Current Observations Home Current Observations Home Current Observations Home

Pupils Being Given 'Patriotism' Tests in Washington State Schools

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Paul Joseph Watson at printed an article about students in our state (Washington) being given patriotism tests. I'm curious to see if anyone else has seen this questionnaire. If you have, I'm interested in a copy of the questionnaire and any discussions that pertained to it. Specifically, why each question is considered "right" or "wrong" and the purpose behind this questionnaire.

Paul Joseph Watson | December 30 2005

Children in Washington State are being given 'Patriotism tests' which are completely unrelated to their studies. The paper gauges whether or not the student shows fealty to the power of the state and whether the student believes in the right to overthrow a corrupt government.

A reader from Washington State writes us to highlight a questionnaire paper handed out to her daughter and the rest of her 10th grade class.

The reader comments,

"We live in Washington state. My daughter is in 10th grade and found this to be interesting. She has a GPA of 3.75 and uses her brain. This was given in her English class, and has nothing to do with the materials they were studying. We thought you might be able to use this. They are grooming our kids. Keep up the great work. Christine."

The paper is shown below. Click for an enlargement.

Considering the fact that this paper is a complete one off in that it is not part of any standard curriculum, we must question the motivations behind it.

Is the paper a means of gauging the level of obedience to the state amongst American teenagers?

We have covered several examples before where the government identifies a target group in society and canvasses their views on the nature of power and when that power goes too far. For example, in the 90's, American marines and national guard were occasionally asked if they would be willing to fire on American citizens in a time of crisis.

We are by no means against patriotism when it means love of country. Unfortunately however, the new brand of so-called patriotism translates as worship of government, and that definition is something that the founding fathers never intended.

This may be an isolated case but if we receive anything similar then watch this space for any updates.

Now, I get to answer these questions...

1. It is never right to kill another person.

A: Disagree. You always have the right to protect your life and property. If that requires you to take the life of another to preserve your own, then it is justifiable.

2. Political leaders usually act in the best interests of their countries.

A: Disagree. (Assuming by "country" the questionnaire is referring to "people") Politicians usually start their political careers off with good intentions, but then get sucked into the corruption of government. In a few short years, the only concern that draws their attention is who will donate the most to their campaign funds.

3. If a political leader has done something wrong, it is all right to get rid of him or her be whatever means necessary.

A: Agree. Let us quote from The Declaration of Independence: "...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it... When a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government."

4."Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

A: Agree. This is a time-proven fact. The twentieth century alone is replete with examples.

5. In certain situations it may be justified for a political leader to bend or break the law for the good of the country.

A. Disagree. This is where the argument for "state's compelling interest" springs from. The "compelling interest" argument is just a fancy way for allowing the state to trample on an individual's rights. The state has no higher claim to an individual's right of life liberty, property, happiness, etc.

6. People should never compromise their ideals or beliefs.

A. Agree. Ideals and beliefs are the fabric of our civilized society. If a group of people decided to ignore their consciences, what would stop them from robbing you of all your stuff. Now imagine that same group were your local police department, or your national guard and they thought they had the backing of state authority on their side. They could march right through your neighborhood and slaughter everyone. Chilling!

7. "My country right or wrong" is not just a slogan; it is every citizen's patriotic duty.

A: Disagree. This type of logic is what catapults despots into power. One should always question authority and speak loudly when that authority is acting outside the law or is violating the rights of the people.

8. No cause, political or otherwise, is worth dying for.

A: Disagree. Would you run into a burning house to save your child? Of course you would! Who wouldn't?

9. "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant taste of death but once."

A: Agree... and Disagree. Wisdom also teaches you to pick your battles. So, I guess it depends on each individual scenario. Do you seize the day or do you walk away? Do you lose the battle to win the war? It really depends on the situation.

10. "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is [often buried] with their bones."

A: Agree (generally). Can we name any good that came from the dictatorships of Pol Pot, Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, or Joseph Stalin? Not without an encyclopedia close at hand. But ask about the horrible atrocities these men committed on their people and the examples will come rushing forth.


Blogger Britt Howard said...

Ok, that questionaire is disturbing on a multiple of levels. It might be appropriate for seniors in High School or on a college level and then in conjuntion with some kind of course rooted in comparative philosophy, international studies, or other such class.

I actually disagreed to a small degree with some of your answers. On number 2, I think they mostly do act in our best interest. It's just that the time they spend padding their own pockets and power bases is quite evident and damaging at times. Damage that must be reversed whenever possible.

On number 3, that depends. It depends on what they did as to what means you should be willing to take. The preferred way to remove them would be of course a legal removal from office and then trial by jury. If the Constitution is totally thrown out and we are left with one branch of government trampling our liberty.....well, then ask what George Washington would do.

On number 10, I totally disagree with that statement. That's a pessimistic view. I agree with the thing about Hitler etc. However, the good that man does often lives after as well. Being a Libertarian this is obvious to me at least. I think of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Martin Luther King Jr., Luis Pasteur, Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, Alexander Flemming, etc. Some secured our liberty as individuals and others gave us gifts of medicine and technology. From my perspective it is important to fight the vile side of mankind but, you need to gather your strength and give strength to others by also putting a focus on what is right and decent with mankind.

The purpose of the questionaire is puzzling. Questions regarding what you would die for and at what point would you be willing to do violence seem to be a hiddeen probe almost. Patriotism test or test geared towards a likelyhood that your parents are terrorists? Parents often indoctrinate their children with their own core beliefs. Take religion for example. "Big Brother" ....he's everywhere. Who knows? Perhaps the NSA thing has me paranoid?

Did you see 20/20's report by John Stossel? He examined commom myths like Republicans shrink government, guns are bad, we have too many people living on Earth etc. I think it was a replay from earlier but, it was still well worth watching. I talk about it on my blog and link to the ABC web page for the show, which lists the top ten myths and some of the points made on the TV show. Off topic I know.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Britt Howard said...

I forgot to mention the other half. The part where they did evil deeds. Perhaps that was telling though, hehe.

Our founding fathers held slaves and that has almost been buried with their bones. It is talked about but, the securing of our inalienable rights is much more alive. Threatened daily but, vigorously thriving still. King was not perfect. Plagerism and womanizing have been brought forward but, look at him. I still tear up when I see old footage of "I have a Dream". All of these men are human. Therefore, they all engage in evil deeds to one degree or another. I'm thankful that their achievements far outweigh their failings.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Don Bangert said...

Britt, I think you and I read #10 differently. I read it as, "Which is more likely to be remembered: the good a bad man does in his lifetime, or the bad a good man does in his lifetime?

IMO, people generally remember their bad experiences longer and tend to share those experiences with others more readily than they do their good experiences.

3:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger |



Who Links