My Special New Year’s Resolution at 98

When there are suggestions that the Constitution is outdated and perhaps that we even need a new governing document, I believe this to be a major crisis in the course of our country. Appropriate words to respond do not come to mind. Rather I am consumed with floods of memories, and with thoughts from my study and research for my  book,  America First, Again first and second edition. How could anyone who knows anything about the founding of our great country possibly suggest that we throw away the guiding document of our founders, a document that implemented and guaranteed freedoms that never existed together in one document before nor since that document.

There are numerous voices suggesting that our governing documents are out of touch with the present; they are outdated. The culture of today, they say, requires a more modern approach, a new set of governing policies that fit our modern outlook. I am reminded of a report about a store selling the Constitution to school children carrying a reminder to parents that they needed to understand that this old document was out of date. Essentially, proceed with caution.

It is an assault that I see going on all around our nation. I happen to think that it is no accident. It is a planned program to transform our nation. To do so, the Constitution must be made impotent and our Christian heritage must be forgotten, denigrated, or at least portrayed as illegal (the same arguments are used to make the bible outdated). The use of the pesky establishment clause has been a treasure trove for those who wish to remove all vestiges of our Christian heritage from schools, public places, and even public meetings. These same people, plus many others, are systematically removing any patriotic phrase or song from public meetings, even the Star Spangled Banner from sports events.

America First  was published in 1916 by the American Book Company. It was written by Jasper L. McBrien, who at the time of the writing was School Extension Specialist for the United States Bureau of Education, and a former Superintendent of Public Instruction of Nebraska.

McBrien writes in the Foreward:

…the rising generation, both native-born and foreign, to get the full meaning of               this slogan (America First) in its far-reaching significance, must have time for           study and reflection along patriotic lines. There must be the right material on             which the American youth may settle their thoughts for a definite end in patriotism if our country is to have a new birth of freedom and if ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people is not to perish from the earth.’ The prime and vital service of amalgamating into one homogenous body the children alike of those ho are born here and of those who come here from so many different lands must be rendered this Republic by the school teachers of America. 

McBrien continues:

The purpose of this book is to furnish the teachers and pupils of our country,             material with which the idea of true Americanism may be developed until ‘            America First shall become the slogan of every man, woman, and child in the             United States.

I was born just six years after this was written. From the time that I was four, I have been in school in one way or another. I have lived for nearly ninety decades in or around school, going to school, teaching at all levels, working as a counselor or administrator at all levels, teaching and working with teachers and administrators, and served six terms as a school board member. I still see many dedicated people who believe and model the principles and values that have made our country great. But there are many I have encountered on my journey who have forgotten or have never known what the Constitution means to this Republic. How can our teachers teach our children what they don’t know? How can our teachers and parents who come out of our colleges where professors blatantly mock the Constitution, savage our Founders and heroes, and rewrite our history, know the true nature of the Republic in which they live?

Whatever corner of this great land each of us occupies, each must insist that our young are taught the history as it was written in the blood of our founders. We must herald the greatness of America to be First Again. It is not to make us better than others; it is to give us the strength and resources to serve others as we have done throughout our history. We must teach our young to love their country and prize the freedoms that it assures them. We must teach them to weave the tapestry of their life with the silver and gold threads of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

That tapestry allows them to be all that they were created to be.

This is one of my many writings that I want to leave for my grandchildren. I hope they will mean something to yours. I want to be certain that I have given them the truth about our Constitution and our founders as I find it in original documents and the best sources I can find. I hope you will help me in this important task. I prize any advice. May this be your New Year’s Resolution too. May we be grateful for the freedoms that we have that we would not have if we lived anywhere else in the world.

How Does a Small Centurion Voice Get Heard?

Mr. President, How does a small voice get heard?

In June of next year I will have lived one year shy of a century of the American Dream in this great Republic. I have lived and enjoyed the freedoms for all those many years, but I have also seen them slip away.

