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Richard Dreyfuss Takes a Bite Out of CPAC, Preaching Civics and Civility

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Posted on February 11 2011 8:00 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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I believe that the mandate of education should be to make our children more intelligent. I believe that our mandate could be said to be, “I want my kids to be smarter on Friday than they are on Monday.” I believe that we have completely abandoned that mandate, and that we don’t teach our kids any basics of any kind in any area at all. So that we, the richest country in the world, and probably the richest country in the history of the world, are now saying we can’t afford to teach civics. We can’t afford to teach the basics in anything. We don’t teach sewing, cooking, hammering nails, building chairs. And when we are on the street, after the banks have illegally foreclosed on our homes in Beverly HIlls, you will find no one in that family who knows how to build a fire or file a class action suit. By the time you graduate high school, you should know that and more.

This country is unique, truly unique, not just the words of American [exceptionalism]. This country is literally unique in that it is bound only by ideas. And those ideas are learned things, because we come from every culture on Earth. And those learned things could easily be put in the grab bag of Enlightenment values.

At hearing this, PJTV’s Roger L. Simon observed that Dreyfuss sounded like “a liberal Hollywood member of the Tea Party – almost.”

Dreyfuss shrugged, “Maybe.” He later disclosed that he had been approached at CPAC about speaking at a Tea Party event talking place in Phoenix, which is likely the American Policy Summit set for later this month.

Simon reported in a subsequent blurb at Pajamas Media that…

… after [an] initial shock [at the actor’s presence among them], Richard appears to have won over even the most hard-bitten conservatives with his Dreyfuss Initiative.

Indeed, at face value, the message Dreyfuss is sharing is both refreshing and consistent with the very essence of conservatism – conserving our constitutional republic through education and participation in the political process.

As a relatively young conservative, I can recall with much dismay how woefully inadequate my public education was. As Dreyfuss describes, I was ill-prepared to conduct myself in the real world, lacking any basic skill beyond literacy and arithmetic. Few among us are likely to disagree that such results are atrocious. However, I can’t help but wonder how much Dreyfuss has educated himself on the reasons why our education system is so inadequate.

I’m in the middle of a book by former Minnesota state representative Allen Quist entitled FedEd: The New Federal Curriculum and How It’s Enforced. In it, Quist methodically outlines the reason why practical skills and legitimate academics are no longer taught in our schools.

Next: The real problem with American education…

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