Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Teachers are a threat to national security

David Gelernter just nailed it last week with his opinion piece in the LA Times (yes, I know - it a horrible paper - but give it credit here); We Are Our History -- Don't Forget It.
Not knowing history is worse than ignorance of math, literature or almost anything else. Ignorance of history is undermining Western society's ability to talk straight and think straight.
All of that is critical to a successful representative republic. Ignorant masses invite and accept despots.
A girl in (my son's high school) English class praised the Vietnam War-era draft dodgers: "If I'd lived at that time and been drafted," she said, "I would've gone to Canada too."

I thought she was merely endorsing the anti-war position. But my son set me straight. This student actually believed that if she had lived at the time, she might have been drafted. She didn't understand that conscription in the United States has always applied to males only.
....and she (will soon) votes and is interviewed by MTV News.....
Our schools teach history ideologically. They teach the message, not the truth. ... They are propaganda machines.
By design and encouragement. When you get a chance, read the major high school history books.
Ignorance of history destroys our judgment. Consider Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill), who just compared the Guantanamo Bay detention center to Stalin's gulag and to the death camps of Hitler and Pol Pot — an astonishing, obscene piece of ignorance. Between 15 million and 30 million people died from 1918 through 1956 in the prisons and labor camps of the Soviet gulag.
I can't say that, but Mr. Gelernter can.
...college students who have heard of President Kennedy but not of anything he ever did except get assassinated. They have never heard JFK's inaugural promise: that America would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to ensure the survival and the success of liberty."
JFK is one of the Presidents treated the worst by the "education" establishment. The only way to really know the man is to read his speeches. Everything else is an American version of Social Realism.
To forget your own history is (literally) to forget your identity. By teaching ideology instead of facts, our schools are erasing the nation's collective memory. As a result, some "expert" can go on TV and announce (20 minutes into the fighting) that Afghanistan, Iraq or wherever "is the new Vietnam" — and young people can't tell he is talking drivel.

There is an ongoing culture war between Americans who are ashamed of this nation's history and those who acknowledge with sorrow its many sins and are fiercely proud of it anyway.
If you are proud of this country and don't want its identity to vanish, you must teach U.S. history to your children. They won't learn it in school. This nation's memory will go blank unless you act.
Powerful stuff. Simply powerful. On target-with secondaries.
On a sidebar: You see this all the time in the military. One of my favorite things to do on a qualification board on deployment (word gets out fast) is to ask the young officer to (let's suppose a WestPAC deployment), "Go to the ink board and draw for me a map starting at Pet'r in the north to Darwin in the south; Guam to the east to the Nicobar Islands in the west. Identify all major countries and major choke points. Additionally, give me a brief description of your "Top 5" potential flash points. Also include your "Top 5" diplomatic screw ups you could make if you were in command/OIC/SOPA/liberty." The shocking thing is I will consistently get USNA graduates that do not know what the Spratly Islands are, do not know how to escape to the Indian Ocean from the South China Sea, can't place Taiwan in the right spot, and have no idea where Korea is relative to Japan...and so on...

Who do I blame? I blame our Navy's officer accession programs, our parents, our national teachers' unions, and our teachers themselves. Oh sure, they can talk for hours about Japanese internment and Kent State; but they have no idea why Singapore is so critical or why you don't joke with a Spaniard about Gibraltar.

One last thing; if you think gov'munt schools are so great - ask Anne why she homeschools. That woman is a National Security Asset; IMAO.

No comments: