The Education Action Network

Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools

We the People: a text book review
The edition under review was copyrighted in 1988, 14th printing 1999.
This text book seems to be a study in subliminal indoctrination of socialist theory. It does little, if
anything, to stir the hearts and minds of the students in developing a favorable evaluation of the
United States Constitution. Nothing is said about the great quality and spirit of the Constitution
and that it was unique in its meaning, and a first in the world.
Even worse is the fact that absolutely nothing is said about the Second Amendment. This is a
glaring omission which had to be intentionally done.
There are parts of the book which are adequate and fairly accurate. For the sake of brevity, I shall
discuss only those sections which seem to be contrary to the proper teaching of American
History.
Let’s start with...
The inside of the cover page says...The book was funded by the U. S. Department of
Education by act of Congress
Established 1987 under the Commission of the Bicentennial of the United States
Constitution. A warning flag in and of itself.
Introduction
§3 page 1: “In this book, you will discover what the men who wrote our Constitution thought the
purposes of government should be. They believed government should protect our lives, liberty,
and property. They also believed government should promote the common welfare.” Emphasis is
mine. This is socialism. “Comon welfare” is defined on page 128 of the textbook.
Lesson 2 page 10.
Topic: How were values of a republican government promoted?
§1..."The Founders believed the values of republican government were that the citizens and their
leaders should lead modest lives and work hard. They thought people should care about the
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common welfare." THIS IS PURE SOCIALISM!!!!
§4..."The Founders thought it was important to teach and promote civic virtue among citizens.
They believed the Roman Republic failed because its citizens lost their civic virtue. They had
promoted their own selfish interests at the expense of the common welfare." (Emphasis is mine.
dk) More socialism. Also, the author doesn't know much about ancient Roman history and the
reason for the downfall of the Roman Empire. The corruption of the government was the primary
reason for the demise of the once great government. Not the failure of the citizens to provide for
the common welfare.
Note how the author uses the italicized phrase. The words create a sense of greed and selfishness
on the part of the average citizen. In the Judeo-Christian ethic, selfishness wasn't, and isn’t,
considered. The colonists found that capitalism and free enterprise worked better than the
original socialist (communism or communalism) plan.
"Civic virtue" is defined as the people putting the common welfare above their own
interests.
The phrase "common welfare" is used rather than the phrase "general welfare" as it appeared in
the Preamble of the Constitution. The two phrases have different meanings in the world of socioecono-
politics. See page 5 of this essay for the textbook author’s definition of “common welfare.”
Lesson 3 page 12
Topic: Defining Constitutional Government...
"Most constitutions are in writing, such as those of the United States and the Soviet Union." Why
mention the Soviet Union? Not relevant!!!!! Subliminal indoctrination at its finest.
Page 13
The first § of this section says a nation has a constitutional government when the constitution
limits the power of the people running the government. The power of the courts is mentioned, but
nothing is said about Article I or Article II of our Constitution, and their intent.
If the author is trying to paint with a broad brush re: constitutions in general, why not refer to our
Constitution as the shining example? A review of the Table of Contents revealed nothing which
indicates our Constitution is designed to protect the citizens from the government. Maybe the
premise is buried someplace later on, but, at the outset, it isn't obvious to the untrained eye.
The final § of this section says: "In a constitutional government, the constitution must effectively
limit the use of power. The constitution must be considered a higher law that has to be obeyed
by the people running the government." Dances around the true meaning of our Constitution, but
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doesn't come right out and say it. It certainly should say our Constitution is the law of the land
and that it’s designed to protect the people from the government. Serious omission.
Lesson 3: page 14—Defining higher law.
Lists the basic rights as life, liberty and property. Not exactly as it is in the Declaration, or
in the Constitution....to the best of my knowledge. Nevertheless, that was the intent.
Lesson 4: How can governments be organized to prevent the abuse of power?
Topic...The complications of constitutional government
I may be picking nits here, but wouldn’t it have been more accurate to use the word
“ensure” rather than “insure?”
Lesson 5: How were the Americans influenced by their English background?
Topic...Americans’ knowledge of British government
This § says the Founding Fathers were influenced by their knowledge of British
