Thinking Citizen Blog — Get Real! Are These the Right Categories? What Do You Think?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic — Get Real! Are These the Right Categories? What Do You Think?
It’s a New Year. Time to step back. What political process reform camp do you belong to? Are you a majoritarian who believes in the abolition of the electoral college and perhaps the Senate? Or are you a get-the-money-out-of-politics guy who believes in overturning Citizens United? Or are you a proportional representation geek? I’ve been in the latter camp for a while. But I’ve been having my doubts lately. I mean “Get real!” I tell myself. What are the chances? So today, a post on what I consider to be the first three steps to a functional democracy. This just may be a tad repetitious but, as a teacher, I perhaps hold repetition in higher regard than others may. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
STEP ONE: Fix the social studies curriculum in schools.
1. No continuity, no depth of thought or understanding.
2. No ability to make a strong case for all three sides in the next election marshaling principles, facts, and solutions, no ability to weigh those principles, facts, and solutions against each other and make a rational decision.
3. The social studies curriculum of schools should be re-structured as rigorous debate training, a kind of pre-law school, on the model of any rigorous athletic or musical curriculum.
NB: It takes about ten years of daily practice of at least an hour a day to be any good at tennis or piano. You think understanding economics and foreign policy is easier than tennis or piano. Well, if so, I’m very sorry, but you are nuts!
STEP TWO: Fix the social studies curriculum in homes
1.The chances of changing the social studies curriculum in schools is about….. Zero.
2. So, bad news, it’s up to you to do it in your place of residence with your family, roommates, or friends.
3. Good thing there is an off-the-shelf curriculum ready and waiting for you to pluck it off the web.
NB: It’s here: The Thinking Citizen
STEP THREE: Fix the social studies curriculum in communities
1. Maybe your house or apartment is not big enough for weekly equivalent of the What Matters Table focusing on “Thinking Citizenship.”
2. Well, then, make the great outdoors your classroom. Turn your neighborhood into Athens. Make like Raphael’s “School of Athens.” (above)
3. Think Aristotle’s Lyceum, Plato’s “academy.” A peripatetic school is better than a stationary school. A triple whammy. Exercise, health, citizenship!
NB: Hurrah! Eureka! Hallelujah!
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Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to political process or campaign strategy or 2020 candidate selection or anything else for that matter.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day or change their thinking. Or to consolidate in your own memory something worth remembering that might otherwise be lost. Or to clarify or deepen your own understanding of something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.