A Dose of Common Sense

A couple of weeks ago, I saw Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss on the Neal Cavuto show (Dreyfuss captured the Best Actor award in 1996 for his role in Mr. Holland’s Opus).  To say I was impressed with the aging star’s appearance on a business/political show would be an understatement.  Apparently, just like an onion, there are more layers to certain Hollywood personages than we can see from the outside—especially when Dreyfuss revealed his views on the state of our country as it relates to the current election cycle.

Now before you say about me, “But I thought he never talked about politics,” read what I have to say first.  This is not a political diatribe* at all, but merely my observation about someone else’s observations (Dreyfuss’s) about what is occurring in our country.  Because I did not record the program, and I would not presume to quote (or misquote) Mr. Dreyfuss, I will have to paraphrase what he said, which is as follows:

studentThere is a lack of teaching going on in our schools.  To wit: they are not teaching young people how to think!  Dreyfuss cited the fact that schools are no longer including the subject of Civics in their curriculum.  I have been lamenting this for years, and challenge any parent of a teenager today to ask their offspring a direct question about a specific aspect of government.  More likely than not, the youngster will be unable to answer it—and for good reason.  (I still remember my 9th grade Civics instructor, Mr. Larsen, talking about county and state government, bi-cameral legislatures, and the like.)  

SocratesI believe that there is a dumbing-down that is occurring in every facet of our society, led mainly by a major push in that direction in our primary and secondary schools, on up through our institutions of higher learning.  There is a consensus among “thinking” individuals that this is definitely occurring, however the big question is: why?  And I will leave that to you, dear reader, to answer.

Do you agree with Richard Dreyfuss that today’s young people lack the ability to think?  Are they as familiar with how our government was intended to work as we are (if you are over the age of 50, you should be), and if they aren’t, what is the reason for the status quo?  (I have my own opinion, but I’d much rather hear yours.)  Use the comments section below, and tell me what you think.  I’d love to know.

*(See, no political message.)

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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of five books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises and Deadly Ransom. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at: http://www.joeperronejr.com.
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5 Responses to A Dose of Common Sense

  1. balroop2013 says:

    Hi Joe,
    I can speak for myself. I was raised in a closed and overprotected environment, told to think in the way the society expects and what the teachers goad down our throats…yet I could break free.
    Despite all the dumbing down, human mind possesses astounding power to choose once it develops the IQ and EQ.
    Nothing much has changed since the beginning of human race as far as human behavior is concerned and it is true in case of educating our posterity too but enlightenment rests with them.
    Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your insightful comment (as always). 🙂


    • Gene says:

      I agree with Mr. Dreyfus since you have College Graduates that can’t Identify a picture of any world leader including Obama much less be able to name them. The millennials that I have spoken with all say they do not keep up with current events because the news is nothing but lies and violence. I believe that to be true because they elected our current president even though no one knew anything about him and no one bothered to Vet him. Still don’t know anything about him! Another politician has these same young people believing the world and everything in it should be free and handed equally to all the people. It is unknown to them how all the free stuff gets paid for!!! (PARENTS?)


  2. Too much focus on test scores, removal of many crucial to successful life skils (a mere sample: geography, cursive writing, grammar, rote memory of math facts, the arts). Many teachers spend their own money to purchase teaching/learning materials), but many are not able to do so and so much attention is given to test results that teaching to the tests takes up so much time that our students are the losers when it comes to preparing for life. My opinion only, but I’m totally in agreement with the Socratic method of teaching, and that takes time. Since time is money, why not spend it on the basics.


  3. Allie P. says:

    This was the first year I had to deal with common core and it has been enough to make me wonder if there is truth to his theory.

    Liked by 2 people

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