Lou Ureneck, chairman of the journalism department at Boston University, has a column in The Boston Globe this week that sounds yet another warning bell about the “sorry” (I might substitute “scary”) state of our nation’s “civic health” and the impact it has — and will continue to have — on political discourse in the United States. His column makes a persuasive case for why schools need to incorporate “constitutional literacy” in both their curriculum and in their own conduct.
The wonderful notion of a government of, by and for the people, Ureneck points out, is premised on the idea that “The People” would be equipped with good information and with the understanding of our democratic government that is necessary to make sound, rational choices about their own governance.
He points to more of those eye-opening statistics (for example, fewer than half of Americans can name the three branches of government) and facts (such as the ongoing belief of so many Americans that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 9/11 attacks) to show that’s just not happening.
A society reaps what it sows. And right now, we’re sowing some pretty lousy civics seeds.