Quang Nguyen, a state representative from Arizona, observed the suffering of socialism from the perspective of a child in South Vietnam.
His relatives left the country in 1975 as the communist North Vietnamese army came into Saigon, marking the end of freedom as he realized it. This was his final lesson.
This Man Knows
Nguyen informed The Epoch Times, “I’ve had the unlucky [view] of coping with three wars throughout my lifetime in Vietnam.”
“Some individuals contend communism is merely an economic system. I would challenge that. It is a system that completely controls the populace, but not through the use of laws. Because of fear, there is control. Taking control of your life is the key.”
Nguyen claimed his family found “this fantastic thing called free speech” in America. Since Americans haven’t had to learn the harsh lessons of totalitarianism, he sees the freedoms he has enjoyed for so long eroding.
Nguyen supported HB2008, which would have required civics instruction for Arizona high school graduates, as a result.
On a close 16-12 vote, the Arizona Senate approved its version of the bill on June 12. On February 17, the House barely approved a modified version. The result was 31–28.
On June 17, the bill was approved by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.
Knowledge of Totalitarianism
On June 17, Ducey tweeted, “This bill is yet another point for Arizona’s great civics education. Students will get a stronger grasp of the freedoms and liberties that Americans are granted, while learning about other countries’ governing ideologies.”
The new criteria would aid kids in developing into “civilly responsible and informed adults,” the bill claims.
To create new civics education, the Arizona Board of Education (AZBOE) will collaborate with institutions like the Sandra Day O’Connor Foundation, the Center for the Philosophy of Liberty at Arizona State University, and the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.
The original purpose of the American founding texts and ideas, as well as the “civilized aspirations of an honest and desirable population,” would be among the lessons taught.
Nguyen stated the goal of the measure is for high school students in Arizona to finish with a “similar sense of what it means to be an American.”
Students Must Know the Truth
He continued with the following:
“This modification to the civics standards will ensure our students are learning the harsh realities of totalitarian communist governments and why they are fundamentally at odds with America’s foundational principles.”
According to HB 2008, the board of education must amend its academic requirements for high school social studies to include a comparative analysis of political philosophies that go against the values of freedom and democracy.
The requirements will include knowledge of authoritarianism and communism as they are practiced in contemporary nations, like the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the People’s Communist China.