My friend, Steve Harding, shines a light on the unfortunate decline in required civics education. In my view, without a broader understanding of our system of governance, particularly its roots, we can easily devolve into chaos (some would argue we are there right now) as we haphazardly seek to balance interests and power. I think the following excerpt captures it well:
“It should be argued that both citizens and institutions alike must continually espouse our commonalities amongst a growing environment of diversity. This requires a collective fundamental understanding of the nation’s unique system of governance. It is a revisitation of what Seymour Martin Lipset calls ‘Americanism,’ the knowledge of the interrelationships of liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, republicanism, democracy and the laissez-faire notion toward business.”
Given our now daily scramble to sort out challenges to the constitution, or at least the separation of powers- it would be comforting to know that the citizens of our country had at least a minimal understanding of our system of governance, and the limits of power. Perhaps this will be the catalyst for a change in our educational system.