Sunday, October 28, 2007

History not Social Studies

Today's Star Tribune newspaper in Minnesota ( included a nice anniversary article focused on "Prohibition" (the USA's constitutional amendment to ban alcohol production/consumption) which was set in motion on October 28, 1919 when US Congressman Andrew Volstead introduced legislation on this topic. Students of politics should note that Congressman Volstead lost his bid for re-election in the 1922 election although I am certain the gangsters/mob supported his campaign however they could since Mr. Volstead created a gold mine for them!!

This posting will NOT focus on whether or not Prohibition was a good or bad idea (it was a VERY bad idea!!) but instead it will focus on why it is essential that we consumers/parents demands that the classroom subject known as "Social Studies" is replaced in all of our schools with "History" and "Government" taught as stand alone topics. Social Studies is just too watered down to leave any lasting intellectual impact on students.

How can I say this? Here is evidence for the newspaper article I just mentioned at the start of this posting --

Shonnie Brault
Age 37
employee at Neumann's Bar (a former 1920's speakeasy/brothel) in St. Paul, Minnesota
Quote -- "I'm not a history buff." when responding to the reporter's question of whether or not she had heard of Prohibition.

Now this is exactly the problem with many voters when they have ZERO historical perspective on public policy issues. In this case Ms. Brault was born just 37 years after the repeal of Prohibition which is not the distant past. To take it a step further -- the Soviet Union dissolved (thank God!!) in 1991 which is now 16 years ago. So I have to wonder do the new voters who turn 18 years old for the 2008 elections know that the Soviet Union showed the world that centralized economic planing was a failure?

I really doubt it since a lot of polling results that I have seen show that our nation's young voters like the idea "universal health care" which is a centrally planned economic system. Believe me, I was in the Soviet Union in 1986 to see the universal health care that the Soviets delivered to their citizens (serfs) and I gave thanks that we had plenty of vodka to drink :-)

Study history not campaign promises,


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