Learning to Do Democracy

John Maxwell Hamilton | January 29, 2024

(RealClearPolitics) — Not long ago, over a dinner with college students, I asked if they longed for a normally functioning government. Their collective answer was, “We don’t know what normal government looks like. The government we have today is the government we have had our entire lives.”

As much as we may lament the current chaotic state of the union, most people of my generation can imagine something much saner. That’s because we lived in a time when the government, if not perfect, worked better. But can we get back to sane government if young people don’t know what to demand and don’t have the muscle memory to play their appropriate part in restoring it?

Helping prepare students for citizenship should be an imperative for educational institutions, from kindergarten to college. Unfortunately, most schools are flunking.

An inventory of rampant political dysfunction touches on every facet of American life.