In the cacophony of sounds and the drumbeat of strained voices, it is hard to hear anybody outside of those constantly trying to reach your ear or criticize you. Mr.President, I am just one voice, but I am one who has enjoyed the privileges and opportunities afforded to me because I was fortunate enough to be born in this country. I love this country. Yes, I have lived the American Dream. I was born in Iowa, a small country town. I lived a life of meager means money wise, but lived a life full of integrity, values, hardwork and joy from a family that believes that the founding documents provide for that dream. Fortunately, I grew up with strong faith in my Creator. My faith taught me to get up each morning and try to serve someone, touch someone in some way, somehow, somewhere. I have been so blessed by my Creator to be given talents to serve and a deep faith to listen to what is important.

I was educated in country schools, town schools, small schools and ultimately received a doctorate from UCLA. I have been a teacher, counselor and administrator at all levels. I have also had the privilege of serving as a school board member for 23 years. I retired from Oregon State University in 1982 as a Professor and Dean Emeritus of Education. I went to work immediately at National University in San Diego to serve as Professor and Administrator of Education for another 13 years. I have written a book titled America First Again. I wish you could read it. It’s about our original documents; it’s about our founders; it’s about the transformers trying to change the course of our history. What would I do, Mr. President?

If I had the funds, I would make sure that all the history teachers were taught to teach American history from the original documents AND I would make certain that we returned to a curriculum that allowed every student, every person in America, and every new immigrant to understand those documents and how they relate to their freedoms and freedom in this country. Many in America do not even know these documents exist and believe that the constitution can be a transformational document. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the commitment of our founders are the basis of the freedoms we enjoy.

When the tenants of these documents are lost, our freedoms will be gone also. Mr. President, when I wrote America First Again first and second edition, it was with renewed understanding that when America is first we are not an arrogant nation, but a serving one and an important cog in the success of the world. Mr. President, this country is full of small voices filled with patriotism and appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy. How do we instill in our students this pride and appreciation of their freedom? How do we take the idea from patriotic voices to bolster your belief in this country? How do we reclaim our Christian heritage, understand our founders and refound our educational system? It has been totally usurped by those who are actively trying to change our country.

Mr.President, How does one small, almost centurion voice get heard?

Patriotism and Freedom or Transformation to Slavery

Almost daily there is a story, an anecdote, or a report about a school in America where students who are wearing patriotic shirts or symbols are being sent home, asked to turn their shirts inside out, or given another shirt to wear. The reason usually given is that the attire creates an uncomfortable situation for other students, or could cause trouble or a conflict situation. These are American schools. Are we not teaching our young to honor the nation in which they were born or have chosen to call their own? When students who honor their country and their heritage by  the wearing of attire, the stars and stripes of our nation, are harassed and sent home on Cinco de Mayo Day, or any other day, it is time for citizens to go to war, a war that restores education in America to its founder’s dreams.

One needs only to look at Washington’s address to his army in camp on Long Island:

 “The time is now near at hand, which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves, whether their homes and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed and themselves to be consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human effort will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and the conduct of this army. Our Cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of a brave resistance or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or to die.”

Yes, the time is now at hand to determine whether our schools will be instruments for freedom or for the transformation of our country to slavery. Will our schools promote the cause of transformation or the cause of freedom?

Washington continued: 

“Our own, our country’s honor, calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion. If we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings and praises if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny meditated against them. Let us, therefore, animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a freeman contending for liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”

We have had the eyes of the world upon us from the inception of our country. There were more abroad, I believe, who understood the special nature of our great land than perhaps there were among us who grew up with liberty and assumed that it could always be with us. I am keenly aware that my liberty as I’ve been privileged to live it for the 98 years I have been given, is very much in jeopardy.

It is the eye that I have upon myself that compels me to write this document. I have given my life to serving in a profession for which I still have great passion. But I wonder what I could have done earlier, what I could have contributed to the minds of our new generations to preserve the tenets of our founders. All know that to transform a country you must control the minds of the young. You must erode the values that stand in the way of the transformation. You must guide students’ thinking away from the founding principles of our nation.

