The Constitution – Just an Old Piece of Parchment?

Our Constitution has come under attack lately. What was one of our nation’s founding documents has been criticized by pundits on both the right and the left. It’s old, outdated, “just a piece of parchment.” It was written “by old white men from centuries ago” and doesn’t reflect our modern world. Critics say that we live in a different nation than the one that existed during the Founding Era, that the nation is more complicated and thus the Constitution is less relevant. Continue reading “The Constitution – Just an Old Piece of Parchment?”

Issue #1 Educate the public

ISSUE #1: EDUCATING AND INFORMING OURSELVES

I’m not going to get into a full-on critique of our education system at a state and local level, but as a professional in this field, I have to weigh in on the role of the Federal government in education: which is none at all.  We can talk about No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Common Core, or other programs that pretend they can improve our education system simply by more Federal regulation and throwing money at the problem.  The fact is that the Federal Department of Education is itself unconstitutional by its very existence.  If you’re going to label something unconstitutional, you’d better be able to back that up:

Amendment X: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  Simply put, the Tenth Amendment, in layman’s terms, states that if not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, an authority automatically falls to the states.  Since public education is not mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution or any of its twenty-seven amendments, it is officially a state issue, and only a state issue.
Yet although the Federal Government Constitutionally has no business interfering in state education, we have had several violations by the Federal Government.  They take tax money to the DOE, give pennies on the dollar back to the states where it came from, and to even get that, you need to follow the Federal government’s rules:  No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and Common Core are unconstitutional on their very face.  Common Core is by the way NOT state-led as we’ve been led to believe.  It is designed by a panel of unelected bureaucrats hired by corporations that have a vested financial interest in over-testing our students.  The Federal government also uses DOE as a strong-arm tactic to impose their will on sovereign districts and states.  Evidently Barack Obama can dictate to state school boards that they must give in to invented social constructs regarding gender identity, or be labeled as discriminatory and not get their own tax money back. 

Education entails more than what happens inside the brick-and-mortar of a classroom, or online in the course’s Blackboard page.  It’s our duty as Americans to do the following every day:

  • Watch and listen to the news.  You’re not going to get the truth by ANY major media outlet.  Most mainstream media has a liberal bias, and even Fox News is not the reliable source it used to be.  We need to get the ideas from right, left, and middle.  Listen to Liberal (Young Turks, Huffington Post), Conservative (Conservative Review, Daily Wire, Daily Signal), AND Libertarian sources (PJTV, John Stossel) to get ALL the information.
  • Take a course or read a book to educate themselves on the Constitutional history of the United States and the Federalist Papers written by our Founding Fathers
  • Once and a while at least, make sure you write your President, Senators, Congressmen and State Legislators to voice your opinion if you differ with them on an issue, or want to express your support for upcoming legislation.

Although the Federal Government Constitutionally has no business interfering in state education, Barack Obama can apparently dictate to state school boards that they must give in to invented social constructs regarding gender identity, or be labeled as discriminatory and not get their own tax money back.The Federal Government uses their power to force-feed leftist policies like letting people use whatever bathroom they want, instituting anti-white racism in the form of social justice and white privilege. 

I believe the main problem, the reason that government is not listening to us is because they believe we’re not paying attention to them.  Therefore a politician feels free to  say and promise anything on the campaign trail in the hope that we won’t call them out on it.  In the current election, polls show that despite the fact that more Americans take Trump’s side of most issues, they still favor Clinton.  Although the vote is, not, and should not be denied to anyone, along with rights come responsibilities to educate ourselves about our history, Constitution, basic supply-side Economics, and make sure you do your research into candidates to go beyond the soundbites.  Elected officials are put into office by us, and they work for us.  So it’s our duty to give them reviews, scrutinize their work, and fire them when they don’t do their job.

I believe that most establishment politicians (both sides of the aisle) count on ignorance.  If we are unaware of the fact that taxing the wealthiest Americans even at 100% could not cover our national budget for one year (source: http://goo.gl/XBV3Ib), then we are more likely to buy into Bernie Sanders’ argument for free college and health care, because we believe him when he says that will work.  No matter who occupies the White House or Congress, a truly educated and well-informed public is our best “inoculation” against oppressive government, because if they know that we will hold their feet to the fire, one would be surprised how much they start looking out for our interests.  Getting the money out of politics?  A nice idea, but not practical in the short term.  But not even the wealthiest campaign contributor can undo a strong, well-informed public who knows not only who to pull the lever for, but why.  News and politics are not the “in” thing, and many people avoid it because it’s a potentially controversial topic.  But if we pay more attention to who’s winning “Survivor” than who’s winning the primaries, we can not make informed decisions about who to trust with our national interest, and also in a self-feeding loop, only makes us more vulnerable to political rhetoric, making us hate politics more, and pay less attention…  So the best way to get Congress and the President to do what we want, is the threat of losing what they really want – the vote.

Here’s my “homework assignment” to you all.  Please educate yourself.  Watch the news, not just Fox News or MSNBC but an eclectic spectrum of political thought. Read a book on the Constitution, our Founding Fathers, the basic laws of Economics and History.  Below are some places to start.  In this blog in the coming weeks and months, I will pass along more sources that I have found useful.  Read them and decide for yourself.

