I found at a used book sale, a copy of The American Citizen’s Handbook by Joy Elmer Morgan, the sixth edition, published last in 1968 by the NEA. It was the sort of civics book millions of us studied in High School, and wherewith learned to love our country, respect our fellow citizens, honor other cultures and nations, be self-reliant, and have practical compassion for those who are in need.
In other words, it was both Old-fashioned Liberal and Old-fashioned Conservative, and we sorely miss its ilk. Regrettably, it is no longer in print, and according to urban legend, in its embarrassment at its messages, the NEA buried the last 10,000 copies it had.
I also have found a copy of The Good Citizen’s Handbook: A Guide to Proper Behavior, which is no longer in print. It is a cut-and-paste from old elementary school civics lessons, ’50’s style, which will be insulting to many for what it does not include. I am impressed with what it does include, which we do not teach today, whether in public school or the home.
We seem to be sorely in need of elementary civics lessons, which included citizenship, civility, and civilized behavior, something that the barbarians among us wish desperately to destroy.
Why not look up some of these things that worked to create the greatest nation on earth, and try them again? Can’t be any worse than what we’ve been doing recently.
Used to be, we took Civics seriously in this land. It was pure, unadorned propaganda, designed to mold children’s ideas and attitudes into something resembling those of a solid Citizen.
Today, of course, the opposite seems to be ongoing, trying to teach the next generation how loathsome their native land is, and how despicable they are to be living in such a country. Not all, but enough to make formerly cringeworthy statements commonplace.
Old Time Civics Videos
There are a lot of videos here, but if you were pressed for time, why are you reading my ramblings?
So, for proper edification, I am including some of the bad old propaganda videos here. Are they dated? You bet. And, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
There’s the ones that tout Our Way Of Life.
There’s the ones that explain how the system works.
There’s the ones which let you know how bad the other side is.
There are even attempts to embrace full citizenship.
Remarkable… everyone working together and not like primitive rival tribes squabbling over crumbs.
With a little drop of Mister Dooley
(Why anyone thinks a “business” bureaucrat is more honest and has the Public benefit in mind more than a “government” bureaucrat is beyond me.)
(Aye, those who came before me are a gang of snobs and drones, and those who come after are thugs and brutes. Begorah!)
And for disillusionment, George Carlin