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A quick quiz

By Dr. Michael R. Bowen
web posted May 14, 2001

Let's try a quick quiz:

1. What happened in 1066?

2. What Shakespeare play features a black man?

3. What happened at Midway?

4. What happened in 1492?

5. When was the Emancipation Proclamation issued?

6. By whom?

7. Who wrote The Great Gatsby?

8. Who composed the Declaration of Independence?

9. Can you name one person who signed the Declaration?

10. Name any General who fought at Gettysburg, and for whose side.

If you can answer all or most of these questions correctly, God bless you. If you cannot, then I am willing to bet that:

1. You think reparations for slavery is a good idea.

2. You think global warming is a proven fact.

3. You believe that religion has been the cause of most of history's war and genocide .

4. You think that Maya Angelou is a poet.

5. You think that poor people are poor because the rich people have all the money.

6. You think that government could cure poverty by taking all the rich people's money and giving it to the poor people. Come to think of it, you think money comes from the government.

The Magna Carta
The Magna Carta

Well, I could go on and on. My point is that if you cannot come within a mile or a decade of the answers to the quiz, you are probably a product of the new, "enlightened" method of education which has been adopted in the last 30 years or so. Your education has focused on marginal aspects of history and literature, and has ignored the vast majority of the great events and works which produced American democracy. You will have spent large amounts of time studying slavery, women's liberation, the extermination of the Indians, and the Jim Crow South, but will have heard almost nothing about the Magna Carta, Jefferson's declaration of religious liberty, or America's sacrifice of her young men to save the world from Hitler and Tojo. It is as if an anatomy teacher presented you with an Olympic athlete with an ingrown toenail and spent the entire course on the toenail while ignoring the superb physique and self-discipline which make the athlete who he is. Your view of athletes would of course be distorted, and would certainly do you harm when you came into conflict with one and thought you were challenging a sore toe only to find you are wrestling with a strong man.

The Education Establishment has managed to present two generations of Americans with the sore toe view of reality. They will be gone or retired when the chickens come home to roost, and the students they deceived find themselves struggling with a reality much more muscular than they had expected. The wheel will have to be reinvented. The inevitable pairing of freedom and responsibility will have to be rediscovered. Mr. Santayana will once again be proven right. (10 extra points if you know who he was).

Other related articles: (open in a new window)

  • Indoctrination, not education by Alan Caruba (February 12, 2001)
    Alan Caruba denounces George W. Bush's education "fix" as an expansion of power for the Department of Education, an agency no one can find listed in the constitution
  • Illiterate America by Alan Caruba (February 5, 2001)
    Alan Caruba is frightened by how dumb graduates are today. Judging by the numbers, people are plenty dumb

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