A Curse on a Democracy

Posted: January 21, 2010 in Politics

From The Writer’s Almanac: “It is the birthday of Susan Vreeland…”

This declaration reminds me of a man who told this high-school student, me, that an upper classmate, George Vreeland (I believe was his name) must be a relative of mine. I tried to correct him that my name was not Vreeland to no avail. Only the first letter of George’s last name and mine were the same.

I would bet that the man is the type who rarely gets past the headlines in a newspaper and misses important details of a news account. These same people are susceptible to lies and innuendoes from political hacks. Much of the cynical mischief that is being perpetrated in a democracy is these very lies and innuendoes that mislead way too many people from considering thoughtful and careful analysis of issues.

In The Music Man, Professor Harold Hill used short pithy bromides to fire up the locals to sell his boys’ band (i. e. instruments and uniforms). So the lead-in to an even poorly thought-out contention will bring many people to a false conclusion that satisfies a cynical political agenda.

Even if the easily led person reads the whole article reading comprehension and its close relative retention suffers if the reader isn’t able to connect the dots of elements of a complex issue. If there is a pair of disciplines that override all the others in a young person’s education I would advance reading comprehension and retention. Kudos to well considered curricula that emphasizes these very important elements of education.

  1. DENISE says:

    Well said! I agree whole-heartedly. Good job!!!!

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