The Constitution of the United States is a product of Enlightenment ideas that define the relationship between the national government, the states, and the average citizen. This is a very important key to understanding what makes it a truly unique document and why it has thus far endured the tests of time. Over the past few weeks, through Facebook, emails, telephone conversations, and even a few “real” world conversations, I have been asked by many why the current generation of Americans, those who are graduating from high school and college, seem not to be interested in politics or in defending or standing up for the Constitution. As a college instructor and as a freedom-loving American, I honestly believe that the major problem is the way we teach the history of the founding of our nation and the Enlightenment ideas that would define its nature.
Posted in A nation in distress, Constitutional Issues, National Politics
Tagged American Citizenry, American Left, Cesare Beccaria, Civil Rights, Classical Liberal, Enlightenment, François-Marie Arouet, John Locke, U.S. Constitution, Voltaire
While serving in the United States Army in the early 1990s, I had to prepare for the much-anticipated promotion board for sergeant. Like many, I had bought a study guide to help me prepare for the range of questions that I could expect to be asked. Besides the obvious questions on military tradition, job-related skills, and the history of my unit, the study guide had a section devoted to what it called “general knowledge citizenship.” As I prepared for the promotion board using the study guide, I began to understand how much about the Constitution of the United States I simply did not know. I prided myself in being a high school graduate and even had thirty-four hours at a local college before joining the Army. Although I considered myself as educated, I was far from being a member of the educated electorate our founding fathers said must exist to protect the Constitution and the national government it defined.
Since 2013 there have been things occurring in our nation that have me extremely concerned. For those that know me or follow me on Facebook, you have seen the news articles I have highlighted over the past year and each of them relates to one another: the unmistakable call to silence all opposition to the progressive movement. There have been a few times in our nation’s history when one group sought to silence its opposition and with each attempt, spanning the administrations of Adams, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, Wilson, F. D. Roosevelt, Johnson, and Nixon, there has always been an electoral pushback by the American voter. Now, in 2014, there appears to be no interest in an electoral pushback; strangely, we are seeing increasing calls from members and supporters of the current administration demanding reigning in conservative talk radio, jailing and convicting those who deny climate change, oppressing those through IRS investigations that either politically oppose the administration or do not agree with the progressive agenda.