Those of us who refuse to allow the transformers to have their way know too, that we have allowed others to re-write our history books. We have allowed multicultural ideas and activities to become the god of plurality and diversity. No people could possibly be more diverse than the multitudes from around the world that came to our shores. But they did not carry the flags of their nation on our holidays; they proudly carried the American flag and sang our national songs. Yes, they added the richness of their culture to blend into the culture of this new, great land. From their easel of experiences and varied backgrounds, they painted the great portrait that became America.

We have become afraid to be proud of our country, the country that millions have sought to call their own. We have taught our young to apologize for being American rather than teaching them to demonstrate their love, respect, pride, and gratitude for being a fortunate inhabitant of the “Shining City on the Hill.”

America First – Status of Our Ship of State

 America First  was published in 1916 by the American Book Company. It was written by Jasper L. McBrien, who at the time of the writing was School Extension Specialist for the United States Bureau of Education, and a former Superintendent of Public Instruction of Nebraska.

McBrien writes in the Foreward:

The rising generation, both native-born and foreign, to get the full meaning of this slogan (America First) in its far-reaching significance, must have time for study and reflection along patriotic lines. There must be the right material on which the American youth may settle their thoughts for a definite end in patriotism if our country is to have a new birth of freedom and if ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people is not to perish from the earth.’ The prime and vital service of amalgamating into one homogenous body the children alike of those who are born here and of those who come here from so many different lands must be rendered this Republic by the school teachers of America.  

Brien continues: The purpose of this book is to furnish the teachers and pupils of our country, material with which the idea of true Americanism may be developed until ‘America First’ shall become the slogan of every man, woman, and child in the United States.

 I cannot say it better.

I have lived most of the years since this book was published. I have lived the changes. I believe that we need a large dose of patriotism and an understanding of our history now more than ever before. In my 98 years, I have seen our ship of state on so many different courses. But, I’ve never seen the culture in such turmoil and division as exists now. Nor have I seen such effort to render us rudderless. This always seems so tragic when we have been given by our Founders the greatest set of maps, our founding documents, ever devised for any people with which to keep a ship of state on course. They were carefully designed to make certain that the government was of the people, by the people, and for the people.

I fear the shoals, the rocks, the reefs, and horrific storms ahead. With the dialogue of pending impeachment, the hate expressed by the media and various factions, the general tenor of discontent in our country are all signs of trouble in our Republic. The constant battle of the “transfomers” to change our country to something far from its founding is very dangerous to that very founding. The desire to change fundamental principles and documents in our nation is a sign that the battle is real and intense. These people who hate the Captain of our ship so intensely that they are willing to sell their souls to insist on a new Captain. We are in dangerous waters; we need to pay close attention to what these entrenched change-agents are doing to our Republic. They want to turn our founding documents and founding principles to the opposite extremes. Socialism, as they profess it, makes extinct our remarkable constitution and founding documents that keep us governmentally a republic. That is our heritage, that is our uniqueness and that better be our future.

 

Religious Freedom and Our Schools

One of the more amazing things that I have come to examine more and more is how cleverly the transformers have used “religious freedom,” one of the great tenets on which our Founders based everything. Diabolically, they have taken this great foundation of tolerance for all religions and turned it on its back. They used our deep desire for tolerance of religion to preach to us about tolerance in all areas. While they are extracting tolerance from us, they are free to practice intolerance. If we show the least bit of resistance, they know how to make most of us feel guilty. They have most certainly used all areas of our society when and how ever they could.

They have flooded our schools with multiculturalism. They have used our national instincts for tolerance to promote their agenda. While they have been removing more and more Christian ideas and ideals from our books, they have been putting more and more about other religions in our school books. While they are teaching our kids more and more about tolerating other religion, they have been distorting the historical facts about the religious content of our beginnings.

Universities, where I have spent much of my career, are the worst offenders. To find a conservative professor is quite a task. I have taught my classes during student strikes; I was told by my peers that I must not do that. Opposing the strike was not a good political move. I insisted that I was only conforming with what they were striking for—freedom of speech and assembly. If the students who were striking had the right to not attend class, then the students who wanted to attend class must have the same right. Oddly, no one seemed to be able to dispute that logic.

