Rebutting the First Lady

Professor Ann Althouse quotes First Lady Michelle Obama: "We can teach ("our" children) to give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly those with whom they disagree. We can also teach our children about the tremendous sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country and by their families. We can explain to them that although we might not always agree with those who represent us, anyone who enters public life does so because they love their country and want to serve it."

Althouse responds: "But that's quite obviously untrue! Some people seek power for the wrong reasons or go astray after they've reached power. We need to observe the government with a clear, active, and critical eye."

A loving mother can teach a normal child to read (decode the phonetic alphabet) before that child can speak. The infant ears, eyes, and brain function at a level sufficient to this task before the child can coordinate the diaphragm, larynx, and tongue. A loving mother, moving through the lessons at a crawl, can teach a normal child to compute (add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers, decimals, and fractions) by age 8 if she starts early. Once a child can read and compute, s/he can study independently with a coherent course of instruction crystallized in books. Most vocational training occurs more effectively on the job than in a classroom. State (government, generally) provision of History and Civics instruction is a threat to democracy, just as State operation of newspapers would be, and is in totalitarian States like Cuba and North Korea.

Professor Althouse explains that last point: "It would make more sense to teach creationism instead of evolution than to teach these wishful lies about government since children need to learn how to be effective citizens and lulling them into passive admiration of the government undermines the democratic process. Believing or not believing in creationism, by contrast, isn't going to change what happened in the grand expanse of evolutionary time."

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