So, on Independence Day, NPR decided to tweet the entire Declaration of Independence as part of their holiday celebrations. Apparently this did not sit well with a bunch of people.
Needless to say, there was much mockery of those complaining. After all, if one is going to be a patriot, it would help to be able to recognize one of the country’s founding documents, right? Even a Google search would have been helpful.
Unfortunately, I know from personal experience that it’s not going to happen.
Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for twenty-five years ago…
One of my high school senior year courses was a Government class. Throughout the semester, our teacher, Ms. Baratti, would have us divide into five-person groups and do a project regarding some aspect of our government. These were often in-depth and required some thinking, like a presentation of a controversy regarding a Constitutional right or a bill that we wanted arguing before the state legislature. The first project, as I remember, was that we had to do a Declaration of Independence or a List of Rights and Grievances regarding any topic we chose. When writing ours, I made sure we kept to the same language and format that the original Declaration was written in. Keep in mind that we had gone over both the original Declaration and List of Rights and Grievances in some detail before this project.
When we had completed our Declarations/Lists, we put them on poster board, and Ms. Baratti placed all of them, from every group in every class, on her classroom wall. We were then asked to make observations about them in our class journals.
My only real observation was to note that almost every single other one (with maybe a couple of exceptions) started with, “We the people…”
So, yeah. After having been in a class who, even after studying the Declaration of Independence, couldn’t tell the difference between it and the Constitution, I’m not going to expect Joe Average to know what the hell it says.
I just wish more of those people admitted their lack of knowledge and/or taking time to learn what is being posted before flying off the handle. After all, the first step to fixing a problem is recognizing you have one.