So Many Dunces, So Few Dunce Caps

| June 4 2012
Burt Prelutsky

Whoever said that youth is wasted on the young was mistaken. After all, it generally takes maturity before one is in a position to fully realize that there is more to life than sex, drugs, booze and really rotten music.

What is truly wasted on youth is the vote.  Well, that and their parents’ money.

All you have to do is look at the mob of youngsters attracted to such things as Ron Paul’s campaign, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Hope & Change election of Barack Obama, to realize that it makes more sense to trust these young louts around heavy machinery than it is anywhere in the political arena.

If you doubt me, just watch how these young wretches react whenever Obama promises them a freebie, be it free medical insurance or lower tuitions, to realize that the only significant difference between them and actual prostitutes is that the latter hold out for cash on the barrelhead.

The huge gap between the young and their elders can be seen in the way they respond to Obamian rhetoric.  For instance, generations of Americans understood that the American Dream translated to people of different races and religions having an equal opportunity to achieve everything and anything they were willing to work for, no matter what was required of them in terms of study, honest effort and perseverance.

But we now have Obama giving a speech in which he refers to the American Promise.  Who the heck is he to promise results?  Who is he to tell anyone they will be successful, even if they’re as dumb as doornails and as lazy as mules?  Since when is success in America a guaranteed entitlement?  We used to speak about equal playing fields, but only a socialist would dare promise equal results, and only a bunch of young slackers would applaud him.

There are exceptions to the rule.  They are mainly to be found in the U.S. military.  They understand the meaning of such words as patriotism, sacrifice and responsibility, unlike their civilian cousins who can’t even spell those words.

In case you think I’m exaggerating, I guess you must be unaware that, according to a recent poll, half the high school students in America can’t identify George Washington.  In a related video that’s gone viral on the Internet, one high school student in the state of Washington stumped a bunch of his cohorts asking them to name the capital of their state.  They mainly guessed Seattle; the right answer is Olympia.

When he asked them to name the current vice-president, he got an assortment of interesting answers, including George Bush, Bill Clinton and a fellow named bin Laden.

When the students were asked in which war the United States gained its independence, the Civil War and the Korean War were both mentioned.  Asked to identify the countries with which we shared borders, a few managed to come up with the right answer, but others mentioned South America and one young scholar replied, “There were too many to mention.”  When asked how many stars appear on our flag, most guessed 51.  A few said 50, but a few others thought it might be 52.

Finally, when challenged to name a country whose name began with a “U,” most were stumped, while one student took a stab with “Europe.”  But at least some of them had the good grace to be embarrassed when the pollster mentioned the United States.

In spite of such unfortunate findings, you may have noticed that the teachers unions keep demanding higher salaries and bigger pensions for their members.  Frankly, in a more just world, we tax payers would demand a refund, along with their teaching credentials.

But, of course, that wouldn’t be in keeping with Obama’s American Promise.

 

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