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America’s History Deficit is Worrisome, says AMAC

graduation flag history AmericaParticularly disturbing is the apathy among our kids regarding civics and history

WASHINGTON, DC – There are those who dismiss George Santayana’s claim that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Among them was the late American author Kurt Vonnegut who is quoted as saying “we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what.”

“Whatever the position on the need to know our nation’s history, the fact remains that a knowledge of how the U.S. came to be and the stories of those individuals who made it happen are essential if our children are to grow up to be reliably industrious citizens.  But the sad news is that too few of today’s schoolchildren take an interest in the lessons of history.  And now there is evidence that their big brothers and sisters are apathetic, at best, about our past,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

Weber cites a recent Wall Street Journal article about the dramatic decline in the numbers of visitors to Civil War battlefield sites as reported by the National Park Service.  The story noted that in 1970 more than ten million sightseers made trips to the top five sites compared with just 3.1 million last year– a drop of some 70%.  “A lack of interest by younger generations” was cited by the Journal for the extreme drop in attendance.

John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist says it goes beyond indifference.  In an article published in the online magazine he wrote: “it’s not just that young people are not taught to respect history.  They are often not taught history at all.  To the extent they are, they are told that American history is a parade of horribles: slavery, genocide, bigotry, greed—a story above all of injustice and oppression, perpetrated by the powerful against the weak.”

In an interview last fall with the Daily Signal, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recalled a visit to a classroom “where one of the teachers was wearing a shirt that said, ‘Find Your Truth,’ suggesting that, of course, truth is a very fungible and mutable thing instead of focusing on the fact that there is objective truth and part of learning is actually pursuing that truth.  So roll it back, there is a very important need for students to know the foundations of our country and the ideas around which our country was formed. And to then have the ability to discuss and debate those ideas freely on their K-12 campuses and on their higher ed campuses.”

Weber underscored the fact that The Declaration of Independence is real and so is the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  “They attest to the unselfish or non-biased elements of the birth of our nation.  So too are America’s heroic individuals real, historic heroes such as our Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln.  And, it cannot be denied that our unique form of government, our democratic republic, has proven to be as fair as any government that ever existed.”

So, Weber says, it is sad to learn that just 26% of Americans can name the three branches of government– the executive, legislative and judicial branches. A survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center also found that 30% of the participants couldn’t even identify one of the branches of government.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Center for American Progress, commented on the Annenberg poll.  Her reaction was that “those unfamiliar with our three branches of government can’t understand the importance of checks and balances and an independent judiciary.  Lack of basic civics knowledge is worrisome and an argument for an increased focus on civics education in the schools.”

https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/hgc_2014/#civics

https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/29/americans-loss-interest-civil-war-battlefields-part-disturbing-trend/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/civil-war-battlefields-lose-ground-as-tourist-draws-11558776600

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/doomed-to-repeat-it

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PaulE

The Progressives (Socialists) that have be in charge of our national education policy since the creation of the Department of Education (before that they were largely relegated to our colleges and universities) have accomplished exactly what they set out to do. They have turned public education from the learning of facts across the spectrum of history, science, and other subjects, along with the teaching of critical thinking skills, into a national propaganda indoctrination process designed to churn out the “useful idiots” needed to vote for and then impose the standard socialist policies on the United States. I find it rich that Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Center for American Progress is quoted in this article. As the Center for American Progress, a Soros created and funded organization designed to spread his Open Society principles, has been one of the driving engines behind the dumbed-down, highly biased education curriculum being… Read more »

Janet

I totally agree and have been saying for a number of years that we desperately need to go back to teaching Civics and history as it really was, instead of allowing history to be rewritten to PC standards. The facts are the facts and if there is anyway to prevent the same mistakes to be made again, we must understand what actually happened. Today we see so many leaning towards Socialism and Communism because they have no idea of the cost and harm to America and our way of life. So many of us are still alive that remember with pride how our fathers and grandfathers fought in WW1 and WWII for our country and for the people of Europe. Today the younger generations are more into the promise of getting everything free and thinking that we owe it to them. The Vietnam War was horrible and many of our… Read more »

Tom

When I was in high school, we had three history classes, American History, World history, and Civics. The civics class covered Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Amendments, how it can be amended, structure of government, including three branches and relationship,l elections, the Cabinet, electoral college. Then we covered the state equivalent of these topics. What are they learning now? A college student thought the Electoral College is where you go to learn how to be elected. I was recently at an event with a lot of young people. I was speaking to two 20-something guys who were curious about old guy, and asked my age. I used the answer I usually give – “I was born xx days after Pearl Harbor.” They looked puzzled at first, then one said, “That’s D-Day, isn’t it?” If they gave one of our history (or civics) tests to young people, including college grads, most… Read more »

Bob L.

Two big reasons why our younger generations are indifferent or ignorant of what America is really all about is public education. Many of the people “teaching” don’t measure up and hold warped views of America themselves, then there are today’s history textbooks which leave out or revise some important parts of America’s earlier years when the nation was founded and maturing, being replaced with more recent slanted “history”.

“Free” public education – the tenth plank of the communist manifesto… and boy, is it working.

