Our nation’s recent and unsettling escalation of partisan tribalism, selective use of “freedom of speech”, “religious liberty” and “gun rights” simply to justify parochial political and social ends, a willingness to accept conspiracy theories while rejecting irrefutable facts, and a growing tolerance for violence as a means to achieve otherwise unattainable political goals … culminating with the January 6th, 2021 insurrection and assault on the U.S. Capitol … have demonstrated the fragile nature of our democracy and our liberties. 

Almost universally, a lack of civics education is considered one of the principal causes so many Americans, particularly among our youth, believe our democracy is failing them as the root cause for this national malaise.

As the future of our Republic rests with today’s young adults who will become our country’s “next generations” of civic leaders and voters, it is critically important they acquire a thorough understanding of and appreciation for our nation’s history and founding ideals, the Constitution and American Civics … while enhancing critical thinking skills.

Building on the success of last year’s contest initiative, we are announcing a 2022 Scholarship Contest for interested Bucks County (PA) High School Seniors, essay answering the question; “Should the Constitution be interpreted based on a literal reading of the document’s original text (“originalism”) or viewed in the context of our nation’s evolving social, scientific and other changes since the time when it was written (a “living constitution”), and why? “, with a submission date on or before Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022.  All submissions will be evaluated by a select panel of independent judges.

The author of the winning essay will receive a $2,500 scholarship and the runner-up receiving a $1,000 scholarship. 

More information on the contest ccan be accessed at: http://civicscontest.org.

I recognize these efforts represent but a very small step in trying preserve and protect our liberties and fragile democracy in the face of such overwhelming challenges.  However, that doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t try … as the stakes are so high!

As the Chinese philosopher is quoted as saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”