It is my belief, and I have said it many times, that partisanship has gone too far in this country. People today disagree and refuse to listen to the ideas or view of others based solely on political affiliation. Believe it or not, some Republicans have some good ideas and so do some Democrats. There are actually some sound, level-headed thoughts expressed by liberals and the views of conservatives aren’t all wild-eyed and hate-filled. There are enough bad ideas coming from all sides to keep our stress levels at super-high levels, so let us not discount the good ideas when they appear.
A couple of weeks ago, while watching the TV show, ‘Huckabee,’ I saw an interview with Richard Dreyfus. I don’t often agree with Mr. Dreyfus on political issues, but he is right on the mark with his thoughts about some of our problems as a nation and as a people. Don’t get me wrong. I still disagree with his political positions generally, but I found out that he does not have a closed mind and could have a discussion with his conservative host without any sign of hostility from either gentleman.
What impressed me the most about the Dreyfuss interview was the discussion about how Mr. Dreyfuss is concerned about how uninformed Americans are today about how our government works.
Mike Huckabee led into the conversation with, “One of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show was because you’ve gone from what you have called a partisan role to a pre-partisan role to focus, not so much on the outcome of issues, but how do we get there; the process that leads to that.”
Mr. Dreyfuss’ reply included the following:
This is the greatest system of government ever created. It’s the only one that requires some involvement of the civic body-the only one. It is the best answer to the question, “How can people live together in some sense of decency and freedom and opportunity and mobility.” There has never been a better answer than the United States. We don’t know that any more. we don’t teach it to our children.
We wouldn’t know the whys and wherefores of how we got here any more than we would know a snowflake from a Chevy. And the rest of the world does. That’s why they come here.
There’s a curse that mankind has lived with for 12 thousand years and it’s known so well that nobody ever has to talk about it. And the curse is that you and yours will never rise. You are a serf and your children and grandchildren will be serfs and my heel will always be on your neck, until America said, “Wait a minute! If you can get here, if you can take the stuff that life throws at you, if you work hard and are lucky, you might rise.” And that’s the most important political message in 12 thousand years and we don’t teach it. We are a country bound not by common ancestry, religion, location, people, sect, place. We are bound only by ideas. And if you don’t teach those ideas, we are not bound.”
Huckabee then inquired, “How do we get there? Let’s specifically talk about students, because that’s what we have to be worried about. Does the next generation understand what an incredible gift they have when they have citizenship in this country? How do we get them to appreciate that?
Mr. Dryfuss’ reply, in part, was
It is my opinion, and I went to Oxford for three years to study for this, that you have to make people, kids, fall in love with America and fall in love with the America of ideas…
Mr. Dreyfuss went on to talk about how we don’t teach how to deal with many of the complexities of the world and explains how the time to make important decisions has been reduced to the point that it could be dangerous for us all.
I appreciated being enlightened to this opinion of Richard Drefuss because it is something that I believe and feel strongly about as well. We need to begin teaching about America in our schools and our homes again. We need to spread the word to our children of America’s greatness. We need to talk about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the words and beliefs of our Founding Fathers. We need to express why it is important and how it effects us all!
For those who would like to see the complete interview, click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDx7yIEBXX4 . It’s worth the time to see and hear. It is also refreshing to watch and hear two people on opposite sides of the political spectrum have a rational conversation that could spark the beginning of something good happening in our country…people expressing ideas of how to make America better and getting along while discussing it.