Tag Archives: President Abraham Lincoln

CONSERVATIVE IDEAS HAVE NO VOICE IN EDUCATION

Image courtesy of Phiatoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Phiatoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is a guest post by Dana R. Casey.

Across this country, conservatives are being silenced, especially in our schools and universities.

Condoleezza Rice recently had her invitation to speak at a Rutgers commencement ceremony challenged by over 100 faculty members who signed a petition stating their objections. On May 3rd, Ms. Rice withdrew from the ceremonies releasing a statement saying that “she did not want to detract from the day’s festivities.”

A student organization created for “the exposition and promotion of conservative principles and ideas” at the University of Miami was denied approval four times from the Committee on Student Organizations and ultimately had to enlist help from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) before they were officially recognized.

Veteran CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson resigned after a two decades long relationship with the network for being repeatedly restricted from reporting negatively about the Obama administration.

Individuals are silenced too. Admitting to being a Republican or a conservative or even a Christian elicits responses of “bigot”, “racist”, “homophobe”, or “Islamaphobe”. Decades old friends think you’ve lost your mind and stop inviting you to gatherings.

Education is one frontline of the battle between liberal and conservative. Here, conservative ideas have as much power as prisoners of war. Conservative ideas have been locked out of the battle. I am personally fighting the battle from behind the front lines and in enemy territory against liberal indoctrination being forced into my classroom through revised curriculum and polices. I always try to present multiple perspectives in the classroom and I never tell students what to think. I challenge them HOW to think, to question, and to investigate, never WHAT to think.

I am also fighting the same battle with the education being provided to my teen daughters, both of whom go to public schools. My girls get a political education from me at home just from hearing my husband and I discuss the issues, so they often see through the liberal indoctrination presented by their teachers as “facts”. Unfortunately, their fellow students don’t realize that they are receiving biased information. There is no one to present other perspectives to them. My daughters do not feel comfortable bringing up alternative perspectives to the liberal ideology presented, because they fear being bullied by their fellow students or of having the teacher fail them because of their family’s political beliefs.

My daughters come home week after week with tales of liberal indoctrination, viewings of An Inconvenient Truth, or the lie that Republicans were really Democrats of the past (i.e. racist, KKK members, anti-civil rights) and the Democrats have become the Republicans of the past (abolitionists, civil rights supporters, Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, and Martin Luther King’s party). According to my daughters’ teachers the two parties just magically switched names one mysterious undocumented night.

During the 2012 elections, I asked a few of my students this simple question, “What do Democrats stand for?” I received essentially this same answer from student after student, but here is one direct quote, “Democrats love blacks and poor people.” I then asked what Republicans stand for? The answer I got was, “Republicans are old white men who hate blacks and poor people.” My students then asked me for whom was I voting. I responded, “I do not discuss my personal political beliefs with students. It is not appropriate.” One student then responded (and I am not kidding), “You want to take my food stamps. My mama needs her food stamps!” Note that I never stated for whom I was voting, but her assumption was that if I did not immediately say “Obama of course!” that I must be one of those who hate blacks and poor people. These urban students are given exactly this narrative at home, at school, and through the media day after day. It is relentless.

Those on our college campuses are further indoctrinated. In February, Swarthmore University’s Institute for the Liberal Arts hosted Robert George and Cornel West in a campus-wide discussion on the meaning of discourse at Swarthmore. The Princeton professors, friends with strongly opposing viewpoints, discussed questions like “What does it mean to communicate across differences regarding what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong?’” Many students felt that conservative Robert George should not have been invited to the discussion at all.

One member of the class of 2016, Erin Ching, clearly demonstrated her lack of understanding of the word “diversity” when interviewed about the discussion. Instead, because she sees conservatism as naturally evil, it must be excluded not included in conversations about diverse ideas. This is what she had to say:

“What really bothered me is… the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion. I don’t think we should be tolerating conservative views because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society. We should not be conceding to the dominant culture by saying that the so-called “progressive left” is marginalizing the conservative, (daily.swarthmore.edu)

So for Erin, “diversity” means exclusion of conservative ideas in any discussion that is considered “diverse”; thereby, making all worthy diverse conversations limited to only those with whom they already agree. This is exactly the opposite of diversity. It is also the exact opposite meaning of the term liberal arts. A true liberal arts education is the process of truth seeking through examination of all opposing arguments.

The liberals have stolen control of the narrative, especially in education. It is time to take it back.

