Ignorance is not bliss. I am stunned at the lack of American civics knowledge on display. I mean, people in the know don’t know, and children are parroting the mistaken views of law and freedom. The Liberty Bell is ringing loud and clear (figuratively, of course). “Come all who will listen and learn the American form of law and government.”
I say to these fellow Americans: don’t divert the discussion to avoid hearing the truth of how this country is designed to work. Instead, be strong and open-minded as you can be. Look beyond the faults of our government and see the need for constitutional governance.
This from a 19-year-old male: “I don’t want America to return decisions to the states (Ninth Amendment). I don’t like my state legislators.” I replied, “Then go to your preferred candidates and work in their offices. See how things are done. If you still don’t like it, then you run for office. That’s how this country works.” You could tell he was shocked at the personal involvement of everyday citizens and that I would even suggest he work for a candidate. I proceeded to tell him I went door-to-door campaigning in my state’s primary for the candidate that best represented my view. I described the many questions people had and what a great experience it was. I gave him the respect of a fellow American, but I spoke the truth of our civics to him.
Then, I asked the young man why he would want someone in Washington to decide what is best for him instead of people who live near him in his part of the country. Who knows the needs of his state better? A national figure a thousand miles away or someone who has maintained residency in his state? He ended the conversation shortly after that. I got the feeling that I made him think. It was uncomfortable. He now has to discover what America is, not what others have told him she is.
Some other lessons he might learn:
The Judicial Branch is to interpret the law (like the Ninth Amendment, for example). It is not a law-making branch. Again, the Judicial Branch’s job is to interpret the law. It is a real jolt to the “uneducated in civics” student that courts do not make law. One of my relatives works for a foreign company. His boss is ignorant about limited and defined powers. He constantly has to inform his boss how America works. And so it is with many Americans. They don’t “get it” because they are uneducated, but they think they are because (as I continuously proclaim) “the politician, press, or professor” told them.
Another lesson is that the Constitution does not grant us rights. It acknowledges the truth that our rights come from our Creator, not our government. If you don’t believe in a Creator, that doesn’t mean your rights come from who you elect. It only means that our rights come from God (foundational to the American view of law and government in the Declaration of Independence), regardless of public opinion. Your rights are not safe in the hands of changing generational winds and cultural drift. It is blind thinking to believe otherwise. Therefore, you will find no right to ab.or.tion in our founding documents. You will discover the God-given right to life, liberty, and property (aka pursuit of happiness).
If you have learned these things already, now is a good time to pass them on! Be respectful. Your knowledge of civics and love of country speak volumes in a civics educationally deprived world.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