At present, the United States is a house divided against itself. It is a nation falling into disarray as two groups of people–those who know our nation’s history and those who don’t–stare blankly into each other’s eyes with no commonality of which to speak.
And these blank stares can be between the educated just as easily as they can be between the uneducated. In fact, when it comes to U.S. history, one couldn’t be blamed for asking how the educated in this country became so ignorant.
This ignorance was birthed when radicals like Saul Alinsky, William Ayers, and their comrades struck out against our education system in the late 1960s and early 70s. As a result, it’s now commonplace for a college freshman to know many ways to prove that all cultures are equal, but very few examples of what Thomas Jefferson or John Adams contributed to the founding of our nation.
The posterity of Alinsky and Ayers have carried this war against education into the 21st century, poisoning graduate studies with a bait and switch tactic; history students study the various methods of studying history but rarely study history itself.
In other words, a student pursuing a M.A. or a PhD in military history may spend the majority of his or her time studying the methodology of military history and even the historiography of certain military engagements, like the TET Offensive (1968), the U.S. POW experience in Japan (1945), or the War of 1812 (1812-14). Yet, they might never study the way the American forces turned TET back on itself, or the misery which U.S. POWs endured for our nation’s sake, or the glorious morning after the Battle of Fort McHenry (1814) when Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner” after seeing that our flag had survived the British bombardment.
It is the left’s great ruse. A student can graduate with a 4.0 GPA in U.S. history and know less about history than the “uneducated” citizen who buys and reads good history books on his or her own time.
Because of this, we don’t know ourselves, we don’t know each other, and we don’t know what it means to be an American.
When I was doing my M.A., I used to walk through the halls of the university talking with Dr. Bruce Brasington; he would say to me, “We have to know where we’ve been in order to know where we’re going.” As it stands right now, our nation appears largely comprised of citizens who have no idea where we have been and, consequently, not the least idea where we’re going.
Didn’t Thomas Jefferson write Common Sense? No wait, maybe that was Thomas Paine…