Thursday, October 29, 2009

Red Counties and Blue Counties and Education

The electoral map of the United States shows that the blue or democrat counties are concentrated in the large cities while the rest of America is painted in nothing but red or republican voting counties. You can quickly see that almost all of that "fly over" country between the coasts is carried by Republicans in Presidential elections.

We find ourselves in the situation that Thomas Jefferson most feared, even though he is considered the forefather of the democrat party,(of course he wasn't that didn't happen until Martin Van Buren did as a means to protect slavery.) Thomas Jefferson's beliefs were exactly 180 degrees away from what the democrats are pushing today. Jefferson believed strongly in State's rights over Federal government, and he wanted a small and weak Federal government. Jefferson was a believer in rural America and had no use for large cities. If you recall he was one of the leaders of the American Revolution to end what they believed to be excessive taxation, and an oppressive government.

Let's see what Jefferson had to say and how timely it is today.

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe." Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.
A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world." Thomas Jefferson

" I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.." Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." Thomas Jefferson

If you continue with the thought of the red and blue counties and their uneven distribution, I have to query what the counties would look like if we defined them by high school graduation rates and SAT scores? I will bet that we would find that it would fall again to nearly the very same counties that were red and blue. Marion County Indiana is a blue county and the Indianapolis Public Schools boast a nearly 20% graduation rate.

Our founders differed on many beliefs, but they were nearly speaking in unison that the only way to guarantee the American Republic's survival was to have an educated population. Our founders lived in a knowledge explosion. America had nine colleges and twenty five newspapers in 1776 serving a population of 2.5 million. Benjamin Franklin was partly responsible testifying that "reading became fashionable" in America in the 1730s. Since Americas had "no publick amusements to divert their attention from study," they soon became "better instructed and more intelligent" than people in other countries.

The founders were passionately concerned with instructing their peers, and their children. The intelligence they wanted to develop was political and practical. As John Adams made his way to Philadelphia for the first Continental Congress in 1774, his thoughts turned to the children he had left behind in Braintree. "Fix their ambition, " he wrote his wife Abigale, "upon great and solid objects, and their contempt upon little, frivolous and useless ones." They believed that the people would shape America; their children would shape to future.

Jefferson wanted education for everyone, and lots of education for the talented. Since even "the best forms" of government tended to revert to tyranny over time, "the people at large" had to have enough knowledge of history "to know ambition under all it's shapes;" the most talented people needed additional training, to enable them "to guard the sacred deposit" of liberty.

George Washington, in his first State of the Union address told his audience that "nothing...can better deserve your patronage" than education. His reasons, like Jefferson's, were political. He wanted people to "value their own rights"; he also wanted them to be able to acknowledge "the necessary exercise of lawful authority."

Of course it is fine to want knowledge, but what kind of knowledge would the founders ask for? Franklin's central subject was history. "As nothing teaches so nothing delights more than history." He was always tugging in in practical directions,however, applying it to the present, or using it to teach a skill. Franklin's students would study journalism as well as rhetoric. In studying history "questions of right and wrong" would "naturally arise." Students should debate them. "Publick disputes warm the imagination, whet the industry, and strengthen the natural abilities." Franklin also wanted students to study religion as a historical and civic subject; "History will afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a publick religion and the excellency of the Christian Religion above all others ancient or modern."

If our founders believed we needed to have an educated electorate to keep them from being fooled by tyrants offering something for nothing, where are we today. How many Americans have adequate knowledge of history, economics, civics, or philosophy?

Reading a historian describing the America that Alexis de Tocqueville met when he researched for his book "Democracy in America" during the Andrew Jackson administration. What he said was that Americans considered themselves to be well educated because most all read newspapers, unlike the founders though, they had no real education in history, civics, and philosophy. The author's comment was that these Americans were full of current events but without the depth of knowledge in those above learning's to filter it through so they couldn't assimilate the information and were like bobbers tossed and turned onto of waves of never ending information. If that was the case then, what is going on now?

If we are were we are today because we have an ignorant electorate who are being misled by those who promise them something for nothing there are three questions we must consider.

1.How did this happen to our schools, was it just incompetence in our school systems?

2.Is it possible that our schools are failing our students on purpose as Mason Weaver stated in his excellent book "It's Okay to Leave the Plantation." Weaver strongly believes that the mission of the left is to hold people in poverty to enslave them to government hand outs to guarantee their votes for democrats.

3.What do we do about it now?

If it is the first and only incompetence we need to as parents, and as citizens start volunteering to help in the education of our youth if they are our kids or not, they will soon be voting. If it is the second we need to go to war and fight back this rape of our children's minds.

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