geography - it was mandatory, we had social studies - it was mandatory. Our young people today have no idea how the government works, where Zambia or Nepal are located or the effects of capitalism versus communism, socialism or any of the other "isms".

All they seem to care about are only issues that affect them personally. That is not the best way to elect anyone to any political position.

deestafford 07/12/14 - 08:11 am
It is over a hundred year old journey...

It is over a hundred year old journey that began with Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Era. Woodrow Wilson was an anti-Constitutionalist and really began the Progressive push in full.

Needless to say, FDR formalized so much of the shredding of the Constitution and did everything in his power to set up a quasi-dictatorship with his intimidation of the Supreme Court which cow towed to his threats and allowed his usurption of the Constitution to push through his New Deal.

Some will say he had to do the things he did to get us out of the "Great" Depression. In reality his policies made the depression "great" and prolonged it. There had been depressions before, one was in the early 20's, but one never hears about them unless they are a history buff because the government did absolutely nothing and the free market economy pulled the country through.

FDR was like many super rich, such as the Kennedy's, who seem to believe they are rich that they know how to run people's lives and treat them like children.

LBJ's Great Society continued to shred the Constitution and expand the behemoth of federal government. In the late 60's there began a turn in the teaching of history and civics. When the hippies who avoided the draft by staying in school became influential in academics they eviscerated the teaching of history.

They not only eviscerated history they changed what was taught in what little history was taught. The most left winged, radical, historical text has for decades been the premiere textbook that is required reading in most colleges and many high schools. It is "A People's History of The United States 1492-2001" written by Howard Zinn--an anti-American who is worshiped by the academia left who is responsible our lack of historical accuracy.

Go to Barnes and Noble and buy it for $19.95 and you will understand why too much of our populace believes as it does.

Another factor is the war against the West by the world. This is led by the United Nations who spend one-quarter of its General Assembly time discussing resolutions against Israel. Why is Israel such a whipping boy? It's because they see the US is too big, strong, and powerful to take on directly so they look at Israel as a "little US" and attack them.

It is also a push to make all "people of color" appear to be victims of the whites throughout the world because they white represent Western Civilization which is out of favor with those who have too much of a megaphone...given to them by the West by the way.

I could go on but I'll close with this---If someone wants their child to learn history home school them. Short of that have them read history books that you know teach the truth about American history, its Founding, what it has done for the world, and why it is the greatest country in the history of the world.

Bizkit 07/12/14 - 10:01 am
Well I wonder how progressive

Well I wonder how progressive historians will rewrite history from Obama having more scandals plague his terms than any other president and the least transparent of any president? They will have to spin a wicked web to paint him as the best with all problems solved. In other words more lies to cover for the whole pack of lies.

carcraft 07/12/14 - 12:37 pm
Bizkit, that's easy, it was

Bizkit, that's easy, it was Bush's fault and an intractable Republican house blocked Obama from making America a utopia like Cuba!

t3bledsoe 07/12/14 - 02:47 pm
Where civics and history are concearned

Our schools are SOOO involved in teaching math and science, that; I am affraid; teaching other subjects are taking a back seat!! I agree with this, BUT it should be done in colledge about the math and science!

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs