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Posts Tagged ‘political correctness’

MY TALK ON CITIZENSHIP REDUX

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 11, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Some thoughts on how to promote citizenship in America.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

This is an updated version of a column I wrote some time ago. There’s a book recommendation at the end which would make a great holiday gift for a young person in High School or College.

I was recently asked to give a lecture on “Citizenship” at a local Masonic Lodge. Drawing from a couple of my past columns, I assembled the following short talk:

My biggest concern regarding citizenship pertains to how we teach history and civics in this country. In some High Schools, “American History” runs from World War II to the present. This means students are not learning such things as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Civil War, the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, Prohibition, the League of Nations, and much more. In other words, they only discuss the last 77 years, and not the events leading up to the founding of our country and the turmoils we had to endure. As an aside “World History” is now just World War I to the present. So much for the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Marco Polo, the Magna Carta, Ferdinand Magellan, Alexander the Great, et al. I presume they had no bearing on our civilization.

Such ignorance of our history caused famed historian David McCullough to observe, “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”

We are also not educating youth properly in terms of “Civics”; understanding our responsibilities as citizens, such as voting, serving on a jury, how legislation is enacted, or what is included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. No wonder young people do not grasp the significance of such things as the Electoral College, the structure of our government, or what their rights are.

Naivety and ignorance leads to apathy at the ballot box. In the 2016 elections, only 57.9% of the citizens voted (over 90 million didn’t vote at all). This is a pitiful figure when you compare it to other democracies like Australia, India, and the Scandinavian countries. Surprisingly, this was the highest voting percentage in the United States since 1968 (60.8%). The highest in recent history was in 1960 (63.1%) for the Kennedy/Nixon election. Even though Millennials (ages 18-35) are now the largest potential voting block, they continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any age group.

It is sad when legal immigrants understand the workings of the government and history better than native born Americans. Maybe all citizens should take the same oath naturalized citizens do. Since 1778, immigrants coming to this country have had to pass a test and take an oath swearing their allegiance to the United States. The current oath is as follows:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Not surprising, immigrants coming through this program tend to appreciate this country and are more loyal than native born Americans. Another cause for this could be because there is less emphasis on teaching American government and history in the schools than in years past. As such, the importance of being a citizen has not been impressed upon our youth.

So, as a proposal, how about administering a modified version of the immigration oath to all native born Americans, perhaps on July 4th? Better yet, how about Constitution/Citizenship Day on September 17th? All that is necessary is to simply modify the first sentence of the Immigration Oath; to wit:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Parents could give the oath to their children, thereby turning it into a family tradition; civic organizations and local governments could administer it in public group settings, or perhaps some other venue. Maybe even the media could get involved and administer it over the airwaves or Internet. It should be administered in some solemn way with a right hand raised and the left hand placed on either a copy of the U.S. Constitution or perhaps a holy book such as a Bible, Torah, or Koran.

The oath is certainly not the same as the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, this is instead a reaffirmation of our commitment to our country and would help promote citizenship and voting. Maybe this is something that should be given routinely as opposed to just one time; to remind people of their allegiance to this country. I cannot help but believe this simple gesture would have nothing but beneficial effects.

One last observation, during this past year, the talking heads on television recommended avoiding any talk of politics at the dinner table, particularly during Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays. I disagree. We do not do enough talking at the table in a calm and reasonable manner. Instead of leaving citizenship to the school educators and the media, parents should spend more time discussing it around the dinner table, not in a dictatorial manner, but in a frank and open discussion. I believe our youth would better understand the virtue of the Electoral College if it came from their parents as opposed to an entertainer or athlete.

Maybe then, youth will appreciate the need for “Citizenship.”

P.S. – Here are some reading resources that should be useful:

“Elementary Catechism of the Constitution of the United States” (1828) by Arthur J. Stansbury – for many years, school children learned this catechism. It is just as relevant today as it was nearly 200 years ago. It is available free of charge as a PDF file on the Internet.

Also on the Internet, the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Service has a page describing “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” along with links to other free resources.

