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The ill-education of Academia

President James Madison
President James Madison

It has been said the best students are those who conscientiously question the teachings of their professors. It seems ever since the death of James Madison in 1836 historians and so-called academics have been suffering from a bad case of historical delusions and it is time somebody called them on it. Thanks to the Texas Board of Education, the battle has been waged but it is far from over.

Though tough to imagine now there was a time in our nation’s history when founding eye-witnesses were still among us, ready and able to challenge all variety of historical misinterpretations. But with the death of Madison, our last surviving founder, an indispensable scrutiny was lost along with him. From that point until now, political activists have been inch by inch chipping away at the nuts and bolts of our founding doctrine. Where we find ourselves today is in a place where most Americans know relatively little about who they are or how it is they got here.

A political science graduate, I was dismayed by the prejudiced pitch of my collegiate knowledge base as I entered the real world of politics. One by one, the tenants of my political understanding were picked apart by well… reality. Alongside my fellow political enthusiasts, I was naively reared up by a whole host of fallacies. Not only were there inexcusable gaps in my college lectures, there were some serious and fundamental flaws in my political underpinning. I continue to expand upon my knowledge base as an adult but what about those students who have not? Lacking a commitment to intellectual self-growth has led many of my peers to a rigid confidence in the all-knowing of Bill Maher, MTV and President Obama. Thanks to a chronic inability to think for ourselves, generations of Americans are being led astray by politically driven media outlets and college professors. Not only have certain agenda driven elite been attempting to rewrite vital aspects of our founding by way of our lecture halls and textbooks, some have been striving to turn reality flat on its head. And they have been succeeding.

I keenly recall the first time that infamous political spectrum was drawn up along the white wash board. Communism was drawn at the one and Fascism at the other. Karl Marx was discussed in deference to the extreme Left and Hitler as an example of the extreme Right. But as I entered into the professional world of domestic and international political affairs I began to read my own selection of political material. A curious historian by nature, I drifted toward books that delved into the minutia of all variety of historical figures. I read about Roosevelt and Lincoln and Washington and Hitler and Marx and Mussolini. As I learned more about each of these characters I began to reflect back upon that political spectrum I’d been guided by so early on. If Communism was the reflection of the extreme Left of that spectrum and Fascism an example of the extreme Right, then why had Hitler belonged to the National Socialist Party and why hadn’t we been taught that fact? And if Fascism was an example of the extreme right than why did Hitler’s Germany seek just as much uniformity and collectivism as Joseph Stalin’s Communist Russia? It made no sense. What was Right about that? Most importantly, how were we ever going to grow into a generation capable of preventing future holocausts if we were not even being honestly educated about the origins of the first one?

During one of my particularly challenging classes, I recall the professor asking which of us had memorized the Preamble to the Constitution. In a 400 level class of reasonably intelligent and nearly graduated political science majors, one might have anticipated the raising of every hand. I was the single exception to an otherwise complete silence. Not one other student had memorized even the most basic tenants of our American founding. And yet we were about to enter the professional world as recognized experts of such.

Only in recent months have Americans begun to wake up to the dangers of idle liberty. Freedom is work but as someone once said, “We are drinking from wells that we did not dig.” It is our turn to ensure the preservation of our liberties, not for ourselves but for generations to come. We owe it to our successors to ground ourselves in a keen familiarity with the American Founders, their struggles and their indisputable intentions. Free people are the happiest, they are the wealthiest, they are the most able to prosper and thrive. We must stand up in defense of limited government and individual liberty. And without respite, we must stand up against those who would seek to rewrite the powerful history that got us here in the first place.