It’s important for citizens to understand more about civic institutions and ideas in our world in order to be effective in civic engagement. Knowledge about civics helps everyone on earth to live in peace, harmony, and prosperity.
People from across the globed “escaped” oppressive and backward regimes for the opportunities available in America.
Civic engagement allows us to better see all sides of political issues and arguments.
We need to seek truth and wisdom and let them be our guiding principles in civic life.
More and more people fill all spaces on earth every day. We need rules, courtesies, and boundaries. We need a government. Former House Speaker, “Tip O’Neill,” said, “All politics is local.” How true. Though we live in a world where we have access to information from across the globe, what is most important is whatever happens outside our front doors.
A Changing World
Americans lived for decades believing that two oceans protected us from the rest of the world. People from across the globed “escaped” oppressive and backward regimes for the opportunities available in America. Today, we know what everyone else is doing everywhere, and many of them know what we are doing.
People across the world live at risk from everyone else regardless of where they are on the Earth. Warships have helped wage havoc on other nations for hundreds of years. Airplanes were next being quicker and deadlier. Then came intercontinental ballistic missiles, ICBMs. Shortly after, aerial and satellite surveillance came into being. The creation/invention of the Internet has made it possible for subversive forces to wage war in our homes and in our minds.
Two world wars took place, for the most part, in the Eastern Hemisphere, as did the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the dozens of Middle East wars and skirmishes. The Cold War further stoked our fear of Russian communism which was replaced shortly afterward by global terrorism. I am a Vietnam Veteran and I have a perspective to share with you. Most of the American military was indoctrinated with the idea that we fought in Vietnam to stop the proliferation of communism.
The communists did not come across the Pacific by sea and air, but have infiltrated our society through the Internet and by gaining prominent positions in our government, schools, and other institutions. Many of them arrived with personal invitations to attend our colleges and universities and go to work for major and critical industries.
Civic Engagement and Information
There are too many books on this subject to list them all and more are coming out every day. If you are not an avid reader, might I suggest a documentary: Hidden Agenda, narrated by G. Edward Griffin. Watch this and you will be driven to get the books and learn more of the details.
We see and read about America’s “liberal left” and “democratic socialists” working to influence public policy and “change” (as voiced by Senator Charles Schumer) America. In 2021, control of the population is not achieved with rifles and swords, it is achieved by controlling information.
The information war has escalated in the last five years to the point where few people (rightfully) trust major news sources and there are private companies censoring free speech on the Internet … a medium that we all feel that we own and have the right to use legally as we choose.
Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute writes:
“Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery. In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.”
Why it Matters
Civic engagement allows us to better see all sides of political issues and arguments. Once we have heard the information, and probably disinformation, we can make reasonable assessments of the truth and how to move forward. Author Alan W. Dowd wrote this for Legion magazine:
“Information evolves into knowledge as we organize the information into something useable and then apply it to a problem or need. Wisdom comes along as we combine knowledge with experience and judgment and apply it to the challenges of life.”
Such should be our approach to civic education, civic engagement, and civic life. Organize what we learn and apply it to the challenge of making the world, and our communities better places.
Socialism is the first step toward communism. Under socialism, individual rights, identities, privileges, and opportunities are slowly stripped away. Look at what has happened in our Capitalist society during the COVID-19 debacle under liberal-leaning politicians. Americans have tried to look at business, school, and church closures, curfews, lockdowns, and other restrictions as temporary. Maybe. Hopefully. May God permit.
Given that the COVID oppressions have continued for more than a year, and given that there is an ever-increasing political divide among the American people, this could also be permanent and prone to get worse. We need to seek truth and wisdom and let them be our guiding principles in civic life.
Mr. Keillor is the creator of Mark Keillor’s American Pie Seminar, an extensive lesson that includes history, civics, community economic literacy, and leadership. His approach is to relate individuals’ lives in a way that makes them want to understand civics principles and become active in their communities. He has studied the U.S. Constitution, “untaught history” and the lack of civics education in America. He spent a career in community and economic development. His writings clear up misconceptions of the Federal debt, taxes and the wealth gap, civil unrest, and much more. He is a graduate of Ball State University and the Economic Development Institute.