The old saying goes that if you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. The meaning being that if you don't understand the mistakes of the past, they will likely repeat themselves, rather than civilization (and even your own life) progressing and making new, completely unique mistakes.
I have a hard time remembering all the different items I learned in history class, especially the dates. When confronted with an issue, I try to learn the machinations and the outcomes, and leave the details to the history books.
But the more I talk with people about politics and try to get their take on things, the more I realize that the minutia - the details of who was in office, what other programs were going on, economic landscape at the time, etc - the more I feel the background causes a divide in ideology. It's the little things that really make for spirited debate, and I'd like to thank the bartender at Fizz for showing me that last night. I'm inspired to learn more about the history of our country and the political, social, and economic climates we've been through.