Education entails more than what happens inside the brick-and-mortar of a classroom, or online in the course’s Blackboard page. It’s our duty as Americans to do the following every day:
* Watch and listen to the news. Not just MSNBC or Fox, but to get the ideas from right, left, and middle.
* Take a course or read a book to educate themselves on the Constitutional history of the United States and the Federalist Papers written by our Founding Fathers
* Once and a while at least, make sure you write your President, Senators, Congressmen and State Legislators to voice your opinion if you differ with them on an issue, or want to express your support for upcoming legislation.
I believe the main problem, the reason that government is not listening to us is because they believe we’re not listening to them. Therefore a politician feels free to say and promise anything on the campaign trail in the hope that we won’t call them out on it. In the current election, polls show that despite the fact that more Americans take Trump’s side of most issues, they still favor Clinton. Although the vote is, not, and should not be denied to anyone, along with rights come responsibilities to educate ourselves about our history, Constitution, basic supply-side Economics, and make sure you do your research into candidates to go beyond the soundbites. Elected officials are put into office by us, and they work for us. So it’s our duty to give them reviews, scrutinize their work, and fire them when they don’t do their job.
I believe that politicians, for the most part, count on ignorance. If we are unaware of the fact that taxing the wealthiest Americans even at 100% could not cover our national budget for one year (source: http://goo.gl/XBV3Ib), then we are more likely to buy into Bernie Sanders’ argument for free college and health care, because we believe him when he says that will work. No matter who occupies the White House or Congress, a truly educated and well-informed public is our best “inoculation” against oppressive government, because if they know that we will hold their feet to the fire, one would be surprised how much they start looking out for our interests. Not even the wealthiest campaign contributor can undo a strong, well-informed public who knows not only who to pull the lever for, but why. News and politics are not the “in” thing, and many people avoid it because it’s a potentially controversial topic. But if we pay more attention to who’s winning “Survivor” than who’s winning the primaries, we can not make informed decisions about who to trust with our national interest, and also in a self-feeding loop, only makes us more vulnerable to political rhetoric, making us hate politics more, and pay less attention… So the best way to get Congress and the President to do what we want, is the threat of losing what they really want – the vote.
Here’s my “homework assignment” to you all. Please educate yourself. Watch the news, not just Fox News or MSNBC but an eclectic spectrum of political thought. Read a book on the Constitution, our Founding Fathers, the basic laws of Economics and History. Below are some places to start. In this blog in the coming weeks and months, I will pass along more sources that I have found useful. Read them and decide for yourself.
- Hillsdale College is a college in Michigan that takes no Federal funds, and have a variety of FREE courses on Constitution, government, history and economics. Do yourself a favor and sign up, I think it will open your eyes.
- Politifact and Factcheck, just like Joe Friday, looks at “just the facts, ma’am” and sorts the truth from the lies of all nationally prominent politicians. Does your President or Senator make a claim or statement that seems wrong to you? Here’s a place to get an unbiased analysis of their statements.
- Article V Convention of States seeks to call a convention to help take our states back from government overreach. Even if you decide not to participate, there are many good reading resources on this page.