Saturday, July 01, 2006

On Things They Didn't Teach in Civics Class

Joared raises the question of the extent to which apparent voter apathy can be attributed to their lack of understanding of the political process. I think that's an excellent point.
I have always thought of myself as politically involved and aware, and I enjoy exploring the social sciences as much as anyone. Yet it was not until this spring that I became aware of the roots and extent of our two-party system of government and of Presidential Signing Statements.
I don't expect anything I say to drag a single viewer away from the World Cup, but a President who enjoys the confidence of less than 40% of the electorate writes his own law and the opposition party, led by Howard Dean, is running Bob Casey for Senate... Bob Casey who is more conservative than Rick Santorum.
I would encourage readers to check out John Dean's article on Presidential Signing Statements. This guy was inside the first neo-fascist administration, and he knows how things work.
I don't know why these things aren't explored by the time one graduates from high school... although I suspect it's never been a high educational priority for either party... but, even at its best, good government demands the participation of the electorate. If everyone who found Namibia on a map or who now knows what "Suri" means in Hebrew could just take a minute to find out what their legislative representatives did last week. If you've read this and know the score of yesterday's game between Germany and Argentina, you have the time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw that you have a link to Unity08, so I just wanted to encourage people to sign the Declaration of Independence from Politics without Purpose (

From the Declaration: Sandy in Milton, FL
America is too great to offer so few choices that are compounded by bickering and mud throwing. We want the individual who isn't obsessed with what his party is doing and permits himself to follow the leader out of pressure giving up ideals and honesty. (Signee # 4186).

1:37 PM  
Anonymous ForUnity said...

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for the governed to warn the government, a decent respect for democracy requires them to declare the causes of their anger.

We hold these truths to be self evident:

-That elected officials should be public servants first and partisans second;

-That to bicker is not to lead;

-That those bought by lobby money cannot represent the people;

-And that to polarize the Congress is to paralyze the nation.

We, therefore, as representatives of all the people of the United States, regardless of party, beseech our leaders to listen to our voices and hear our pleas. And to that end we mutually pledge to each other our sacred honor in declaring our independence from politics without purpose.

2:30 PM  
Blogger The Appalachianist said...

No one wants the average voter to know about these things. Good to see your still kicking.

11:44 PM  

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