Someone once said that history is written by the victors. He probably was not the greatest of all victors, if only because his name has been utterly forgotten. — Winston Churchill (from here)
Who Is The Victor?
What is a history book? For good or for ill, history is what someone wants us to believe about the past. Here is the origin of the term => history.
What we know about history is either propaganda, true, or most likely, at least partly false. Because whatever we are taught motivates us, our teachers have an incentive to guide our motivations. Our teachers can try to instill wisdom, or they can strive to manipulate us.
This raises a question. Who is the victor? Is it the victor the one fights and wins the battle, or is the victor the one who taught the “victor”?
If the victor is the teacher, then we have come full circle. Propagandists like CNN now use children, still largely ignorant and in the process of being taught, as “teachers” to instill their version of truth into their elders (Parkland student: My generation won’t stand for this (www.cnn.com), for example). Apparently, understanding does not matter to many of us. What matters? Feelings. Otherwise, how did we reach the point where ignorant children can “teach” ignorant adults how they should “feel” about political issues?
Some years back I wrote A GAP TOO WIDE AND TOO DEEP TO BRIDGE. In this post I explained why I had given up on a project to help bridge our differences.
I use to have a page I called Bridge Makers, and I even identified a couple of Bridge Makers: Bridge Makers: Coming Together to Face the Next Crisis and Bridge Maker Post at the Virginian Federalist. On this page I acknowledged those bloggers who set aside partisan differences to come to the aid of a neighbor. My goal was to encourage my fellow bloggers to see other bloggers as neighbors as opposed to Conservatives, Democrats, Liberals, Republicans, and so forth. Unfortunately, it has been awhile since I saw a blog post I could call a Bridge Maker. The last I saw was on August 5, 2007.
What is the problem? Why have Bridge Makers become so rare? I fear ideological lines have hardened. Congress’ latest activities illustrate this all too well. The health care bill the Senate just passed (see here), can hardly be described as bipartisan legislation. Not one single Republican could be found willing to vote for it. (continued here)
What is at the heart of that old post? I cited portions of Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville. Tocqueville was a French aristocrat who came to America to study our penal system. He stayed to study America itself. When he traveled about America in the years 1831 and 1832, Tocqueville observed that because of slavery the cultures of the North and the South had become distinctly different from each other. America, he decided, was not one people; it was two. Tocqueville expected the division over slavery to cause real trouble.
The division over slavery eventually led to the Civil War. Many fought with true ardor for their side. In TOO YOUNG TO DIE, atimetoshare.me tells the story of John Herbert Kelly, a Confederate General. Kelly was a splendid man, a hero to his cause. At the age of 23, Kelly was promoted to a Brigadier General. Of course, in retrospect, almost all Americans now believe Kelly was misguided; he fought for the South. Still, one wonders at the courage he displayed in support of the South. Why didn’t Kelly understand slavery is a great evil? Apparently, someone had taught Kelly to believe otherwise.
Who Controls What Our Children Learn?
What is a people? What is a country? Is a country about borders or the character of a people? Was not our country a land composed of people with a shared identity? Do we still have a shared identity, or are we divided once again? When we teach our children about our country and our history, what do they learn? Who controls what our children learn?
It was about the time that Tocqueville started riding around America on horseback that New Englanders began to experiment with the public school system. As the decades passed, the New England experiment spread. With the passage of more time, state governments took control of the public schools from local governments. In the 1960’s the Supreme Court completed the secularization of the public school system. In more recent decades officials in Federal Government have sought control over school funding and educational content.
In the America that Tocqueville wrote about, parents controlled what their children learned. In the America of today, school boards, local officials, state officials, Federal officials, and interest groups of every description struggle for control of who teaches and what they teach. Some parents have acquiesced and left their children at the mercy of a hodgepodge that manages the public school system, and others taken matters into their own hands. Therefore, some parents home-school their children, some parents send their children to private religious schools, and the wealthy have nothing to do with the public schools. Others seek compromises. Well off parents buy homes in the best school districts. Less well parents, however, have little choice. Their children go to the worst of the public schools.
Is there anything about these different educational choices that divides America? Yes. Some parents used the options available to them and then struggle as best they can to raise their children in their religious faith. At the other extreme, others leave their children to the mercy of the public school system.
The majority of Americans have a Christian heritage. In secularized schools, which the public schools have become by definition, parents struggle to raise children as Christians. At best, public school systems just ignore the subject of religion. That implies religious belief does not matter, that Jesus does not matter, but this approach at least avoids instruction that is contrary to parental desires. More likely, however, children will encounter instruction in multiculturalism, teaching that all religious beliefs are equally valid, thus all equally invalid. Instruction may even be hostile to religion, especially Christianity, suggesting that belief in the God of the Bible leads to war. Hence, those parents who choose to send their children to public schools must make a deliberate effort to educate their children as Christians, and they must actively repel efforts by the public school system to instill differing beliefs.
Similarly, some parents struggle with the modern mass media. To filter out unchristian teachings and influences, some parents carefully regulate what their children see on television and the Internet. Unfortunately, some do not protect their children from the harmful aspects of the modern mass media.
