Guest Comment: Carol Hartford of St. Louis
[I received this through my website, and admired its passion. Reproduced with permission.]
I just turned 60, so I imagine I am somewhat older than you. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. At that time going to school in the 1950’s, our education regarding the formation of the American government and the Constitution was extensive. We spent a year learning the Constitution and a few months on the Bill of Rights. I not only had to learn the Preamble, but a piece of the Constitution. Each of us had to read a section. Then in our own words, we had to stand in front of the class and tell what it meant. And if we did not show that we understood it, we had to go back and study it again.
A big thrill for me was when a train came through Union Station that held copies sealed under glass, of the Constitution. The schools came to the station and were walked through the car, and allowed to see the yellowing copy of the Constitution. We were so impressed with the guards and the solemnity of the experience. I can still remember how excited I was.
And now children not only don’t study it, but have a barely nodding acquaintance with it. Perhaps that is why so many people are so willing to allow their rights to be taken away. They don’t understand, so they don’t know enough to fight for those rights. People that say things regarding our loss of privacy, or loss of habeas corpus etc, that the loss is just temporary and to make us safe, are the ones that will not fight for those rights. As for me, I do not intend to voluntarily give up those rights for an hour. Not without a battle. Once they go, they are impossible to get back.
No government is going to return them without a struggle. I believe governments to be as corrupt as we allow them to be. We lose the rights by increments. So slowly, like a whisper. And before you know it. They are gone.
This government, this administration is the worst I have ever seen in our country. At this stage, we are kept stupid, and entertained so we won’t think. We are given misdirection. We are spoon fed lies by some first class liars. It is not difficult to see why our ignorance and complete surrender is so important to some very powerful people. These people hate Democracy. It is transparent and messy and never finished. It is government sometimes by the seat of your pants. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I don’t want or expect perfection, just honesty by the people we elect. And I don’t believe getting elected to serve should be a lifetime job, or a chance to make connections for later. Some do it for a chance to lobby or to sit on boards of Fortune companies. Or for the chance to make their family richer. I only resent it when their eyes are on the main chance later. Not on serving the best way possible now.
Our educational system produces non-thinking, apathetic people. A land of conformists. What is so good about conformity? What real progress is made by a conformist? We need people with the ability to be rational, critical thinkers. The schools should teach the Constitution, history, geography, mathematics, science and logic. And schools should be for ten months of the year, six days a week.
The free press is a joke. Since when is charisma and the ability to raise funds more important to report than the real ideas of the candidate? I don’t care about a candidates hair cut, or Hillary’s color pants suit. I hate sound bites. And I hate the shallow, questions the press ask the candidates. Most of all I detest the personality cult this country worships. Most of the news I get is from out of the USA. A few sources here. But there have been times I have had to read the foreign press to find out what is going on here.
Get on with the next book. Forgive the length.