Bill O'Reilly ran a story last week, questioning young people on a beach on all things American. Two questions stood out in my mind, not to mention the responses.
Here's the first question: "Who did America win our independence from?"
Response: "I don't know." Lots of empty-headed giggling.
And the second question: "Who is your favorite Founding Father?"
Response: "What's a founding father?" More empty-headed giggling, but a blank stare was added.
55% of those questioned in this story had no idea about July 4th, why we celebrate it. Although, there were one or two who did a good job.
A young friend of ours was questioning his young nephews and nieces about what they were learning in public school. He was shocked to find out they aren't being taught any history earlier than September 11, 2001. Upon learning this startling fact, their grandmother now teaches them the history of America when they are at home.
A peer of mine, upon receiving an article from me, via email in 2008, responded and said, "Candace, would you please not send these to me. I'm not really political. I just don't care."
Yet another peer defriended me on Facebook because she's a raging socialist, and I'm not. She continually held Finland up as the example of a perfect nation. When I explained to her how high the taxes in Finland are, in addition to how limited the freedoms, she stormed off in a fit of pique, figuratively speaking. She hasn't spoken to me since that day.
So is it that young Americans are deliberately ignorant, haven't learned a thing in public school, or the fact they've spent too much recreating, and not enough time being responsible citizens? Just what is the goal in deliberately dumbing down the youth of America?
For those of us who actually read, research and pay attention to what's going on, we realize that a stupid population is incredibly easy to control. You can tell them what job they will have, what car they will drive, what food they will eat, what type of home/condo/apartment they'll live in, and what day they will retire. You can raise their taxes to more than 50% of their income. You can take their guns, their God and their gardens. You can rob them of their liberties and freedoms and they won't notice, not as long as they can still go to the beach and get drunk.
But the rest of us? Those of us with the blood of patriots flowing through our veins? We know what's at stake. We've studied our history, as well as the histories of other nations. We've read the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, the Federaltist Papers and more. We read legislation making its way through Congress and the State Houses. We communicate with our legislators. We pay attention to the news, and know who's lying and who isn't.
And because of all that, there will be an America still based on the principles of liberty and freedom for these people to abuse. Being an American citizen isn't about chasing one party after another. It's not about spending all day at the beach and all night partying until you're so drunk you can't even stand up. It's about living your life in such a way you honor the blood of patriots spilled to keep America free. It's about being aware of what's going on, and answering the call when needed. And most of all, it's know your history. For those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And I have no desire to repeat the mistakes of the past.
And just for the record, we defeated the British for our American independence. And my personal favorite founding father is Patrick Henry, although James Madison is a close second. We have 50 states, not 57. When I was a kid we had School House Rock, I still remember the songs today. Maybe we can get young America to watch those and they just might learn something.