So what should we conclude? Does the way we teach our children today divide us? Does the observation that some parents struggle to raise their children as Christians and others accept a secularized education for their children divide us. If so, how?
Politically, our nation is divided into two camps: Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Are all the people who make the effort to raise their children as Christians Conservative and all the people who don’t Liberal Democrats? No. Even during the Civil War everyone was not in just one of the two main opposing camps. During his re-election in 1864, many had serious concerns that Abraham Lincoln might not be re-elected. Everyone in the North was not an abolitionist, and not everyone in the South supported slavery.
Even though the issue of slavery was the root cause of the American Civil War, each individual still chose his side for his or her own reasons, which might not have anything to do with slavery. Similarly, when some people choose to side with Republican politicians (who are not uniformly Conservative) and others choose to side with Democrat politicians (who tend to be more monolithic), each of us chooses our side for our own reasons.
Is the argument over secularization all there is to this? With respect to special interest groups, two stand head and shoulders above all the rest. Consider this item from opensecrets.org.
Teachers unions have steadily amped up their political involvement: From 2004 to 2016, their donations grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million — an all-time high. Even more than most labor unions, they have little use for Republicans, giving Democrats at least 94 percent of the funds they contributed to candidates and parties since as far back as 1990, where our data begins.
Two organizations account for practically all of the contributions made by teachers unions: The National Education Association (about $20 million in 2016) and the American Federation of Teachers (almost $12 million). Both groups — which compete for members, but also collaborate with each other through the NEA-AFT Partnership — are consistently among the organizations that contribute the most money to candidates and political groups. [Read more Background]
Given that the partisan the teachers unions are so partisan, is any surprise that our education system polarize us? The free exercise of religion, a constitutional right, obviously implies that we each have the right to choose how we want to educate both ourselves and our children. Nevertheless, government, driven by the activism of teachers unions, fights any form of educational choice.
In fact, our universities have become just as partisan as our public schools. Consider this excerpt from an article in The Washington Times.
A new study confirms what even the most casual observer of higher education has long known — that conservative professors are vastly outnumbered by liberal ones — but it also shows that the problem is getting worse.
Published in Econ Journal Watch last month, the study looks at faculty voter registration at 40 leading universities and finds that, out of 7,243 professors, Democrats outnumber Republicans 3,623 to 314, or by a ratio of 11 1/2 to 1.
The study comes after a tumultuous few years at American colleges and universities, marked by campus race protests, the disinvitation of conservative speakers and the popularization of phrases such as “trigger warning” and “safe space.”
Out of five departments analyzed by the authors, the field friendliest to conservative scholars is economics, where there are only 4.5 liberal professors for every conservative.
Conversely, history is by far the least conservative-friendly department, where liberals outnumber conservatives by a 33 1/2-to-1 ratio. (continued here)
Why are university professors becoming more partisan? Money.
In 2013, federal spending on major higher education programs totaled $75.6 billion, state spending amounted to $72.7 billion, and local spending was considerably lower at $9.2 billion. These figures exclude student loans and higher education-related tax expenditures. (from here (pewtrusts.org))
So it is that our educational institutions have become increasingly partisan, and many people now accept Liberal Democrat propaganda as truth. Fortunately, many still resist, fighting to retain both our nation’s Christian heritage and constitutional republic.
What are some examples of the propaganda promoted through the public education system?
- Socialism: since the public education system, owned and operated by government, is a socialist institution, its very existence makes a statement. However, polls show students now favor socialism (Millennials Don’t Know What “Socialism” Means (reason.com)).
- Multiculturalism: multiculturalism is the notion all cultures are morally equivalent, that all religious beliefs are equally valid. Because multiculturalists believe in the moral equivalence of all religious beliefs, multiculturalism is in and of itself a religious belief, albeit an irrational religious belief.
- Environmentalism: when it needs it, saving the planet is fine idea. Polluting (poisoning) each other is just stupid. However, before we spend lots of money on anything, the science needs to validated first. Surely we don’t need our schools scaring our children and teaching as fact things we don’t know to be true. Global Warming, for example, remains unproven, but that is not the way it is taught.
- Gun control: recent efforts to involve students in gun control demonstrations make it obvious that students are being indoctrinated that guns, not people, are bad. Inanimate objects have ethics?
- So-called LGBTQ rights: there has been lots of publicity about this here of late. At this point, Liberal Democrats seem to be pushing for schools to teach students that we each get to choose our sex. What we are born with does not matter. In fact, we should not be surprised if school administrators decide to go with unisex restrooms and locker rooms.
So what is the bottom line? We have a crisis in education. Instead of an educational system designed to teach our children how to think critically and to help them learn what their parents believe and why, we have a system that is increasingly designed to promote ideological beliefs that are contrary to our nation’s heritage and our children’s best interests.
We are at a crossroads. We can recognize the problem and fight tooth and nail, or we can continue to pretend no problem exists. If we love our children, we will fight tooth and nail for their sake.
What Can We Do?
Do you want to protect your country, your children and grandchildren. Then pay attention to the upcoming elections for the U.S. Congress. In Virginia, Upcoming Elections include primaries on June 12th and a general election on November 6th.
We need to replace some of our leaders. To make a real difference, that means we must take part in the primary elections too.