Schools Damning Our Children To A Life Of Political Ignorance and
As my daughter was doing homework, from the notes her teacher gave in class she read, “We have a Representative Democracy.” I could not believe it! I was stunned as I asked her to read that again. We searched through the book for a definition for Constitutional Republic, but none was found. Under the definition in the main text for Republic, however, it states that the terms “Republic” and “Democracy” are used interchangeably. (Maybe this answers a lingering question or two I have about the “Republicans” and the Democrats” on the Hill!) A class period or so later, the teacher told the class that we can also refer to our form of government as a Liberal Democracy…WHAT!?!
A Republic differs from a Democracy in that it follows a set of laws (say, a Constitution!), but control of the law remains with the people being governed. In our country, our Constitution is the law of the land. In a Democracy, the majority rules, as even if 51% of the people are in favor of something, that is now the law of the land. Our Founding Fathers set this country up as a Constitutional Republic, protecting the minority from would-be encroachers. In our country, the laws should not even be proposed if they are not first deemed constitutional. That is what children (and some adults) need to know.
This “American Government” book has been in use for years. I am not sure what they taught when Chief Justice John Roberts was in school, but I do know he has referred to our country as a Constitutional Democracy several times…and he is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court! No wonder our nation’s children have no idea why the past several administrations are so egregious! Simply put, our children have no idea what they should be fighting for. They are not being taught the importance of a Constitutional Republic. What happened?
This particular school-approved “government” book teaches that it is the government that has the authority to set the rules by which all people living under it are governed. Again, WHAT!?! Our Constitution clearly says that We-the-People give government the power to follow the specific rules layed out by the Constitution. In the film, “Don’t Tread On Me,” Constitutional Expert. Dr. Edwin Vieira says, “We-the-People do ordain and establish…Public officials didn’t do that, judges didn’t do that…that is a statement that We-the-People have the authority; we are the ultimate law-givers.” That is a very powerful analysis and makes perfect sense. That is the very point of our Constitution!
Our Declaration of Independence clearly states that to secure our inalienable rights, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Again, government gets its power from We-the-People. This does not take a genius to figure out!
In Article 1 Section 8 of Our Constitution, the last “Congressional power” clearly states, “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States…” (Emphasis mine) The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are very clear as to just where the power lies in our country. Mainly, powers NOT given to the Federal Government in our Constitution are NOT theirs. Furthermore, simply because our Founding Fathers saw fit to list a select few of our individual rights, does not mean that we do not retain ALL our rights, as people of this nation.
Another thing that is suspect is a little website on the front of the text book. The website, CNNfyi.com, redirects to a site referred to as CNN Student News. I would be just as appalled if it had a link to FOXNews, or any other news station for that matter. After all, how do people feel about the news? In one pole, no news outlet was trusted even by fifty percent of the population. In a September 2009 Pew Research Pole, comparing a 24-year span of news accuracy, it shows an all time low of 29% of people think the news outlets are reporting accurately. Why, then, are we letting a news outlet teach our children? By the way, the first class self test was printed off of the CNN website!
This “text book” also tells my daughter and her unwitting classmates that the “function of government” is to 1) Maintain Order, 2) Resolve Conflict, 3) Promote Values, and 4) Provide Services. No wonder children grow up not knowing or understanding our form of government! No wonder people think they are “entitled’ to whatever they want! The Constitution lists the ”Congressional Powers.” Among those is to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare, commerce between foreign nations and the several states, provide and maintain a Navy (NOT an army!!!), but nowhere does it say that government is to provide services and promote values.
Some may look at promoting the general welfare and think that is the government’s loophole to provide services, but, James Madison clearly did not think that, and he basically wrote it!
"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America." Founding Father James Madison
That last line is very key to this discussion, “…limited Government established by the people of America.” During the debates about the Constitution, before it was ratified, many state governments had plenty to say about the Federal governmental powers. But one major theme was repeated over and over again, Congress’s powers are to be limited, and not in any way to infringe on the powers of the states or the individuals. Of those, a few stand out. North Carolina was very clear:
“That those clauses which declare that Congress shall not exercise certain powers, be not interpreted in any manner whatsoever to extend the powers of Congress...”
As was New York:
“That the Powers of the Government may be reassumed by the People, whensoever it shall become necessary to their Happiness; that every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or the departments of the Government thereof, remains to the People of the several States, or to their respective State Governments to whom they may have granted the same …”
These sentiments go on and on and were actually recorded for posterity to protect future generations from tyranny in government. Our children need to know why this country and its government are different from the rest of the world. Our people need to understand the significance of all of our founding documents. They need to read the debates of the time and the concerns and comments of our country’s framers, something obviously not being taught in our school system! Our government needs to reread and understand what makes our country unique.
In her High School Valedictorian Speech, Erica Goldson says that, in the American educations system, children are taught to pass tests, but they do not really “learn.” She contends that school is teaching children to work within a “system,” so that they can graduate, go to college, get their diploma to prove they are now “capable of work.” Ms. Goldson’s insight is exceptional as she states, “A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him” and that she has “successfully shown that I was the best slave.“
What she so eloquently says is that students are basically being brainwashed “in order to create a complacent labor force working in the interests of large corporations and secretive government.” She has completed this “period of indoctrination” and will “go on to the next phase expected of her.” In the words of Ms. Goldson, “School is not all that it can be.” That is an understatement!
It will obviously be up to us to teach our children, our grandchildren, and ourselves, the importance, long forgotten, of this country. It is time we take a stand…it is time we let the “Constitutional Experts” on the Hill and in our classrooms know, we will not take this lying down. The mantra of American Revolutionary brothers and sisters should be the mantra of every single person in the United States of America today: “Don’t Tread On Me!”
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