Civics was a required course in school during the 1960s. Civics was based upon understanding of government, politics and your role as a citizen in a democracy.

We actually participated in a civics project by electing a class president. We campaigned, debated, made posters and held an election. Civics helps to teach critical thinking and self-reliance by encompassing civil debate, knowledge through research and respect for opposing opinions.

Many political leaders have capitalized on the lack of civics education. These elected officials learned that emotions, not facts, affect an individual’s personal beliefs. The best example of this emotional quagmire is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s oxymoronic statement “Democrats are actually communist.” Her goal is to raise emotional fever with the adjective “communist” without any facts supporting her label.

This nonsense is known as rhetoric. Rhetoric is looked upon as lacking sincerity and factual content. Rhetoric is the platform for fairy tales and just-so stories in some news media and among some elected officials and private citizens.

I firmly believe civics education will help Americans to understand their rights and responsibility as citizens. Civics teaches to depend upon the individual to think for themselves. Civics is a tool to prevent our democracy from becoming a dictatorship.

Paul Baresel

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