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Kanook – Tlingit Nation

September 7th, 2010

Although some of my memories of my formative years do not contain any particular

teacher who heaps of fondness there are a couple who come to mind that spent more time
then allowed to try and pound a few facts of life into my thick brain. Over the years I
have grown to understand the difficulties the underpaid individuals encountered in their
dedicated walk through life to educate the youngsters sitting behind their desks their
minds floating off into another world. It used to be that most teachers were truly the
underappreciated Homo sapiens walking around the United States, that is since the
advent of a certain expert Doctor who proclaimed that it was against human nature to
punish their children. Today the ordinary teacher works harder at avoiding a flaming
lawsuit from an up-on-step parent who failed in teaching their children any thing
resembling respect or discipline.
Most of us walking about realize without a doubt that the foundation of a strong
democracy is to enjoy an educated electorate, an idea based on the fact that having
educated men and women that can reason through the pros and cons of diverse
alternatives in a search to identify solutions to various situations. Individuals who will
accept the role of their choice in selecting other members of our society that will work
long hours to represent the people who placed their trust in them, whereas being educated
the individual will reason and analyze their choices picking someone they believe can
best understand or comprehend the role of good government.
In choosing their representative it is natural to assume that the choice of a particular
person will be based on the beliefs of the person doing the selection, whereas the
selection process will involve the person having the same or similar views as the
individual making the choice. While the selection process would be much simpler if each
of us could have the same view, and a hard and true government would result, the world
is not so structured. Perspectives vary from person to person, albeit there does come a
time when some find out their views might be closer than they realize and the person that
the majority elects move forward to represent the electorate. It helps to have an educated
voter, one who has the ability and knowledge to be able to weight the options presented
and the historical background of the candidate on the ballot. An educated person, in
some cases, it believe to make a choice using his or her power to analyze a problem,
much better than an uneducated individual. Albeit on the surface if appears true, ask a
lover if reason is a stronger force in life than “passion”. An individual driven by passion
will make a steadfast choice whether or not they have established a concrete reason for
doing so – consequently most uneducated people passionate about religion or race will
base their decision without examining the results of their decision.
And just when it appears that it is just reason or passion that drives most of us, out pops
emotion whereas individuals employing their past education and reasoning ability can
argue two-points of view for years without resolution. As the debate progresses it
becomes easier for the participants to become locked in step with their own opinion,
whereas they eventually loose perspective with the two-points they have been debating,
leaving the one behind as being a falsehood – thereby reason is hidden by the power and
fury of emotion.
Ask yourself if education of the electorate is not the foundation for a strong democracy
that what is? It become apparent that emotion cannot support democracy where hero
worship leads directly to a dictatorship where faults, flaws and criminal acts are ignored
by supporters, their minds hidden behind rose-colored glasses they wear. Consider that
millions still worship the leadership provided by Stalin, and the fact the Hitler still
maintains a bleacher full of fans.
In all strong democracies the foundation of its strength depends on each representative
to defend their position periodically and in an open forum, whereas their positions,
interests, and character of each are exposed in the election process – and if they don’t
defend the interests in an open forum the electorate will more than likely replace them
during the next election. Corruption, incompetence, arrogance, and deceit can be
exposed and their chair amongst the leaders filled by another, in this the true power of
democracy rests with the electorate – supposedly, unless the corruption and deceit
spreads out to the voting machine and the results are skewed to the desired results of the
person under question.
It is said in some circles that an educated electorate is not the foundation for a strong
democracy, if this is true what can be said is the true value of education with respect to
democracy? Education it might be said does not serve democracy best by creating an
educated electorate, but by providing a much larger pool of candidates to chose from,
whereas shrinking the pool of candidates leads to a restriction of choice and thereby
reduces to power that resides in the electorate – such actions will soon spiral out of
control creating the establishment of a monarchy.
The creation of a larger pool of candidate representatives is not the only value of
education regarding democracy, whereas educated people ask questions demanding
solutions about which the representatives debate, whereby a reduced pool of educated
citizens reduces the quality of the questions thereby demanding less and less from the
elected leaders. Result, the leaders spiral towards mediocrity.
Teachers in their frustration today see more and more poorly written papers floating
across their desks, shaking their heads while administrators in some cases demand more
financial reward for sheltering the idiot graduation classes contributing the plunge of
democracy led by leaders put in office with promises splashed across the media in 15-30
second sound bites with a backdrop cleverly constructed to reach out and grab the
uneducated voters based on emotion, passion and very little substance to the topic.
Granted there are a handful who sit awake until the wee hours of the morning framing a
new idea, who at times more than likely wonder “why bother” as their fellow leaders go
merrily on their way handing out favors to the highest contributor in their bid for office.
Consequently the governing of our nation is slowly but surely being ripped away from
the voter, who now casts their opinion based on the input from slick advertising and
billboards depicting the candidate kissing old ladies and babies by the train load.
Understand a “perfect” democratic utopia does not exist but pushing aside the “goal” of
any attempt in pursuing the idea is hurting the United States. The dream of a government
by the people and for the people must persist, if not what my fathers and forefathers
fought to achieve is so much blood over the table and no more. And that picture of a
naked man sitting by a campfire cooking his dinner might not be in our far distant past,
but a snapshot of what our future holds…think about it!