Thursday, March 17, 2011

Are you smarter than a middle schooler?

I've discovered reecently how blantantly ignorant some people are about political facts and how my 7th and 8th graders have a better grasp of current issues than they do. It's astounding, depressing, and reassuring all at the same time. I'm astounded that at such a young age they actually get, depressed because people their parents age don't get it and reassured because these are our future leaders and will be the people running the country. It's also frustrating because as a history major I have spent 4 years studying what has happened in our country and around the world and people somehow claim I'm ignorant about what's going on. What did Churchill say, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Well, I've learned from the past and I'm pointing out how it's being repeated while others are telling me to shut up and that I'm way wrong. Take for instance tax cuts and trickle down economics. It has been proven that this plan failed under Reagan and failed again under Bush, but what did we do, we let those tax cuts stand because somehow higher taxes kill jobs. Once again, history has shown us the opposite with the boom era of the 1950s under another Republican, Eisenhower, where the top tax rate was near 90%, and the economy was growing. Another grand notion is smaller government, which was tried under the Articles of Confederation during the 1780s and once again was a failure. And let's not forget states' rights, which was settled during the Civil War, but somehow southern Republicans still think they can leave the Union. Speaking of unions, how about Wisconsin and Ohio where workers' rights are being taken away. Remember what happened in Europe when workers were oppressed? REAL socialism and communism took hold because they stood for the working man. See how much trouble could be avoided if politicians, especially Republicans, paid attention during history class. And yet 13 and 14 year olds ask me, "why are they (politicians) so dumb?" All I can say is "because they think about themselves instead of the people who voted them into office." While the present might look bleak, at least I have hope for the future.

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