The Real Cause of the Decline of American Politics

What follow is a quote from an email I got from friend of mine who got it from a friend of his who got it form a friend… You know how this works, right? Any, I’ve removed the names to protect the guilty.

The follow-on is a funny and true story shared with me by [name removed] who teaches Government at [name removed] High School . In one of [his] classes, they were discussing the qualifications to be president of the United States . It was pretty simple:

The candidate must be a natural born citizen of at least 35 years of age.

However, one girl in the class immediately started in on how unfair was the requirement to be a natural born citizen. In short, her opinion was this requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming president.

[The teacher] and the class were just taking it in and letting her rant, but everyone’s jaw hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating, “What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by c-section?!”

And someday she’ll vote!

This story is both very funny and very sad at the same time. As humor of the “dumb blonde” genre, it is pretty funny, but as a commentary on the educational system in this country. Most states require every high school student to take a government class in either their freshman or sophomore year. This is where they are supposed to learn how to be good responsible citizens of this country. And this is where they would learn the difference between a natural-born and a naturalized citizen. It appears that the teacher who shared this story failed at least one of his students in not making sure all of them understood the difference.

This story raises a very serious and extremely important question: how can we expect to have an informed electorate, one that understands the issues facing this country and each candidate’s position on those issues when our public education system is failing to make sure that it meets its resoinsibilities to the students of this country? If you spend any time reading some of the social sites on the Internet, you will know just how unimformed and misinformed young Americans are on the issues. The poor girl who is the butt of this joke is far from alone in her lack of knowledge.

My advice to this teacher is not to share this joke as a means of poking fun at this poor girl, but rather use it as an example of the failure of the American public educational system, and perhaps of his own failures as a teacher. It’s because we have too many voters like this girl that we end up electing people like George Bush. And why so many of us believe everything we read on the Internet, no matter how ludicrous it really is.

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