Forbes' Good Idea

Finally, somebody in this long and obscenely over-financed presidential campaign has come forward with a good idea.

Steve Forbes, running for the Republican presidential nomination, has suggested that local schools have students read parts of the Declaration of Independence at the start of each school day, in addition to the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Let me hasten to assure you that your reporter has no special connection to Mr. Forbes. Not only do I have no special connection, I barely know him. Also be assured that this is not an endorsement of his campaign. What this is is straight reporting and news analysis. Guy comes forward with a substantive, serious idea--and something different, part of one definition of news. By any reasonable analysis, it's an idea that figures to resonate with some voters, whether they say so or not. That's worth reporting. And fair, too, since, in the past, this reporter has done some critical analysis of some of Mr. Forbes' ideas that didn't add up--such as his math about the so-called flat tax.

So mark it: This idea is not half bad. It is news. Trouble is, it has about as much chance of catching on, of actually being put into practice as a horned frog flying. Too bad. The Declaration of Independence is beautiful and important to our national being. And in too many places, a schoolchild can get all the way through school and never know what it is. Steve Forbes may never be president, but he's come up with not a bad idea.