government and its history. This is true, but Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and others had
extensive education in the history of the Greek and Roman empires. To me, this is an
omission of fact.
There is a good discussion of the Magna Carta, and the rule of law. The text says...”This
means that both the government and the governed must obey the law. The law limits the
powers of the government.”
Lesson 7...What basic ideas about government were in the Declaration of Independence?
On page 30, are listed four topics which are supposed to be the general subject of the
Declaration. The first topic is “Ideals.” This is a glaring use of subliminal propaganda
inasmuch as “principles” would have been much more definitive and accurate.
Lesson 11...Who attended the Philadelphia convention and how was it organized?
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On page 49, the last § of the first column, the author again refers to the “common
welfare” in two places. This is a socialist phrase.
Lesson 14...What was the conflict over the legislative power of the national government?
On page 58...General powers of Congress as set forth in Article I, Section 8 the text
refers as follows: “...provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United
States...” This is good. The author has it right this time. But, then, he was quoting the
Constitution, not using his own words.
Lesson 15...How much power should be given to the executive and judicial branches?
The text does a pretty good job here, but on page 62 there is a discussion of impeachment
in which President Clinton’s name was omitted. Since this text is the 1999 edition, it
should have been included. Was that by accident or by design.
Unit Four: How was the Constitution used to establish our government? Page 75
Purpose of Unit Four... this § makes if look as if the Framers deliberately omitted certain items
which they felt would be corrected by subsequent presidents. This is a blatant lie. Older history
textbooks make it clear the omissions were oversights. That’s the reason the Bill of Rights was
written—to correct and clarify the perceived errors of omission.
Lesson 19...How was the new government established?
On page 83, there is a short discussion of The Bill of Rights. The text says “It contains
ten amendments. The first eight list basic protections that had already been guaranteed in most of
the state constitutions. Some the most important of these include:
• freedom of religion
• freedom of the press
• freedom of speech
• the rights of assembly and petition
• the right to a speedy, public trial by jury”
Somehow, I was under the impression the first four items were in the First Amendment and the
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last one was covered in the Sixth Amendment. The above were not separate amendments. Is the
author ignorant, or is there an agenda?
Unit 5: How does the Constitution protect our basic rights?
Lesson 23...How does the Constitution protect freedom of expression?
This section begins to get into the legal aspects of freedom of speech. Cites a couple of
court cases, Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969) and Hazelwood School District v.
Kuhlmeier (1988) as examples.
From this lesson on, the text book becomes political. Much too much for a textbook. Is there an
agenda here?
Lesson 24...How does the Constitution protect freedom of religion?
The establishment of religion. Page 102
“...the government is to be separated from religion.” Goes on to say this is a subject
which hasn’t yet been settled.
Further, on page 103, the text says: “Freedom of belief is an unalienable right that cannot
interfered with by the government in any way.” This may be true, but it isn’t directly addressed in
the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.
Lesson 25...How has the right to vote expanded since the Constitution was adopted?
The only comment I have on this lesson is to refer you to the political cartoon on page 111. This
is a masterpiece of propaganda. You’ll need a copy of the textbook for this exercise.
Lesson 28...How can citizens participate?
“Who is a citizen? Anyone born in the United States or whose parents are U. S.
citizens is a citizen of the United States.” (Lots of room for mischief here. This is not a settled
topic in spite of a couple of Supreme Court decisions.)
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Lesson 29...What decisions will you make as a citizen?
Page 128...What is the common welfare?
“The framers believed that the people must have civic virtue if the new Constitution was
to succeed. People with civic virtue put the common welfare—the good of all the
people—over their won interests. Therefore, citizens should elect people to public office
who will put the common welfare over narrow and local interests.
While the common welfare is clear in some cases, at other times it is hard to agree opon
what it is.”
This is more subliminal indoctrination in socialist theory. Pure propaganda!
This the extent of my observations. I hope they’ve been helpful.


Respectfully submitted,
Don Kennedy
Curmudgeon at Large

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Replies to This Discussion

Yes, that's the one

Joanne Daley said:

Thanks!

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