Universities are populated with boatloads of Marxists. Many don’t outwardly admit to the name, but they teach and indoctrinate their students with those ideals. Most young people who attend the liberal colleges, most are, come home after a short time to discuss with their parents if conservative, how wrong they are. “You don’t understand. Your way of thinking is old fashioned. There are more modern ways of thinking about our political system and our economy.”

The change in many, including my own, occurs when they get their first pay check and discover how little “they have left” after all the deductions are made. “Mom, this is not fair.” It’s a natural place to take them back to what you taught them in the first place. They find an eternal truth. Old doesn’t mean bad or outdated. So it is with our Founding Documents, our founding ideals, and our God given rights. They are no more out of style than the Bible is for a Christian. .

Churches have been used extensively to fight the battles of the transformers. The strange part of this is that one would expect most religions to want to keep Christ in Christmas, would want to keep our Christian beginnings in the textbooks and in our teaching, and our God given rights ever before our student’s eyes as God given rather than government given. I suspect that sometimes our church people are the most vulnerable to the tolerance pleas and the subsequent guilt that follows if they don’t succumb.

Our School Boards that succumb to the distortion of the holidays, who don’t follow what’s in their textbooks or what is being taught in their classrooms, are also at fault. It is difficult at the school board level to know. Often you are “protected” from knowing for the fear of “micromanagement.” Our young people are in school many hours a day during their formative years. The inclusions and exclusions in our textbooks are critical to our future. As McBrien said in America First many years ago, “There must be the right material on which the American youth may settle their thoughts for a definite end in patriotism if our country is to have a new birth of freedom and if “this government of the people, by the people, and for the people is not to perish from the earth.”  This is so true for this day.

 

 

 

Political Correctness and Tolerance

One of the great cornerstones of our republic is tolerance. Our Founders came from  various countries where religious freedom was not present, and other freedoms were restricted. Property was in the hands of a few. Government rule was in the hands of a king or monarch of some sort. Freedom to speak and to assemble were restricted if present at all. Justice systems were autocratic and often trials did not exist; one person could be judge and jury. Our Founders were seekers of freedom.

They were often dissidents seeking religious freedom as the basis for other freedoms. Because they wanted to be free to practice their religious choice, they sought this for all people. For this to become reality in their new home, they demanded freedom to practice their own beliefs and the freedom for others to practice their beliefs. Thus this great principle of tolerance was basic. Tolerance was a necessity. This tolerance was embedded in their personal lives and guaranteed in their governing documents.

We became a super-tolerant nation. We welcomed others. Our Statue of Liberty became the symbol for the masses seeking freedom. Ellis Island became the beginning of that road  for the many seeking freedom they longed for.

Unfortunately, that very tolerance and acceptance of other peoples, views and other religions have been used to transform, to undermine, to try to destroy our founding principles and even our founding documents. That very tolerance for all religions has been used to diminish our Christian heritage. That tolerance has been used to distort the values and principles of our republic.

Our history books have watered down our founding; they have heralded other cultures and religions while omitting our Christian founding. We have become afraid to acknowledge our exceptionality and instead apologize  for our freedoms and successes. Our tolerance has been transformed into political correctness.

We need to stand tall; we need to appreciate what our exceptionality has allowed us to do and be. We need to be proud of the values and principles embodied in our founding documents. We have not kept the light from the “shining city on the hill”  focused on us only. We have sent the beams of freedom’s light all around the world. We have given of ourselves and our plenty. We have fought and died for the freedoms born of the tolerance we inherited.

Now we must become intolerant of those who would use our tolerance against us. We must not feel guilty of our heritage. We must not fear to be exceptional. We must again proclaim with verve and gusto the founding principles of this great republic. We must, because the alternative is unthinkable.

What Can We Do? What Can We Do? Saving Our Republic

A little obscurity elicits interesting behaviors and observations.

As I sat at the end of the driveway this morning, I could still see the hills in the distance. But they were far from chiseled images against a clear blue sky. They were still very visible, but the details were a little obscure.

