The current political season affords no shortage of thorny and highly controversial issues for the campaigns of political aspirants, of every stripe. The teapot is beginning to bubble with heated issues such as, abortion, climate change, gun regulation, immigration policy, tax reform and economic disparity, racial and gender discrimination and health care. Speechwriters, no doubt, are, at present, burning the midnight oil in break-neck efforts, to efficiently produce, persuasive and impactful, speeches for their respective candidates. Hearings have been commissioned and held, to unearth disqualifying political or legal impediments to candidacy. Newspapers and the television media, have never had it so good, in this busy era of hot political contention. Tribalism, public marches and demonstrations, political ads, and war-like contention between opposing sides of the many issues are widespread. An organization which had arrogated to itself, the presumptuous, self-serving title, “Right to Life,” has seen fit, despite its publicly purported dedication, to the holy sanctities of life, to commit, premeditated and deliberate murder, in the course of its zeal for its perceived moral cause; an autocratic, ignorant and cruel President, with an apparent, psychoneurotic fear of poor Mexican Immigrants, has broken up immigrant families and, has, incredibly, put separated Central American children in wire cages. We could proceed to further furnish, America’s dark, musty attic with additional, harmful, destructive and atavistic revenants of the Dark Ages, but this note has a theme, which we would prefer, to express, at this juncture.
To attempt to convincingly do so, we would take the liberty of digression, for a brief, but analogically useful observation, employing the subject of trees, plants and flora, in general. A pleasant hike in a natural habitat, such as the woodlands, will reveal to the walker, verdant foliage, beautiful flowers, stately trees and a variety of shrubs. Regardless of his personal preference, the hiker, of course, is aware of the fact that all flora have roots, which are a vital part of his admired tree or flower; indeed, of all foliage. Roots, which are knowledgeably, attached to all plants and grow underground, afford it stability, and in addition, systemic existence, by furnishing life supporting, water and nutrients.
Like the eternal existence and existential function, of roots, it is education that provides the underlying source for the nourishment of man’s capability to reason, and his development of mature prospective. It has always been our consistent position, that Thomas Jefferson was entirely correct when he declared, that for a Republican Democracy to be successful, it requires literate and informed citizens. We have, in an earlier writing, expressed our anxious concern, as to whether the unexpected elevation of Donald Trump to America’s highest office, was a one-off aberration, or alternatively, a warning sign that the level of education and reason on the part of the American citizen, has been historically downgraded.
Continuing with the analogy, we cannot maintain the health of America’s woodlands (read, “Nation”) unless we, responsibly and regularly, see to it that its basic underpinnings, its roots, are responsibly watered and its flora, dutifully and continuously nourished. Underlying our nation’s divisive problems is the lack of sufficient and adequate, systemic education. Objective information, when duly and intelligently, considered by an informed and knowledgeable citizenry, is capable of producing a needed consensus and, hopefully, a path to the solution of America’s problems. Differences, where they exist, can be solved, or at least, resolved, by shared reason and an objectively informed approach to the issues; or at a minimum, an informed understanding of the alternate, or contending position.
We are disappointed to observe an overemphasis, by candidates and by the media, on the public’s hotly contested issues, which exacerbates the Nation’s current problem of divisive tribalism, and relatively minor attention paid, to their underlying, foundational cause, inadequate citizen education. The successful goal and benefit of enhanced awareness, can lead to improved mutual understanding, and, perhaps, even to eventual national concord. Education and heightened awareness is, inarguably conducive to the systemic health of the nation. Not unlike the analogous practice of watering roots, it promotes growth and the attainment of man’s potential. Our idealistic Founding Fathers, we have previously noted, anticipated regular civic (and civil) debate, between informed citizens, as the beneficial route, to a sufficient understanding of the Nation’s issues and ultimately, their proper resolution.
Candidates who profess sincere love for our country, should espouse a much needed National program of improvement in education, rather than, tactically, pandering controversial topics, to the lowest common denominator of their voting districts.
We perennially yearn for a truly enlightened and verdant America.