Actor Wants to Bring Back Civics


The Oscar award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss played a teacher in "Mr. Holland's Opus." Now, he's becoming one in real life. Soon, Dreyfuss will launch a personal campaign to teach Americans the rights and duties of citizens.

Richard Dreyfuss: The teaching of civics presently in the United States is dismal and startling. It used to be, when I was a kid, that there were classes in civics and you learned not only the checks and balances, but hows and whys and wherefores. And you learned what was the reasoning behind the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. …

If you think that running a government like ours is, arguably, more complicated than running a pharmaceutical company or an auto company -- and it is -- then we should train people to the running of the country. …

We want to … define the necessity of civics: What is it and is it necessary? If it's necessary, is it urgent? And, if it's urgent, what do we do? And then [we should start] to proceed to literally design classes.

It is time that we simply revive the notion that we can learn how to run the country -- and learn not for Republicans and not for Democrats, but learn how to learn the Constitution. The idea of people having power to pursue a notion of happiness or control of their own lives is a new thing and a miracle. America is a miracle.

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