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  • Writer's pictureGregory N. Austin

The Need for Civics in America

The social science dealing with the rights and duties of our citizens is for the most part absent, with the exception in some high schools.

Imagine, the United States has no mandatory standards for teaching Civics in our public schools. The social science dealing with the rights and duties of our citizens is for the most part absent with the exception in some high schools.

When I was in the eighth grade, we had Civics with a small outline of where we had come from, as a nation. We had spelling bee winners who were given dictionaries, most of which had the Gettysburg Address and Declaration of Independence in the prologue. I love American History to this day, at least partly because of Civics.

How can we govern or make political decisions in this country without elementary knowledge of our political foundation? It may not all be good but "we the people" have kept our U.S. Constitution viable for 240 years! To sustain it we must know more about our heritage, especially since authoritarianism is being flirted with by so many. In fact, some American voter groups have a higher regard for Viktor Orban of Hungary and Vladimir Putin of Russia, than for President Joe Biden.

Those folks choose to turn their backs on the Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag and the U.S. Constitution, while others seem ready to abandon our government altogether for one man rule.

Many loyalists in 1775 and 1781 when we defeated George III could not support the new colonists. They remained loyal to England. What did the victors do politically about this situation? Practically, very little. The same thing happened in the 1930’s as Hitler was coming to power, many Americans including Henry Ford, Joe Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh were committed to keeping us out of WWII. In the Civil War as well, there was only weak reprisals aimed at war time losers in the South after 1865.

Now does anyone think those Americans that favor Viktor Orban and/or Vladimir Putin over our current President are going to emigrate to Hungary or Russia? Not hardly. We simply must keep reminding those Americans to fight for their Flag and their Constitution, not for any wannabe dictator.

Thomas Jefferson thought “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of its patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Thank the good Lord we have not yet reached that sad outcome, but we must act now to bring back civility to our discourse with one another. And we must teach our children the unvarnished truth of all of our history, the good and the bad included. Some folks are ready to ban books, and manipulate history. Truth is still the only answer to historical outcomes. It is important to remember societies in the past that banned books, then burned books, then burned people.

We survived our Civil War—now we must recapture our respect for law and order or suffer the consequences. Now is the time for all good men and women of America to come to the aid of their country!

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