Richard Dreyfuss on what we must teach American kids: ‘We were the most important political evolution in the history of mankind’

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Actor Richard Dreyfuss stood out from the liberal Hollywood pack in a recent interview revealing his patriotism and pride in America.

The star of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Jaws” spoke with The Hollywood Reporter in advance of his newest film, “Astronaut,” and lamented the loss of civics education while expressing his love of the U.S. Constitution.

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The 71-year-old actor was asked how it is that he has so often been cast in films as “the voice of reason” amid corrupt individuals who “don’t want to hear the truth.”

“There are certain things that I value and that I will feel the loss of,” he replied.

“In my case, it’s the fact that we don’t teach civics in our schools, and not teaching civics is not just handing out kids some free time. We were the most important political evolution in the history of mankind and that’s no joke, and we have reason to be proud of it,” he added.

The Hollywood Reporter attempted to get the Oscar-winning actor’s take on “what’s going on now in the federal government and Donald Trump’s administration,” asking him if he felt it is “eroding the republic.”

“I think that without getting into the personality of the president, if you’re not taught the Ten Commandments you’re not going to know them,” Dreyfuss responded.

“And you have to be taught what is of major importance in terms of running the government and in terms of why our government is so different than others. And if you don’t learn that, you ain’t gonna know it,” he said.

“And if you don’t know that, you always can be victim to the paranoia of living next door to someone with a different last name than you. And America is not that country,” Dreyfuss continued. “America has always been the country that offers something new and different and allows the common man to run the government. Without that we have no identity, we don’t know who we are. There is a lot more ignorance going around than we’ll admit to.”

The actor revealed that he has no political party affiliation and thinks the “system is really rotten at the core.”

“I am what I call a pre-partisan person. I am not a Republican, I am not a Democrat,” he explained. “I am in favor of the American Constitution.”

Dreyfuss admitted that he is concerned about rising anti-Semitism in the world but worried more about “Jews not behaving like Jews.”

“Anti-Semitism is on the rise, yes, but we should be more afraid of Jews not behaving like Jews. Jews are given quite an extremely detailed lesson in how to be Jewish, and that’s a good thing. It’s not to be taken lightly,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “We’ll sound very much like our own worst enemies in trying to protect Zionism and protect our own reputations. We really do need to explore what it means to be Jewish and not let it go away.”

Dreyfuss was also asked about the personal impact of the #MeToo movement which he believes “is going to gain a kind of balance,” warning about a “gender advantage.”

“You can’t allow or encourage the crimes committed against one gender over the other to prevail. Men are not at war with women and women are not at war with men. And if they are allowed to think so, then they’re going to kind of allow themselves to be reduced, not expanded, not heightened,” he said.

“And let me tell you, especially in America, when you allow yourself to say that the crime committed against me is so terrible that it deserves special treatment, you are encouraging the end of due process and encouraging all the legal and spiritual progress that we have made,” Dreyfuss added. “We are more than that.”

Frieda Powers

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