My parents took “civics” in school; I took “government,” then there was political science. I’ve heard that, by whatever name, government is no longer a required high school subject. True, it is impossible to study American history without exposure to the basics of democratic government, but I wonder what today’s students think, understand and believe about the role of government in their lives. More importantly, I wonder what their attitudes toward and grasp of government will be in the future, as adults.
As much as I care deeply about political outcomes, “politics” are not enjoyable. There has got to be a way to have elections without the constant clamor of TV ads, roadside signs and junk mail. Then, especially this year, we have to watch and listen as the incumbent candidate draws a fictional derogatory description of a cheeky challenger who has dared to call him to task. The result? No one is smiling or laughing — unless you consider jeering and derision as laughter. Politics should be renamed “many giggles,” polytickles until it becomes more dignified.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.