Dana R. Casey is a veteran high school English teacher of more than two decades in an East-coast urban system.  She is a life-long student of theology, philosophy, and politics, dedicated to the true Liberalism of the Enlightenment, as defined by our Founders and enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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CIVICS LESSON #6 CITIZENS MUST PROTECT THEIR FREEDOM AND RIGHTS

Image courtesy of tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the sixth edition of FJ Rocca‘s series, Civics Lessons.

The saying “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is a stirring reminder that we must always be alert to threats against our freedom. Those threats rarely come from outside the nation. They almost always come from our own government. Therefore, to protect ones liberty, one needs to protect it from government. That is why the US Constitution was drafted as it was, to protect the liberty and rights of The People, not as a collective mass, but as individual American citizens, each and every one of whom has his or her rights guaranteed independently by our founding documents. Please note that there are no other groups specified as having rights in the Constitution or Bill or Rights.

Liberty is not fragile, because, once people experience true freedom they refuse to give it up. But freedom can be stolen from us if we don’t pay attention to what government is doing, what laws it is passing, how competently or incompetently it is handling such vital factors as the economy and defense. Thus, the first duty of every citizen is to guard against this theft by exercising “eternal vigilance” about what politicians do and say.

Think of freedom as a piece of woven cloth. The cloth is very strong, but the threads from which it is woven are each fragile. Therefore, the enemies of freedom never try to tear the cloth, only to cut the threads gradually, stealing individual freedom and rights by cutting the threads one-by-one until the cloth falls in tatters. The cloth is our nation; the threads are the laws that keep our freedom and rights secure.

Defending freedom against its enemies can be a tricky proposition, because it is often difficult to identify those enemies. They often disguise themselves as protectors of freedom, while modifying the laws that guarantee it until those laws are repealed or made ineffective. But it is unwise to put the fox in charge of protecting the hen house. Politicians often are the enemies within and they are far more dangerous than those who would attack us from the outside, because they will lie cleverly to hide their real intentions. This lying is the first danger against which we must be eternally vigilant, and the greatest liars are almost always the politicians and those who work with them.

These enemies of liberty usually begin by describing grievances that they insist must be addressed. These grievances are always claimed in the interest not of individuals, but of collective groups. Most often these grievances are invented as excuses to pass laws that give government more power and a bigger budget. Political power is always power over people. Politicians are not entitled to power over us. They are elected ONLY to protect our unalienable rights, not to steal them.

To protect ourselves, we must continually remember that our freedom and rights as individuals are not granted by government and must never come into question, no matter what grievance politicians claim they must address. We must always remember that when politicians seek to limit individual rights in favor of some group, they are not really interested in righting wrongs, but merely in gaining more power for themselves.

It is a fundamental principle of free society that each individual citizen’s rights are unalienable. This means that the assertion of collective rights that infringe on the rights of individual liberty, those rights are not legitimate and laws purporting to protect them are equally illegitimate. It is easy to misinterpret this concept, but an example may clarify it. When Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he did so to free the slaves, not as a collective mass that needed protection, but as individual citizens, each with his own unalienable rights. That is the true meaning of freedom.

Corrupting society’s understanding of rights always comes gradually, so that people do not immediately realize the full negative impact on freedom. Norman Thomas, six times the Presidential candidate of the Socialist Party of America, once stated, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

This is why politicians always introduce their proposed changes stealthily in language that is unclear and ambiguous. Some changes are introduced as benefits at first, and only after they take effect are found to be dangerous liabilities. The obligation of every citizen is to guard and protect our unalienable individual rights by refusing to accept “collective rights.” Any changes that lead us away from our free republic into a liberal socialist oligarchy or dictatorship should be shouted down loudly and those who try to destroy the fabric of our freedom should be driven from office by the most powerful tool of every eligible citizen, the vote at the ballot box.

Every American citizen over eighteen is qualified to vote to elect politicians into office. There are exceptions to this rule, such as when someone is incarcerated for committing crimes. Politicians are elected to office to represent the best interests of citizens in legislatures that make laws either supporting or abrogating the freedom and rights of every individual citizen. But we do not vote for laws. We vote for people to make the laws. Therefore, it is the duty of every qualified citizen to vote wisely and to remember that a bad politician will make bad policies, the worst of which can take away their freedom and rights. We must remember that political power is power OVER people. Citizens must elect politicians who will protect their rights and freedom and not elect those who would take them away.

FJ Rocca is an independent, conservative writer/blogger of fiction and non-fiction, most interested in the philosophy of American conservatism. Clarity is more important than eloquence, but truth is vital to human discourse.

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