Project Democracy

These past two weeks I’ve been attending the Project Democracy assemblies sponsored for graduating seniors in the Bay County High Schools by Supervisor of Elections, Mark Anderson.

I have to give Mark a great big thanks for including the Green Party on an equal footing with the Republican and Democratic party representatives. Even though we each get only a few minutes to explain our party’s platform, it does get some basic information out and gives young citizens an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the platform presentations.

I did run into an interesting comment from one young lady at Bay High School yesterday. She indicated that her Economics teacher appears to be teaching his classes that an increase in the minimum wage absolutely results in higher unemployment. I find that disturbing, most of all because the students appear to be accepting that position as fact even though there is considerable debate among economists over the long and short term effects of increasing the minimum wage. The teacher appears to be teaching content instead of teaching students to think these things through and that there are shades of grey in this world. Our teachers should be teaching students how to think, not what to think, and that there are more than two answers to every political question. I got the impression that the teacher thinks it is more important to be teaching dogma than to listen to more than one opinion about an issue before coming to a conclusion.

These students ask some very interesting questions, and the Green Party is at least given the opportunity to show these young people that there are more than two perspectives and responses to the issues of the day. Which is more than we get when the general public is only given the opportunity to hear from the Democrat and the Republican during the Presidential Debates every four years!

Thanks again Mark Anderson! Thanks also to our high school principals who continue to support the Project Democracy assembly each year. And good luck to all you graduating seniors as you try to find your own answers to the difficult political issues future generations will be asked to face and resolve!

The above sentiments were published and recently appeared in the Panama City News Herald editorial page.

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