Letter: A civics lesson is needed

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Editor of the Reformer,

My favorite teacher in high school was not a biology, physics, or chemistry teacher. His name was Virgil Puzzo and he taught Civics, a course which was once mandatory and, for some unknown reason, a course no longer required and in most cases not even offered.

Surveys have demonstrated that a large number of Americans would fail a citizenship exam. Several years ago, I gave my fellow Rotarians a quiz based on such exams and a significant number would have failed. Now these are intelligent, educated and, in most cases, college graduates. Imagine how the great unwashed masses would do.

Well, some of these surveys involved asking people questions such as: How may branches of government are there? Name them. What's your Senator or Representative's name? I could go on, but you get the idea. In virtually all of these cases a majority of those asked were ignorant of the answers.

People have no idea how our federal state and local governments operate, yet they blindly enter voting booths and make decisions based solely on emotions with little or no intellectual input.

I'm not arguing that if people had to take a course in Civics, they would suddenly become intelligent voters, but they would at least be better educated voters. If that were the case, folks might use their brains more and their guts less. It would also educate people on how towns such as ours operates and thus demonstrate just how inane the idea of a mayor would be.

Bob Fagelson,

Brattleboro, Jan. 30



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