>Politics; out of the mouths of youngsters

>Fifth graders, that is. Eleven year-olds. They’ve been learning about the Articles of Confederation and the events and debates and compromises leading up to the writing and ratification of the United States Constitution. I’ve been correcting their tests lately, and the essay questions and their thoughtful or not-so-much answers have kept me thinking.

I can’t post the specific question, but I’ll just tell you that they were discussing the creation of the Constitution and interpreting George Washington’s warning against the destructive nature of political parties.

Actual student answers:
-“To watch out for political parties.”
This kid has a point.

-“I think Washington wanted people to be happy and to work as a team.”
Can this student run for office some day? Please?

-“They would disagree on things because they would have different opinions and they would argue a lot.”
Run-on sentence aside, she was predicting the future with amazing accuracy. Maybe her family has been following the presidential primaries.

-“It creates tensions and the good that could be done is lost in the arguments of each party’s plans.”
Another candidate for office someday – governor, perhaps.

“Washington knew that if the country split into political parties, then the country would be more split up and there would be too many disagreements.”
Politicians, stand warned. This student and others like him will be voting before you know it.

It’s time, it’s well past time, to start cooperating. Bipartisan collaboration would be a good start, but in all honesty, nonpartisan cooperation would be even better.
I’m sure George would agree.

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