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Mailbag: Americans need to learn ancient art

Mailbag: Americans need to learn ancient art

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You recommended Senate Bill 513, which mandates a half-credit civics class in Oregon’s public high schools.

This is a great idea, considering that nearly half of Americans, and perhaps a quarter of our representatives in Congress, do not understand how we select our public servants. The latter is surprising, since the majority graduated from a law school and must have studied civics and Constitutional law.

I strongly recommend teaching a half credit in critical thinking as well. When people practice this ancient Athenian art, they will be less likely to follow a populist, narcissistic leader who cares not for the good of “We the People” nor the Constitution he took an oath to defend. They will be less likely to believe absurd lies (“clean coal,” “windmills cause cancer,” “I won!,” to name but three of more than 30,000.)

The Western world abandoned slavery more than 200 years ago, except for five years when a narcissistic white supremacist ruled Europe. America has more than 60 white supremacist groups, several of which were encouraged to “fight like hell” in an attempt to replace our democratic republic with an autocracy. Americans schooled in critical thinking would not behave this way.

Ronald G. Coffey




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