The occasion of “President’s Day” seems a splendid opportunity for us to once again highlight the devastating effects of the Lefties insidious (and highly effective) campaign to separate entirely the citizenry of The United States from any functional knowledge of the principles and people upon which and whom you all owe nothing less than your lives and fortunes.
What was originally a day set aside to reconnect Americans with the life, vision, and courage of “The Father” of their country (that’s George Washington for you college students – see below), Washington’s birthday (actually February 22) has been obfuscated and diluted into the utterly meaningless “President’s Day.” Thus, true to our modern era of “fairness,” this characterization ensures that not only Washington and Lincoln, but other pillars of the Republic such as Millard Fillmore and James Earl Carter, Jr. can be celebrated by disgruntled postman sitting at home and besotting themselves in front of soft-porn soaps on their well-deserved day off.
(For those of you who would prefer to celebrate Washington’s birthday in a perhaps more appropriate manner, might I recommend the following essay by The Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., entitled, “The Man Who Would Not Be King.” )
But despair not my lonely patriots; there is action afoot to reverse at least this small aspect of the erasure of American heritage. A Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) is proposing a bill that would honor Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln separately -- and by name. Radical notion that.
Petty business you say? So it would seem, until one takes (as I so readily can) the bird’s eye view of the deterioration of America’s knowledge of its original self, and the dire consequences thereof. One peak at the results of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s recently published The Coming Crisis in Citizenship and you’ll know something of the cold nauseating dread of which I speak. Following are some highlights to whet your appetite:
- College seniors lack basic knowledge of America's history. More than half, 53.4 percent, could not identify the correct century when the first American colony was established at Jamestown. And 55.4 percent could not recognize Yorktown as the battle that brought the American Revolution to an end (28 percent even thought the Civil War battle at Gettysburg the correct answer).
- College seniors are also ignorant of America's founding documents. Fewer than half, 47.9 percent, recognized that the line "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," is from the Declaration of Independence. And an overwhelming majority, 72.8 percent, could not correctly identify the source of the idea of "a wall of separation" between church and state.
- More than half of college seniors did not know that the Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits the establishment of an official religion for the United States.
- Nearly half of all college seniors, 49.4 percent, did not know that The Federalist Papers—foundational texts of America's constitutional order—were written in support of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Seniors actually scored lower than freshmen on this question by 5.7 percentage points, illustrating negative learning while at college.
- More than 75 percent of college seniors could not identify that the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine was to prevent foreign expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
- Even with their country at war in Iraq, fewer than half of seniors, 45.2 percent, could identify the Baath party as the main source of Saddam Hussein's political support. In fact, 12.2 percent believed that Saddam Hussein found his most reliable supporters in the Communist Party. Almost 5.7 percent chose Israel.
The term, “bleak” comes to mind. Still all is not lost, but remains ours to lose.