"We live in a simmer of hysteria"
Watch Richard Dreyfuss in a decidedly provocative segment on today's MSNBC "Morning Joe" with Mika Brzezinski, Pat Buchanan, Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle. Video below. Skip to 3:20 mark to miss the initial bantering between Dreyfuss and Buchanan.
While the topic of his visit - civics education in this country - is important and controversial in its own right, Dreyfuss, by his very nature, always adds an edgy perspective. Along with the proceeds of the book, "America, the Beautiful" celebrating American culture, the Dreyfuss Initiative will be contributing to civics education in America.
Dreyfuss rails against our country's "partisan- addiction", fueled by the speed of technology, which "has removed time from the important decision-making" in geo-politics. Other topics included our lack of civility, our education system and lack of exposure to civics and history.
Two of his memorable quotes:
"We have mis-educated our children so badly
that we are preparing them for a Fred Astaire movie"
At the 6:00 minute mark, Dreyfuss talks about the curriculum he developed at Oxford which by design exercises the mind stressing the ability to have reason, logic, clarity of thought and critical analysis allowing for opposing views, dissent, debate and ultimately, civility.
"When uncivility becomes the norm, which it is,
you are you withdrawing the oxygen from the atmosphere of any representative democracy, and you don't share anything."
He continued to say that we have reached a point in our national conversation where we "demonize everything" from our opponents. Later in this segment, he advises who should be
in charge of creating the research standard on the Web. . . which I can only expect will fuel yet another round in our uncivil discourse as it includes icons in the education and technology fields, such as Howard Gardner, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
Check it out for yourself below: