I assumed Richard Dreyfuss was the stereotypical Hollywood liberal. Maybe he’s liberal. But he’s not your typical liberal. He seems to have a deep respect and admiration for the Constitution and sees the desperate need to teach its values to kids.
“I have withdrawn from partisan politics,” Dreyfuss told Tucker Carlson in an interview. “I am a constitutionalist who believes that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be central, and the parties must be peripheral.”
He talked about the need to teach Civics in school again. “Civics has not been taught in the American public school system since 1970,” he said. “And that means everyone in Congress never studied the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as you and I might have.”
I think even Tucker Carlson was surprised. The Fox News host – and Bill O’Reilly replacement – sought first to confront the actor about his comments on the recent court ruling that barred the Trump administration from withholding federal funds from California based on their ‘sanctuary city’ policies.
Tucker Carlson said that after his debate with a Santa Clara County councilman on Tuesday, who was very much opposed to Trump’s executive order, he got an email from Dreyfuss saying that he’d like to come on his show and “explain this rudimentary explanation of the basic checks and balances to you and your audience.”
So, Carlson asked him how the judge’s ruling was Constitutional.
Dreyfuss explained, in part:
“The monies attached to things that the executive might want are the province of the Congress. And that, what was said in the judge’s ruling was that, that the executive didn’t have the power to withhold finances, because that’s the province of the Congress. And that’s all I wanted to clarify because it is, as you say, a very rudimentary thing and we should all know a hell of a lot more than that.”
You can agree or disagree with him. But he went on talking about the Constitution, leaving Tucker Carlson dumbfounded, and not even interrupting his guest to object to anything else.
DREYFUSS: I have withdrawn from partisan politics. I am a constitutionalist who believes that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be central and the parties must be peripheral. What’s most important for me is what you just mentioned haphazardly, we are over 30. Civics has not been taught in the American public school system since 1970. And that means everyone in Congress never studied the constitution and the bill of rights as you and I might have.
And that is a critical flaw because it’s why we were admired and respected for so long, it gives us our national identity, it tells the world who we are and why we are who we are, and without a frame that gives us values that stand behind the bill of rights, we’re just floating in the air and our sectors of society are not connected.
What’s really important is that the assumptions of the left and the right are all skewed wrong. We have t find areas of agreement and areas that we share. And we do share the notion that education accomplishes certain things. One, it turns students into citizens. And, two, it teaches students how to run the country before it’s their turn to run the country. And, three, it teaches the values of this nation.
People come from all over the world or are born into this nation without the values that we have here. That’s why they came here, to get them. And what are they? You can put them in opportunity, rise by merit, mobility, and freedom. That’s what we sell. And if you don’t want that, you’ve chosen the wrong place. And you don’t get a pass by being born here, you have to learn it. Even the Ten Commandments are not known at birth. You must learn them. And we must learn our values and if we don’t, we are fatally, fatally wounding ourselves. We will not have any way to really combat the ideas behind ISIS because we won’t know our own. And we have to.
Watch the interview here. It’s well worth it. He talks about universities and free speech, among other things:
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