Our American Heritage – Educating the Electorate is the Key
Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 16, 2008
Please pass this on to your email list to help educate the American Electorate.
“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.” – Benjamin Franklin
My subject today is on the lowering standards for spiritual, political, economic, and historical literacy in America. I fear for our country when people can be whipped into a mass frenzy by a speaker’s style more than his substance. Now don’t misread me here. I believe strongly in having a pleasing public speaking style, but that should be secondary to the truth of the speaker’s statements. To follow someone because of their communication skills with no understanding of the underlying message is a breeding ground for disaster. Without an understanding of our American heritage, how are American voters discerning between the spiritual, economic, political and historical issues? Without a basic understanding of our American history all decisions are chosen upon how they make people feel, not on what people think. Sadly, in today’s society, belligerent ignorance is as highly valued as diligent study. You can look at any comments sections of any public blog to see the truth of this statement.
“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” – Thomas Jefferson
Thinking requires a general knowledge of the subject. I cannot have an educated discussion on Albanian politics, because I do not have all of the issues and their historical relevance at my fingertips. If I were asked to be involved in a discussion on the subject, I would have to do some homework to get up to speed. Every four years, people place a vote for the most powerful person in the world. I have wondered, for years, how much homework they have done to apply this nearly sacred honor. I am not one of the people who believes that “image is everything.” In fact, I am one of the people who believes the exact opposite. Give me character over reputation any day of the week. I have learned enough about the media to understand their goal is to paint an image. But as John Wooden says, “Reputation is what people say you are and character is who you are.” Just like a book, I focus on content of the book, not just its cover. If I had to choose, I would take great content with a poor cover than the reverse. In order to understand the content, you must be educated on the principles yourself.
“Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” – John Adams
Here is a phenomenal test given to Americans to determine their knowledge of American Civil Literacy. Please click on the link and take the test. There are 33 questions in all and it is closed book with no notes. Do not click on the comments as some of the answers are discussed there. Please take the test first. Let’s determine your American Civil Literacy score currently, to help us focus your reading in the proper areas. Tyler Libby, a good friend, a great reader and excellent leader in America, sent me this test with this blurb attached.
Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.
“I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education.” – Thomas Jefferson
I knew that people on the Team have probably done more reading than the average population and even the average college educators/professors. I was concerned that the average scores were coming in around 50%! How can we play our part in our Republic if we only understand half of the principles behind the specific issues? I reflected back on the numerous books in our MonaVie Team system designed to educate our teams and excitedly took the test. I quickly went through the questions and without reviewing them I sent them in for my score. Here is what I received back.
You answered 33 out of 33 correctly — 100.00 %
Average score for this quiz during November: 78.0%
Average score: 78.0%
You can take the quiz as often as you like, however, your score will only count once toward the monthly average.
Since it was early November, I assume there were not many that had taken the test yet for the month. I would ask that everyone on the blog take a few minutes and take the test. Read the questions and answer without using any notes or searching the internet. See what you know currently and that will give you a baseline as you learn and grow in the Team educational system. There is no failure, only a beginning point for further growth! I feel this is one of the most neglected parts of the value of the MonaVie Team training. We do not just train people to be good networkers. We educate people to be good citizens of their countries! Learning and growing should be fun and if it is not then someone took your curiosity from you. A nation that does not know its past cannot possibly chart a proper course for the future! Please share what you learned from taking the test and I will recommend different books based upon your comments to help in your education process.
Here is a website that has some great thoughts on freedom and education. I will post a few paragraphs here. Our Founding Fathers were extremely aware of the importance in a proper moral education for the people in order to have a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never can be.” – Thomas Jefferson
Our founders gave us a nearly perfect form of government, that combined responsibility and accountability. It gave us the responsibility to hold our government accountable for their actions. However, in our prosperity, we have been lulled to sleep.
A system wherein if we shirked our responsibility, then our government would no longer be accountable. Sadly, most of us think the type of government we have is a democracy. The better educated can proudly say that we have a republic. However, among those better educated, not one in a thousand understands the true substantive difference between the two.
There are two main reasons for the dilemma we find ourselves in:
1. We are prosperous—the most prosperous nation on earth, and our prosperity has made us comfortable, and in our comfort, we have abrogated our duties to those who promise to do them for us without any serious scrutiny. And as generation to generation pass, we grow more firm in our lack of understanding, and we do not even know the standards to which our officials should be held.
2. The deliberate dumbing down of our education system in an effort to enslave the public through ignorance and prepare them for world government.
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams
Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t score well. If you make a decision to improve then you are becoming part of the educated electorate. The question is: are you going to be part of the long-term solution or part of the long-term problem? Spiritual, economic, historical, and political principles must all be learned if we are to be part of the solution! God Bless, Orrin Woodward