Magazine article USA TODAY

Why the Left Curses Cursive

Magazine article USA TODAY

Why the Left Curses Cursive

Article excerpt

"[The] failure [to teach cursive to schoolchildren] denies generations of youth the opportunity to appreciate an expressive form that is in every Anglo-American historical document before the age of the typewriter."

Public schools increasingly are abandoning instruction on cursive reading and writing. That failure denies generations of youth the opportunity to appreciate an expressive form that is in every Anglo-American historical document before the age of the typewriter: including the Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address, Inaugural Addresses, and public speeches of presidents from George Washington to John F. Kennedy, and all of the myriad war and personal correspondence from the Revolutionary and Civil wars, among many, many others. Mastery of history and intended meaning depends upon an appreciation for this art of expression, as well as its importance in discerning the content of one's own family history.

In so many areas, the public schools are failing to teach students the basics, making them dependent on modern technology as their sole means of communication. High school-age students today regard cursive as the equivalent of a foreign language beyond their understanding. Many neither can write nor read cursive. When their eyes land upon original copies of our nation's Founding documents, they have no way of appreciating the significance of each brush stroke, the choice of capitalization, and the use of punctuation.

In short, by failing to educate in the basics, including in mastery of cursive, public schools are distancing generations of Americans from their own history. Rather than ensuring that youth are strongly connected to the original principles that define what it means to be an American, public schools are distancing youth from those principles and U.S. history. Without a grounding in our nation's past, our citizenry fails to appreciate the struggle for freedom and the need to participate in that struggle in our time.

Although there are many overt examples of texts now circulating in public schools that disparage the U.S.'s past and propound a modern-day liberal message as dogma, the less-subtle techniques of disabling youth from mastering those skills required to gain a direct and intimate appreciation for their past, such as failing to teach cursive, magnify the misperceptions and unthinking dependence on progressive leftist rhetoric. …

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