My generation revered the Constitution. Beginning in grade school...and right through High School...all kinds of History classes were linked and compared to the Constitution, comparing and contrasting it's content against other governments in other times. The Founding Fathers were also shown great respect for the thought and considerations they embodied in the Constitution, and than the Bill of Rights...and even the declarations and wording of the Declaration of Independence.
Not so anymore.
My grandchildren to to highly ranked schools, several now in Middle school, one in High School, one in College. They had almost zero teaching centering on the Constitution. Any time spent on the Founding Fathers seemed designed to find fault and to "bring them down" to a level that was disrespectful of their person's and, by extension, their work product. Their teaching seems designed, through criticism as well as neglect, to create disrespect for the "idea" of America.
Today technology seems to rule. Technology is a wonderful tool, although I often think that the young people of today have become too dependent on it; they don't know multiplication tables in their head, they often can't do simple math and need a calculator, a slide rule is an unworkable puzzle to them, and except for the math "nerds" Algebra and the solving of simultaneous equations might as well be Greek (and don't get me started on languages and vocabulary). They can't write legibly...even printing is questionable, and they can't "problem solve" without "Google" or "Bing" and they are lost if the internet goes down for even a moment. They "text" to each other even if in the same room, and walk down streets and malls blind to the actual world around them. Most don't know their elected officials on any level, have no idea of how any government actually works, can't create a budget, read anything that takes more than 3 minutes, and can't be bothered to be civil to anyone. Discuss the assumptions that the founding fathers had when they started to consider and create and write, and you get puzzled, confounded faces.
The concepts of "opportunity", "consequences", Pursuit", "earning", "civility", "responsibility", and "respect for others"...among others...is foreign to them. They are familiar with the concepts of "being owed", "privileges", "my rights", "someone else's fault", and other narcissistic traits. Their schooling (not sure if that term is appropriate any longer...perhaps indoctrination would be more truthful) and their experiences as they went through their school years have indicated that this is the way to look at life.
"Someone" has done these folks a disservice. And that "someone" is us...all of us. Oh, I could write for hours on the Progressive infiltration and present control of the entirety of our educational (Yeah...right!) systems, from Kindergarten (note the Germanic origin of the word...our school system is based on the Prussian Model that was intended as much for indoctrination and regimentation as it was for any real education. Basic reading, writing and math was fine, but independent problem solving and thinking was not desired) through Doctorate Level Degrees and the application of Alinsky's Rules to turn out intellectually inadequate "graduates." I could point out how many of the High School Graduates today cannot write a cogent sentence, cannot spell, cannot do simple math without a machine, and are unable to concentrate for more than 3 minutes on anything before wanted and...in some cases...needing to consult "Facebook" or the like.
But what is most disappointing is that it is our collective fault. The not-so-slow disintegration of our society has not been done in secret. It has happened out in the open and ... although couched in ways and terms that seemed legal, civil, and considerate at the time ... we all knew that we were allowing a diminution of our ideals and allowing avoidance of the concepts of "right" and "wrong." Oh, we had excuses. We had "reasons". The end results was that we gave up the concept of standards and the expectation of "striving" in favor of the lowest common denominator; of not wanting anyone to "feel bad" about not being first. And we gave up on the standards assumed in the Constitution to be a constant...that of "earning" one's way, of suffering consequences of bad decisions, of recognizing that there is such a thing as failure...and that one can actually learn from it and use failure as a sign-post to success. This is the kind of thing that a study of the Greek Empire and the Roman Empire would have revealed to our children and grandchildren. Such an understanding is essential to being a good citizen, whether having a College Education or not...but it no longer is taught in our Grade, Middle, and High Schools. Oh, an occasional perceptive teacher who is dedicated to his or her students' well-being and success in life may include some portion in the course of a semester or year...but not many do, some because they themselves are not aware of its importance.
Is it too late to save the "idea" of America? I want to believe that it is not, but...when close to 50% of us are living on the Government's tab rather than on what we have achieved and earned on our own, and that Government tab is creating what is approaching Nineteen Trillion ($19,000,000,000)Dollars in debt, it is hard to see any way to repay it without telling a lot of people, many of which will be determined voters if you take away their "free" stuff, "NO!" Madison and Jefferson warned about the dangers once any democratic form of government served a populace who discovered they could vote themselves money that they didn't earn. I fear that we are now there...