Stahu

The last year I had history was 9th grade and I couldn’t haved cared less how or why Cornwallice lost the battle of Yorktown and nobody told me if I didn’t pay attention I was doomed to make same mistakes again. After I matured a few years, I gained more interest. Now I’m intensly interested, ESPECIALLY since Obama messed up our country so bad! NOW I want to make sure nothing like HIM ever happens again! So pay attention to the twenty or so Democrats trying to screw up our country again after Trump has done such a good job of bringing it back from the brink of disaster. Just think about what he’s done to the two Korea’s. They’re friendly and talking to each other for the first time in 65 years. Who else could have or would have been able to get them to do it but Trump?… Read more »

Jim F. Schmidt

Ignorance of basic civics and absence of grateful patriotism does not bode well for our country. The very sight of our flag warms my heart. I fly it in front of my home. Often I feel compelled to stop whatever I am doing and salute. At the same time I thank God for our great country. Perhaps the root cause of lacking a discernment between right and wrong is a growing ignorance of Gods Word, the Bible. Lambasting our president with endless character assassination ignores the basic instruction to be in subjection to those providentially over us and to pray earnestly for them.

michael failla

wELL GEE….DO YOU THINK LETTING THE LIBERALS RUN THE NATIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH OUR STUDENTS BEING DUMBER THAN ROCKS? BTW What does government have to be in education for? Isnt that the states business? Sorry about the caps key, dont feel like rewriting it.

Sam

Not only is history no longer taught/learned in our schools, our schoolkids can’t put their phones down long enough to bother with it……….

Jim

I am not surprised about the poll results. One of my nephews worked as an army recruiter for several years. A score of 50% is necessary to pass the admissions test. The majority of scores were below 20%. To find out why such abysmal scores occur, read an article by John Taylor Gatti, “Lessons learned from an underground history of the American education system.”

Scott Davis

I often wonder what our grandchildren will have when the stupidity of the debt finally finds its end? I doubt forgiveness and grateful thanks will be the first thing to come up.
Austerity programs, like there will be any such possible life. I remember reading the unfunded liabilities from a couple of years ago, something like $145 trillion dollars. Yeah, we’ve got that covered no problem!
As a TEA Party member since 2009, I tried to get our federal rep and senators to recognize the problem. Proverbial turd in the punch bowl reactions and lies with promises to get the budget balanced in 5-10 years.
For me, I got so tired of the lies, false promises, and outright nonsense that I decided last year I’m done with them. Enough is Enough!

CURTC

I HAVE DONE PRESENTATIONS IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS AS A SOLDIER OF THE REV. WAR. AS A MEMBER OF THE BRIGADE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, THIS IS ONE OF OUR GOALS. I FOUND KNOWLEDGE AND EVEN INTEREST IN OUR COUNTRY’ S BEGINNINGS WOEFULLY ABSENT AND EVEN THE TEACHERS DID NOT SEEM TO CARE. THIS IS MORE THAN A CONDEMNATION ON OUR “EDUCATIONAL” SYSTEM, IT IS A DISGRACE AND FAILURE!!

Jack Thomas

Several months ago, I heard a radio news report that the Dallas school board had voted to selectively alter their U.S. history course curriculum, “backstaging” the achievements and sacrifices made by our Founding Fathers, granting teachers the latitude to pursue a different approach. Translation: They wanted to re-write history to fit a left-wing agenda. The same thing has been happening in American universities for many years as socialist-minded academics have been busy brainwashing our kids in not only history classes but also political science courses. No wonder apathy dominates the attitudes of today’s younger generation when it comes to U.S. history and civics. With 12,000 public school districts in the USA and hundreds of colleges top-heavy with far-left “progressive” administrations it’s not surprising that the truth about American history has morphed into an unflattering, inaccurate portrayal designed to mislead and misinform rather than educate. Increasingly, socialist-minded university academics are painting… Read more »

eaa

Home schooling is the solution.

Tom Tucker

Liberals don’t want kids to know history, because if they did they would know how dangerous and purely evil Fascism and Socialism really are. That would certainly put a dent in their communist revolution.

Joy B

It’s sad to know that our glorious history is not being taught to our children. It is so important for them to know how many served, died or experienced trauma so that future generations could live in freedom. I believe this is why so many young people think socialism is a great idea and they are so long.

Mike B.

One of the first tenants preached by Marx, re-write history in favor of the left. That’s been going on for over 30 years. I recommend reading the book “The Coming Civil War”.

Drue

I was a high school and middle school teacher for 14 years. It was my last career job when I retired at 63. I taught technical education, drafting and construction. There was always a way to weave some factual history and civics into my lessons, which I did at every opportunity. Knew they were not getting much in their other classes. After I retired, I started substituting at a local middle school. This was when Obama was president. Found out that history teachers of color were making him out to be the messiah that was saving our nation from itself. They were injecting their political views into the hearts and minds of impressionable 13 and 14 year olds. What a joke! This is not all of the problem, but it is part of it. Had I said anything, I would have been deemed a racist. This was a lose/lose situation.… Read more »

Diana Erbio

So sad that many in the next generation have been taught all about America’s faults, but little about the positive impact America has had. How can we reach the next generation of Americans before our history is erased? I started a Statue Page & Blog series to try to reach Americans with snippets of our history…the good & bad…and stuff in between. Americans must learn their history so we can defeat what was bad and repeat what was good 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