Thomas Jefferson whitehousehistory.org
Failure to Communicate
By Richard Girard
"Education costs money, but then so does ignorance."
Sir Claus Moser, Warden of Wadham College, Oxford. L ondon Daily Telegraph; August 21, 1990.
"It is an axiom in political science that unless a people are educated and enlightened it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty or the capacity for self-government."
Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836.
" What we've got here is a failure to communicate."
--The Captain (Strother Martin), Cool Hand Luke, 1968.
It is not the American education system that has failed us.
It is we who have failed the American education system.
In my July 2, 2012 OpEdNews article, " Aiding the Evolution ," I pointed out what I believe is the basis for our failure, and its root cause [words in italics have been added for amplification and clarification]:
"All of the anti-Government conservatives and libertarians consistently forget the profound but obvious truths expressed by two of our greatest Presidents about government.
The first of these was expressed by our fourth President, James Madison, in The Federalist Papers, No. 47, December 1788, "What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."
The second of these was part of a speech by our twenty-sixth President, Theodore Roosevelt, given on September 9, 1902, in Asheville North Carolina, "The government is us; we are the government, you and I."
So if our government is a reflection of ourselves and our natures, the embodiment of the very concept of the first three words of our Constitution, "We the People," then by logical extension, wishing to shrink the government to a size that, as arch-conservative Grover Norquist states "can be drown in a bathtub," should disturb every American, because it says that government should be made so small that We the People have no influence over it, and this miniscule, flaccid body could do nothing against the predatory acts of the economically most powerful members of our society even if we could influence it. What does this attitude say of people like Mr. Norquist, and the rest of those within our country who hold similar points of view?