I was beginning to wonder how it is that so many younger adults that I have come in contact with have no real concrete idea how the voting process works, and really don’t see what difference it makes if they vote  or not.

A particular 20-year old with whom I  am closely tied not only doesn’t believe in the system, but believes that any participation in our government processes, especially voting, condones the system and is therefore a large part of the problem.  No amount of my asking/pleading/imploring with her that, in order to change the system, you must work from within the system and that voting is the most effective way to do so, seems to have any influence on her point of view.  Oh no.  No faith in that.  No possible way can this be remotely the way it is.  I am one of the brainwashed…the well-intentioned but delusional.  We have currently decided to agree to disagree as the only thing we accomplish when we discuss such things is to become very uncomfortable and irritable and go days without talking.

Now, I don’t have school-age children and therefore may not be up-to-the-minute aware of what our schools are or are not teaching the future generations right now this year, but I do know that it’s a fact that lessons in civics and government no longer seem to be so much of a priority.  Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has even said,

“One unintended effect of the No Child Left Behind Act, which is intended to help fund teaching of science and math to young people, is that it has effectively squeezed out civics education because there is no testing for that anymore and no funding for that.”  (http://nssea.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/a-civics-lesson/)

This brings to my mind the very scary possibility that the omission of civics and other government- and history-based curriculum could actually be somewhat intentional on the part of our current administration. 

Why on Earth, you ask, would the current administration ever want to purposefully foster this kind of ignorance?   Well, let me tell you….Those in power want to stay in power, yes?  But those in power also want to play by their own rules usually.  This means that they would rather keep doing what they are doing, hoping no one gets the wiser that they are not really usually acting in the populous’ best interest.  They are working in THEIR best interest…and the best interests of their “friends” (aka the lobbyists). 

So, when it comes to the education of the American Masses and Future Generations, they don’t really want them/us to know exactly how the government works and what We The People can do to change it, if need be.  Gradual elimination of the necessary tools with which to make informed intelligent decisions while being active in local and national governments makes it more likely for the government to be able to pull the wool over our eyes.  Intelligent and active citizens in turn eventually become frustrated and/or apathetic, vote less, or at least less accurately, and bingo!  We’re on our way to even more blindly following our “leaders”.  We are lost.  We are used and abused.

And it has started already…

© 2008 D. Kessler