Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Mmm, Gimme Some More o' That Tax Revolt

Result of $1M study sponsored by the James L. Knight Foundation...
Students don't understand First Amendment; 1 in 3 say it 'goes too far'
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech.

It turns out the First Amendment is a second-rate issue to many of those nearing their own adult independence, according to a study of high school attitudes released today.

The original amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States, promising citizens the freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.

Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes "too far" in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.

So we get pissy when our schools suck because we refuse to pay taxes... And underpaid teachers have to hurry through history and civics classes because they're teaching to a No Child Left Behind test... And we're surprised that we're raising a passel of suggestible little creampuffs?

Every country gets the fascist dictatorship it deserves, I guess...


XTCfan said...

I don't know if this is simply a case of under-education, though. I think it's more a case of living in (and, for the Haves, *promoting*) an "I don't care as long as I get mine" society. I mean, these truths should be self-evident, right? That these freedoms are a cornerstone of America? But the kids -- and adults! -- only care about what affects *them* and what affects them *now*. That's *so* 18th century!

I think you're right about the Left being fragmented, but I also think it's happening to all of us, as a result of a decades-long decline in empathy and a consequent rise in greed. Now, instead of a Great Society, we're going to be faced with an Ownership Society, where it's every (hu)man for himself and devil take the hindmost. Why should we be hindered by anachronistic notions that have their roots in a philosophical movement 220+ years old?

Until we realize the benefits of watching out for each other, American society will continue to degrade. If the Democrats can get past the classism you talk about and make The People realize that acting in others' interest *is* in their best interest, then we might have a chance.

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