Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
As part of my current teaching gig, I get the opportunity to review high school textbooks that are currently in use across the US. Most of the books used today can be categorized as follows: 1) useful but seriously flawed; 2) useless and seriously flawed; 3) useless and seriously propagandistic.
English texts almost universally fall into the seriously propagandistic category. Those who put together English textbooks are among the worst offenders to the cause of modern liberalism. Much of English textbooks is devoted to the concept of "critical thinking." While I would normally agree with teaching critical thinking in, say, a philosophy class, English teachers insist on foisting a purely politically-correct worldview upon our unsuspecting children. These texts never bother teaching the crux of critical thinking - namely teaching how to think. Instead, these texts focus on the antithesis of critical thought - telling students what to think.
In short, the texts I've reviewed (and I suspect there are no worthy texts available) all focus on indoctrinating our students into the fecal slurry of muddled, modern liberalism.
Worse, the American Literature texts I reviewed ventured into the realm of rewriting history to suit the liberal narrative. Having devoted the better portion of 25 years studying and writing history, reading a chapter in an English text attempting to narrate history was a particularly painful experience.
As an example of a seriously propagandistic text, take a chapter about the US Constitution from a popular American Literature text (APEX Learning).
First of all, most modern texts do not understand the differences between the concepts of "freedom," "liberty," "rights," and "equality." Most modern liberals tend to lump all four of these concepts together, ignoring the foundation of liberty in the US. Liberty is the state of freedom from government interference. While muddling these four concepts is not a serious error (except, perhaps in thinking that rights and freedom mean the same thing), by misusing the concept of liberty to mean freedom, modern texts neglect to teach children the fundamental principle of limited government. Indeed, how can we enjoy freedom if the government infringes on our liberty?
Nowhere in the chapter on the US Constitution does the American Literature textbook mention the term "republic," as in the Pledge of Allegiance's, "and to the republic, for which it stands." Instead, the book opts for the descriptive term "representational democracy." While this term is accurate, I wondered why the book would avoid using the term "republic" until I realized that the writers make no mention of Rome, nor of Greece.
Accordingly, the book devotes a page to the "roots" of democracy pointing back to the Iroquois Confederacy. If the roots of the US supposedly stem from the Iroquois, then the Latin term "republic" only serves as a reminder that the text is perpetrating a historical lie.
Now I'm sure the Iroquois (the Haudenosaunee, as the book identifies them) are a wonderful people who created a great confederacy back in the day. But to say that American democracy was borrowed from the Iroquois is poor history at best, propagandistic at worst.
Of course, the textbook doesn't stop with only one inaccuracy. It then goes on to claim that, not only did democracy come from the Iroquois, but that the US Constitution derived from the Iroquois as well. As the text says: "This process of influence is something you'll see repeatedly as you study literature, as groups or people - or individuals - influence and are influenced by others around them."
Let me reiterate that nowhere in the text is there any mention of the "influence" of the Roman Republic, or of Athenian Democracy. From a historical point of view, the idea that the Iroquois influenced the US Constitution is a tenuous argument at best. Even if the influence is there, we cannot simply ignore the very real, and very traceable influences of Western Civilization on a government based on the Roman model.
If the textbook merely tried to point out the literary similarities between the Iroquois Confederacy and the US Constitution, I might be able to forgive the authors their particular views. But to imply and teach what is plainly inaccurate for the sake of advancing an anti-Western Civilization agenda is unconscionable.
That's just the first example. The textbook goes on to explain that Shays' rebellion was a class struggle (rather than a protest against taxes and government debt). Presenting the rebellion this way, of course, casts early US history as a validation of Marxist thought and a need for socialist "equality," as opposed to the rebellion as a result of Western thought that would like to do away with government interference.
In line with modern liberal dogma, the text also presents the Constitution as a "living" document. This inculcates the concept that the Constitution can mean anything liberals want it to mean. Considering this is the only interpretation of the Constitution taught in this text, ignoring the majority view of constitutional originalism, today's students will have no critical thinking values on which to interpret the Constitution.
The text makes the blatant fallacy, stating: "Just as the English language is a living language, the U.S. Constitution is a living document." The implication is clear. Modern liberalism would like to push for a "living" constitution in order to change the law to fit the politically-correct belief du jour.
Lastly, and typically, when the text talks about the first amendment to the Constitution, it ignores any discussion of the two clauses dealing with religion. I presume that modern liberalism has so many anti-religious ideals that it cannot fathom any reason that religion needs to be protected from government interference. Then again, since the liberal "living" Constitution interprets religious freedom as a "separation of church and state," this should not surprise anyone who has had his or her religious rights stepped on by the liberal establishment.
All of this comes from one chapter in a typical American Literature textbook. Considering the lack of historical accuracy, the blatant disregard for Constitutional originalism, and the dogmatic preaching, today's students are growing up in a world without critical thinking.