Wow! Kind of like my nation and my church. One practices situational constitutionality and the other practices situational Bibliocity, obscuring the truths that lie in these two great, timeless documents. Oh, Yes! The pundits say these times require an update on these two timeless documents. These same people, the transformers, preach you have to consider the time in which they were written. How could you possibly impose the same standards, values, and ideas of those times on us in these modern times? They ask.

For us to try to understand the current mass murders and terrible things that are happening in our culture, we must understand that the teaching of biblical values and constitutional truths, our history, have been largely eliminated from our schools. Even the current terrible happenings, and this is true in most cases, there are warnings in school records. If one were to search diligently at lower levels of the social and emotional climate for these young people, we would find triggers there. Perhaps even as early as when they first appear at our school door. In my almost century of observation as an educator, I have watched the erosion of the teaching of our founding documents, our real history, and the removal of moral and ethical stories that carried the biblical values that made us so great.

As my mind wanders through the past many years, and I recognize in the annals of my memory of political and legal debate here and there, the foggy “modernizing” of our precious founding documents. A little fog here, a little fog there. Here a little fog, there a little fog, and everywhere a little fog.  The fog comes generally in the form of subtle attacks on the great freedoms built into our founding documents. The hope and change artists can’t change the words so they change the perceptions of the words. They put words into the mouths of our founders. The fog of perception is easy to add a little at a time. A drop at a time works. A constant drip can ultimately erode cement.

I plead with us to remove the obscurity and lift the fog from the two areas that were evident in our founding and not evident in our schools now. In my book, Refounding Education, I have talked extensively about the environment we need. In my book, America First Again second edition, I have tried to recreate the road that the transformers, those who would destroy our constitution and Christian values, have taken. We must close that road so no obscurity or fog exists to cloud the truth and rebuild a new road.

Yes, I believe we need to refound education. We need to refound an educational system that will produce an informed citizenry that understands and works to save our Republic.

 

 

Dear President Trump – We Need More Youth Rallies

I have watched with great interest your ability get work done, move forward, and most of all, your ability to present your ideas at your rallies. It is the strength of the success of it all that causes the opposition to be concerned to the point of hate.

I’d like to suggest that a series of rallies with our young people would be the most productive way to instill a sense of patriotism in our young. I watched the Teen Student Action Summit on July 23rd where you were speaking.The enthusiasm of the young people was equal to that of the people at your regular rallies. I’m sure many of the other wonderful speakers had similar exciting responses. We need more such commanding opportunities for our young. Our young people need an opportunity to be excited about their heritage, their founders, their great founding documents and the blessings they have from their Creator to live in this most unique place, the United States of America.

There needs to be a counter to what the schools have done to the students relative to our values, our documents, our founders, and even to their opportunities. It occurred to me as I watched the interaction between you and the young people at this youth rally that we could bypass the indoctrination and transformation of our educational system and go directly with an injection of truth to our young. In my book, America First Again, I tried desperately to transmit the necessity for a new brand of patriotism in our country. During my nearly century of observation and my many decades as a professional educator including 22 years on a local school board, I have found that the wheels of change in our institution are glacially slow. Believe me I know, I have been a part of it for decades.

Mr. President, we need to move more like a tsunami. We need to be bold, big and energetic to recapture our youth. I have written a book titled, Reclaiming Education, but that does not capture what you can produce in a few rallies and youth action summits. The excitement, energy, spirit and soul that would come from these rallies and action summits would instill truth and patriotism to help remove the years of negative indoctrination from our educational system, the media and general bias in our culture. We need that special spirit of 76 again. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to change education. The transformers have done it over years; they knew that they had to own education and eliminate religion. They have been far too successful with both. I believe a series of rallies with our youth would be a most amazing and a productive way to help us recapture a new generation.

With the acknowledgement of Divine Guidance still available to us, I believe it can happen.

With great respect and gratitude for all that you are doing,

Sylvia

Grandma Tucker

Is the U.S. Exceptional?

Yes! Definitely! You Bet! Absolutely! Without Question!

