Saturday, September 6, 2014

What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You - Accurate US History Must Be Taught

Our first paper was entitled, "Common Core State Standards; An Introduction to Marxism 101". That paper - and our subsequent arguments that Common Core amounted to socialized education - earned us the ire of the Daily Oklahoman (and others).  In fact, ROPE began as an organization devoted to increasing student knowledge of the Constitution and accurate US History, which, quite apparently, we do not have in Oklahoma, as a rule, today.

Recently, the College Board (under the guidance of David Coleman, the architect of the Common Core State Standards) has decided to revise their AP US History curricula and tests.  Fortunately, this has created a furor from many quarters, not the least of those our friends at American Principles Project - Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins who have a new editorial in Daily Caller:
To summarize, the private College Board is rewriting its AP courses, starting with AP U.S. History (APUSH).  The new APUSH framework departs radically from the traditional AP course and now reflects a progressive philosophy and leftist bias. Forget the Founding Fathers and the principles of the Declaration of Independence that proclaimed the natural right of freedom and self-government; concentrate instead on the racist cultural imperialism that supposedly built America.
Why does this matter? Why in the world should we care about David Coleman, Howard Zinn, the Centers for American Progress, or any of the other active, involved, progressive/liberal organizations pushing a 'kinder, gentler view of America' in public schools to color, or even discard, historical truth in favor of something more palatable within the confines of our new Politically Correct society?

Because once we refuse to understand that our rights are granted to us by God (or are inherently our own once we are born if you oppose the 'religious' viewpoint) and not man (via Government), we become SUBJECTS and not FREE MEN. Once we begin to stop reading/studying US History for ourselves - including and mainly our Constitution - we become ignorant of the way our government works and how our rights are to be UPHELD by the government and not usurped. In fact, once individuals become ignorant of our rights, for all intent and purpose, we have none because as the government grows unchecked by the citizenry it is meant to protect (not govern), we can only become less and less free. Once we become ignorant of what the Constitution says, what the Founders meant it to say and the arguments surrounding why it says what it does, we aren't knowledgeable enough to know truth when we're faced with deception.

I'll give you an example. Not long ago I was at a meeting with someone I really admire, when we began to say the Pledge of Allegience to open the meeting. As we began the line, "One nation under God", I was surprised to hear him recite, "One confederacy under God." As soon as the Pledge was over, I asked him why he changed the wording from "nation" to "confederacy". He told me he believed this part of the pledge (added about 50 years ago when Communism was a significant issue worldwide) was included not simply to instill patriotism in the face of Communism, but to break down the notion of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution - to make people feel as though we're all one big country; one big mass of citizenry, not individual persons. 

Because America is a confederacy of states that only come together under the umbrella of the federal government to promote the general welfare of the states through the 20 Enumerated Powers held forth in the Constitution, we can't be a nation. America is simply a group of states, yet how many of us actually know that? Goodness knows our state and federal lawmakers don't appear to. 

Though I've studied up on the Constitution (in fact, the kids and I are to be taking a Constitution class right now), my friend's analysis hit me like a ton of bricks. I'd never thought of that. Why? Because I didn't know enough to consider this idea.

My gosh, I think of all the times I sang "This Land Is Your Land" in Girl Scouts, and though we never sang the really controversial lyrics, it bothers me to this day to know Woody Guthrie's thoughts about America - those to which I don't subscribe. Looking back I wonder how so many of us don't recognize the absolute stunning nature of the development of this country, what it's done for other nations around the world (would Japan have recovered from WWII without us? What about Europe?) and what a stabilizing force it's been in relation to Communism and other threats to liberty all over the world - how it's provided a nation of individuals who can possess and amass more personal goods and wealth than any other two countries put together.

Granted, it's hard to find time to study the Constitution - or even find reputable sources for study - however, it is up to us as individual citizens to know our rights and responsibilities as citizens; and if you believe simply voting covers them, you need knowledge most.

Unfortunately, today, messaging is everything and most people still get their news from main media sources (including FOX news). Because we don't know the Constitution and we aren't sure of the way state and federal governments should work, we get 'suckered' into believing things like national healthcare or national educational standards (Common Core) are good (this article by Bill Evers of the Hoover Institution - part of his testimony to the Ohio state legislature against Common Core - is wonderful in this regard, please read!). These notions are made to sound good - made to influence people who are ignorant of the way American government SHOULD function under the Constitution - so much so, in fact, that those of us who bang the Constitution drum are now called names as part of that messaging campaign.

The world has become a busy place for people - parents especially - but, as sad as it is to say, baseball practice and soccer games should be taking a backseat to understanding and study of America's form of government. If we don't, America will end as Rome, sure as history repeats itself when forgotten.