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT:

  • Hillsdale College is a college in Michigan that takes no Federal funds, and have a variety of FREE courses on Constitution, government, history and economics.  Do yourself a favor and sign up, I think it will open your eyes.
  • Politifact and Factcheck, just like Joe Friday, looks at “just the facts, ma’am” and sorts the truth from the lies of all nationally prominent politicians.  Does your President or Senator make a claim or statement that seems wrong to you?  Here’s a place to get an unbiased analysis of their statements.
  • Article V Convention of States seeks to call a convention to help take our states back from government overreach.  Even if you decide not to participate, there are many good reading resources on this page.

Manifesto for a Return to the Constitution (revised 8/3/16)

Preamble & Purpose

As everyone of any political persuasion knows, our country is in deep trouble and we are at a turning point.  While I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I wrote this document in order to put forth a few theories and ideas that can at least get a conversation started.  We as a nation need to become more informed, educated, and more critical of the that we elect and put our trust in.  Putting conservative politicians in office is not enough. What’s also needed is a grassroots effort.  What little Conservative media there is left does a great job but not enough people are hearing it. 

Why am I writing this?  I don’t want to feel that I’m at a funeral mourning the loss of our nation.  Watching TV and listening to the news I sometimes feel that we are lacking in solutions.  There are a lot of scary things coming down the road but there is a lot of hope as well.  Glenn Beck had said on his radio show a short while back that we need a hundred year plan to counteract the Progressive revolution we’ve seen since the turn of the century.  I’ve heard others talk about building a coalition.  I am completely on board with these things.  Getting conservatives in office is important, but we also need to go from the ground up.  Our young Americans, children and grandchildren will likely be the ones most affected.  These policies the Democrats put together are going to affect all of us, not just this so-called “one percent.” If we can get more young Americans in the door, and help them to see that the Democrats can’t possibly deliver what they’re promising, that would be an excellent start.  The problem that we have is that the Constitution has become uncool.  The current state of affairs in Washington, I believe, is the result, not the cause, of our struggles. We can’t rely on candidates alone to bring up the relevant issues, we have to get together as a people and open our eyes.

What are my beliefs?

1. The vast majority of Americans, regardless of ideology, are good, smart, reasonable people who do not stand with the ultra-left Socialist groups, and are truly agreeable to open and honest debate.  People will make the right decision if they really see the truth and are taught to ask questions and learn about our founding principles.  The far-left wing in our country is a small, albeit very vocal, minority.  Conservatives and libertarians together are a silent majority and we can’t be silent any more.

2. Most Americans, when presented with Constitutional ideas and informed of the issues, will naturally tend toward Libertarianism and/or conservatism.

3. It’s important to take a long view.  This will not be fixed with one or two election cycles, and even if we put a conservative in the White House this year there would still be fierce opposition. A truly educated and informed public is what liberal politicians fear the worst.

4. The Progressive movement did not come into existence overnight.  Radical and progressive movements have chipped away at mainstream America (with some help from the White House) until people started to believe their propaganda.  Obama was elected to two terms because we as a people put him there.  We need a long-term strategy. 

5. I do not approach such a movement as “conservative indoctrination”, there are no “sides” here.  There’s just the truth vs. scare tactics, and propaganda. Put facts in front of the public, and let them decide for themselves, confident that they will choose freedom.

What are some possible solutions?

1. I’m a teacher of mathematics so while I’m not an expert in politics, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about teaching unpalatable subjects to the younger generation. Whether the subject is Algebra or the Constitution: It’s not enough to talk about Libertarianism and Conservatism. People, especially those in the younger generation, are going to be much more receptive to a topic that they can relate to and see how it affects them.  If I just stand there and talk equations and formulas I’ll never get the topic across.  Likewise we can talk about multi-trillion dollar deficits until the cows come home, but people can’t wrap their head around these ideas.  We need to show them.  The “promise of free stuff” that liberal candidates like to make appeals to people’s basic nature of instant gratification.  We need them to see that yes the medicine tastes bad but it will heal the disease rather than just treat the symptoms. 

2. The left relies a lot on Social Media, so that should be a start. I don’t view this as “getting people on our side,” we’re just delivering the hard facts and letting people decide for themselves, confident that they will be more informed and less vulnerable to the leftist propaganda.  If most people see the truth, they will make the right decision. 

3. If establishment Republicans and mainstream media aren’t going to hold Democrats’ feet to the fire and make us remember their lies and crimes, allow their scandals to be swept under the rug, then We the People have to.  The mainstream media is bought and paid for, so we need to go around that.  Social Media gives us that chance.  Pick some core issues and then pound and hammer away until even the mainstream media and establishment parties can’t ignore it. For example, I wrote an analogy to “tax” the rich using grading in a college classroom as a response to a Youtube video from Louder with Crowder about Bernie Sanders’ free stuff.  It was apparently well-received so I did a massive Youtube search, finding 50 different videos talking about Hillary’s plans for “Free XYZ”.  Imagine if we had hundreds, maybe thousands getting out there, and getting our ideas in front of voters using common sense analogies that relate to real life?  These are videos that already attract young liberal and moderate voters.  Politely writing logical well-reasoned arguments on a variety of subjects.  I’m not suggesting that we can accomplish this solely through Social media comments, but it’s a start. 

I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  My purpose in writing this is to at least get some ideas flowing, get a conversation started, and work forward from there.  We conservatives need to band together, talk strategy, put a focus on education, information, and curiosity, to attract the younger generation, because I believe when the true information is put in front of them, they will have the same “a-ha” moment that I did seven years ago. So we need to get our message to the youth of America.  We must make the Constitution cool again.