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:
There 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.)
I 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.