My favorite book for young people is, “The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World” by W. Cleon Skousen. It sells for about $16-$18 and is available from Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. This makes an excellent holiday gift suitable for students in High School and College. In my humble opinion, all young people should be given a copy of this book as it describes the mechanics of our government. Think of it as a crash course in Civics. Enjoy!

Remember, education is the key to our political future.

Originally published: March 8, 2017

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

BABY, IT’S POLITICALLY CORRECT OUTSIDE

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 6, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Attacking holiday programming.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Tis the season, not for Christmas or any other religious holiday, but for political correctness. It appears the holidays have triggered a wave of criticism over audio/video classics as heard and seen for years over our airwaves. This is just another example of political correctness running amok.

First there was the TV special, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” which originally aired in 1973 and won an Emmy Award. For 45 years, it was a beloved holiday classic, but not in 2018 when it was accused of racism. It was recently pointed out that at the dinner-table scene, Franklin, the lone black character, sat on one side of the table alone in a lawn chair, while the other white characters were on the opposite side sitting in regular chairs. Critics today claim this is a very racist scene. To his credit, Charles M. Schulz, created Franklin in 1968, making him one of the first cartoonists to incorporate a black character in his strip. Schulz later claimed he created Franklin after being inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So instead of applauding Schulz’s efforts, he is criticized by the PC police in 2018.

Next, we have the 1964 Christmas Classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” narrated by the late great Burl Ives. For 54 years, this film was cherished by children, but not in 2018 where critics today declare it “disturbing.” Santa is accused of racism for not accepting Rudolph due to his red nose, Hermey the Elf is described as a “Sadistic Psychopath,” the elves are accused of inbreeding, and Yukon Cornelius is considered “Mentally Unstable.” I wonder how we overlooked all of this for over 50 years?

In 1969, “Frosty the Snowman” was brought to television and narrated by the late Jimmy Durante with his marvelous gravelly voice. It was inspired by the popular song sung in 1950 by the legendary cowboy-singer Gene Autry. For 49 years the show was enjoyed by millions of children, but again, as with the others, it is not acceptable in 2018. Frosty’s melting scene is now said to give children nightmares as he is “viciously murdered” by an evil magician who wants Frosty’s magic hat. Santa returns to bring Frosty back to life, but it is now being claimed this scene traumatizes young people. Having grown up in the north, and made many a snowman in my day, we all knew they were not real and what would happen when the Spring thaw came, but to be traumatized by this in 2018, it makes you wonder what they are putting in kid’s cereals these days.

Finally, we come to WDOK-FM 102.1 (aka, Star 102) in Cleveland who recently banned the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as it could be construed as promoting male predatory tactics of women, something of keen interest to the #metoo movement (anyone remember the Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings?). Although it is not a true Christmas song, it was written in 1944 and played around the holidays. It is primarily sung as a duet between a man and a women. In its 74 year history, there have been dozens of renditions by a variety of artists, including: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán, Vanessa Williams and Bobby Caldwell, Lee Ann Womack and Harry Connick Jr., Anne Murray and Michael Bublé, Martina McBride and Dean Martin, and many others. Great music, but you won’t hear it anytime soon in Cleveland.

WDOK-FM ran a poll on their Facebook page asking listeners what holiday song should be omitted from their playlist, and out of 600 responses, 94% (564 votes) were in favor of it, but only 6% (36 votes) were against it. So, thanks to a meager 36 people, the radio station dumped the tune. Who-da-thunk-it?

All of these shows and music range in age from 49 to 74 years old, and introduced in the 1940’s, 50’s, the turbulent 60’s, and early 70’s. One cannot help but wonder where was the outrage back then? Were we really so naive and clueless not to see the hidden meanings? Is it possible we were socially mal-adjusted or is there something wrong with today’s sense of right and wrong? Frankly, I think there is something in the water causing this distortion of reality. These classics may not have been the most brilliant artistically, but I do not believe they were deliberately designed to embarrass anyone.