Start by asking yourself a question. How could so young a nation have become what we have become, and how could such an upstart do all that we have done in such a short period of time if we were not exceptional? Our history is minute in time in comparison with some other countries, yet we have done so much. Being exceptional doesn’t make you better than others; it makes you different with different gifts and different responsibilities. And we are different, or at least we were at our inception. So what makes us so different?

Our Founders were very special people. They created a new nation that would have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Many leaders and nations claim this, but our Founders did it. They created founding documents that could correct the evils they had experienced with government interactions with its people, and documents that would assure the  “of, by, and for.” They understood the nature of human beings and the temptations and foibles that accompany power. They understood the corruption that often follows power. They created a system of checks and balances. They meant to have a citizen government; unfortunately, we have nearly come to have a government of political professionals.

They created a Bill of Rights, a set of guarantees that would assure liberty and freedom for all its citizens then and now. They could not possibly have created what they created if they had not been futurists as well as realists. They did everything that they could to secure for the generations to follow what they fought and died for. These founding documents were not fashioned from thin air. A look at the governments of the various colonial states tell much about the breeding ground for the thoughts, deliberations, and actions of these incredible men. And they did all of this at their own peril and the peril of their families.

Think about this. Our founding is unique. It is exceptional. No nation before or since our founding has been given governing documents like those  that created our republic. Our Founders knew this was a job bigger than all of them. That’s why they acknowledged the presence of Divine Guidance. They knew that they had to have their God in the middle of the circle. So many of the principles and values found in early governing documents came from their strong Christian heritage, from their Bible. That’s how we became “the shining city on the hill.”

The light of that “city” is what makes us exceptional. We are willing to share that light. That’s why we try to shine the light of freedom, even in the most difficult of circumstances. We fight and die for our freedom and the freedom of others. We believe our rights come from our Creator, not our government. We believe in small, citizen government. We believe in limited government. We believe in hard work, self-responsibility, honesty and integrity, in serving and helping those in need, in being frugal, and in individual rights. And so much more.

We are exceptional. Not better than, but exceptional. Others saying it is not so does not change that. Only we can make us not exceptional by forgetting what makes us exceptional or destroying what keeps us exceptional.

“Send Her Back”

I don’t want to “send her back.” I want her to appreciate the many opportunities that this great country, which I love, has provided to her. I want her to love this country that has allowed her to become a congresswoman. For 98 years I have enjoyed the fruits of my founders; I have enjoyed the freedom given to me by the constitution and our founding documents. I was born wrapped in the red, white, and blue of our magnificent flag.

Perhaps a return visit to the two places she left would be a stark reminder of why she became an refugee. As an educator for decades, I wonder how someone who has achieved what she has can seemingly hate this country so much. Behavior and words need to match in this respect. Wanting to transform this country to a place for “opportunities that exist for all” denies recognition of the opportunities that she has been given and used freely.

What other country in the world would this be possible? To rise from refugee status to a member of one of our deliberative bodies, the “House of Representatives.” What other country in the world would allow her make the comments she is making about her new land? No, I don’t want to “send her back,” I want her to appreciate one of the reasons for our founding, religious freedom. I want her to appreciate her ability to follow her faith as I have been able to do. I want her to feel wrapped in the flag. No, I don’t want to “send her back,” I want her to share all the positive things that have happened to her in this great land. Surely she must know deep inside that this divinely guided experiment, this awesome Republic, is one of a kind. It is unique. I want her to tell the world, including the countries from which she fled, what this great land provides for all of its citizens and so many others. Most certainly it has been provided to her in a short period of time. No, I don’t want to “send her back,” I just want her to be as grateful as I am for all this country means, all it represents and all of its values.

I have been questioning how someone can become so absolute and sure of her philosophical base in such a short amount of time. What other country does freedom ring to the extent that this would be possible?

My almost-century perspective has allowed me to experience all the positive things and also things I have worked extremely hard to change. I know that unless we retain the principles and practices of our founding and live through our founding documents that our country will be something quite different. Unless we remain one nation indivisible under God with liberty and justice for all, we will our lose freedom.