OF COURSE, History matters....

During my daily blog check-in routine this little article caught my eye the other day on Human Events.

 History matters

To which I respond, DUH!

However, I did particularly like how the author organized his argument..I think it is something I can use in my own tutoring sessions.  Dr. Bogar highlights three main themes:

  • History is Precedent, and ignorance of precedence goes far beyond George Santayana’s admonition that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
  • History is Context—our shared record of the strivings and challenges and setbacks and triumphs of individuals whose lives must be understood in the context of their era—a context that can never be comprehended through the mere memorization of dates. 
  • History is the study of the relationship between the Individual and his/her Society—the role which each of us plays, with its incumbent responsibilities, as a member of a democracy.
 These three points address many of the issues I have with the horrible way history is taught today...boring, pedantic, and TOTALLY without context or, ultimately the most important issue..."So What?"

Of these I would say the "So What?"  is the most important shortfall of all...students simply don't care about history, government, nee "Civics" in general.  It is conceptually easy to show why math, science, and reading are important, but much harder to instill in students the importance of not being the dreaded "low information voter."  who falls for the most slick candidate with the catchiest soundbite campaign slogans....I mean seriously--"Yes We Can!"...and "Hope and Change"??!?!?  Besides being the most ridiculous and meaningless slogans ever heard...they did dupe the uninformed and undereducated to place their trust in the most singularly unqualified and unsuitable candidate to ever be elected President....TWICE....George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are no doubt rolling over in their graves.  History will hopefully someday triumph over demagoguery...at least I hope so.  Which leads me to my usual soapbox.....

Why is history important?  I can't seem to escape my eternal gripe with the "IT'S AN UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS!!!" and "SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE!!!"...two histrionics often used by politicians and uninformed journalists to cover for their historical ignorance, sorry sweet-cheeks, there is really nothing new in human experience.  Greed, lust, joy, creativity, lying, stealing, bravery, and cowardice have happened since our first ancestor picked up a rock and schwacked a squirrel for dinner. SO, there is a great deal of previous information to actually guide decision making by the political leadership, if they chose to use it.  After all, our country has had numerous depressions, recessions, wars, political crisis, and even endured the disco age...all of which have something to teach us....however, it is unlikely students will learn anything useful in the American public school or collegiate systems of the 21st century.  Yup, I said it...if you aren't homeschooling your children...well, you'll see what happens when the properly indoctrinated little Marxists come back from their first year of college wearing a Che T-shirt and showing off their Occupy Wall Street membership cards.

MORE importantly, there is the ability for the average voter to understand how our government SHOULD work ( you  know that whole archaic Constitution and balance of powers thing) versus how it does work.  This actually applies to economics as well....I am no great fan of crony capitalism myself, so I can understand those lefties that are uncomfortable with the cozy relationship between Wall Street and Washington...just remember moonbats...Democratic politicians crave money as much as Republican ones.  And remember that when politicians say they are "Saving GM" or making sure banks aren't "Too big to fail"..try to follow the $$. 

Maybe someday, Americans will start to learn their history again...there is hope...history books still sell pretty well, (shoot, I make sure that happens) and history is still a pretty popular subject for TV and movies...although most of it AWFUL.  I guess all of us who care about history and America have to keep plugging along....one uninformed voter at a time.....