The criticisms of the old television classics appear to be coming from Millennial writers who seem to be making mountains out of mole hills. They either want to create something controversial to boost their readership, or they honestly believe the nonsense they write. Unfortunately, their badgering will likely cause the mainstream media to abandon these holiday classics. I just wonder what they propose to replace them with, perhaps titles such as, “A Charlie Brown LGBT Thanksgiving,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Wussy,” “Frosty the Snowflake,” and “Baby, Get Your Ass Out of Here, Can’t You See I’m Texting?”

The far left is confounded by President Trump who is an ardent proponent of Christmas. The fact he likes to say “Merry Christmas” this time of year, as opposed to “Happy Holidays” or “Season Greetings,” drives them crazy. Since there appears to be a resurgence in Christmas, the left is attacking the peripheral aspects of the holidays, hence the attacks on Rudolph, Frosty, et al. They will not be happy until organized religion, particularly Christianity, is removed from our culture. The reality though is this will never happen.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

POLITICALLY INCORRECT

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 26, 2010

I think the reason we really don’t like political correctness (PC) is because we feel it is being jammed down our throats, that it is unnatural and requires us to change. Basically, it is suggesting we’re insensitive and disrespect others, that we have some kind of character flaw. If you say or do something politically incorrect, you are quickly admonished to mend your ways, or else. Frankly, I think of political correctness as Miss Manners on steroids.

Back in 1970, George C. Scott portrayed General George S. Patton of World War II fame. The opening speech in “Patton” was memorable and set the tone for the General’s character in the movie. At the time, the speech was considered rough and crude. So much so, it wasn’t unusual for some viewers to walk out of the theater after only the opening sequence. It was most definitely not politically correct for the times. Actually, the speech was a compilation of several speeches Patton had delivered, not just one. Nonetheless, he said and meant every word. His “Blood and Guts” no-nonsense style captivated most viewers which was rather unusual during the age of the hippie revolution and the Viet Nam War.

More recently, Clint Eastwood portrayed a retired Detroit autoworker in the movie “Gran Torino.” His character, Walt Kowalski, was also a no-nonsense type who was politically incorrect. Yet, despite his language, the audience understood his intent, which was to cleanup crime in his neighborhood.

Between Patton and Eastwood’s character, we see two individuals who may lack social graces but devised unorthodox tactics to achieve their goals, and didn’t give a damn what other people thought. Political correctness is a nicety which adds a level of complexity that, in some circumstances, can interfere with getting the job done, particularly in high pressure life/death situations where action and tough decisions must be made as opposed to considering the feelings of others. From this perspective, I tend to regard PC as a luxury.

Over the years I have written numerous articles on a wide variety of subjects, everything from management and technology, to religion and politics. On more than one occasion I have been cautioned by people not to write about this or that as it might offend certain people and hurt my reputation. Due to the unique nature of my consulting practice I have always tried to tell the truth and give an honest appraisal of the situation at hand. You may not always agree with me, but at least you know where I stand on an issue. In a way, I often feel like the child in the Hans Christian Andersen tale who exclaims, “The Emperor has no clothes!” Although he naively spoke the truth, his observation made people nervous and squirm, particularly those in power. One of the things I learned early on is that the obvious is not always obvious, or politically correct, but we would make little progress if we didn’t look at ourselves in the mirror once and awhile, warts and all. So, I will continue to write in accordance with my conscious, not others.

Being politically incorrect doesn’t necessarily mean you are rough around the edges. Rather, it means you are probably more focused on your mission at hand and God help the person who gets in your way, definitely a Type “A” personality. The politically incorrect person simply doesn’t accept the status quo and wants to smash it in order to achieve his goals. Political correctness is only for when we have time to accommodate such etiquette.

Politically incorrect people are typically described as “colorful” characters and, in my opinion, are more interesting than their PC counterparts. They are not “deranged” as some people might portray them, and they certainly cannot be accused of being “bland.” (See my other article on PC: “Let us be Bland”) To a lot of people, being politically incorrect is a trait to be envied, not spurned.

As Patton concluded in his speech, “All right now, you sons-of-a-bitches, you know how I feel. Oh, I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That’s all.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Copyright © 2010 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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