Education and the Electorate

I think one of the biggest failures of this election was people believing false statements. There didn’t seem to be a critical examination of claims, verification of policies or understanding of how the system works.

If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” — Thomas Jefferson

On the up side, I do think that there was a huge education on how the Primary System works and the Electoral College.  It is sad that so many people did not understand how this process for selecting candidates works.

Something that would fix some of this is a greater focus in our schools in:

  1. the process of the selection of candidates
  2. the purpose of the electoral college
  3. critical examination of news and political statements
  4. the roll of news organizations, their bias and the difference between news & political statements
  5. history and application of history to current events 

In my humble opinion, I think there is a concerted effort to dumb down our public schools by odd policies and teaching standards.  I believe that our teachers, for the most part, want to teach our kids lots of things but cannot because of the time required to cover the dictated material.  The issue is not our teachers but the education standards.

Maybe this is just a pollyanna-isa view of how things used to be, but I think we had a more educated electorate in the past.  if we aren’t educated and feel that it is important people are going to make decisions that are not in their best interests because of something that sounds good, but isn’t true.

I’ve spoken to a number of people following the election, and when I press them on support of specific policies they claim things that are demonstrably false.  They bought into rhetoric instead of facts.  All they heard was a few sound bites and didn’t look into any of the substance.  If we taught our students that being educated during an election is important, that their vote mattered and in order to be a functioning member of this society they need to have a basic understanding of world events, history and its applicability to current day, we would at least be able to have a reasonable discussion and maybe change things for the better.