Idiocracy Idiocy and a Nation Full of Idiots Essay

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.....citizenship is essential to a democracy. Good citizenship entails active engagement in political issues, which creates an educated and informed voter empowered to make decisions based on fact and reason rather than on emotion and opinion. Good citizenship also entails active participation in the political process, including voting, political activism, and ongoing political education. The opposite of good citizenship is idiocy: self-centeredness and short sightedness that can damage and destroy a democracy. When citizens are idiots, they hijack the democracy by voting according to narrow and selfish concerns rather than by making concerns for the good of the polis. Idiots "place personal concerns (their own and their families' needs and wants) far out in front of community concerns and, in this lethal act of imbalance, threatened the freedoms and rights they were so eager to enjoy," (Parker, n.d., p. 71). Idiots do not understand or appreciate the privileges or responsibilities of living in a democracy.

Fortunately, idiocy can be resolved through education. Education is not just about imparting facts and information to children who can regurgitate that information on standardized exams. In fact, education is not just about preparing for a career path. Education is about empowering the individual to become a good citizen (Levinson, 2009).

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The achievement gap in public schools between whites and non-whites, or more realistically between the wealthy and the poor is meted out at the ballot box. Those students from underprivileged backgrounds with underclass status feel civically disempowered; they are therefore less likely to be active participants in the democracy. Just as their scholastic performance lags behind that of their peers, these students' civic performance and political education also lags behind. Instead of allowing these students to perpetuate the cycle of disempowerment, educators need to create a student body filled with good citizens. When teachers shirk their own responsibility to educate and empower their students in the democratic process, they unwittingly allow their students to become idiots.

The current crisis in the United States is due to rampant idiocy. Donald Trump's campaign capitalized on the state of "idiocracy" that has festered for decades in the United States, as citizens have become increasingly disillusioned and disempowered. A celebration of ignorance, and a tolerance of ignorance on the part of the polis, has enabled the emergence of a substantial number of idiots who "legally and officially were citizens...but then shunned the….....

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Levinson, M. (2009). Taking action: what we can do to address the civic achievement gap.

Parker, W.C. (n.d.). Democratic citizenship education.

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