| January 20, 2012

The great American heritage heist

There is disdain for our Constitution and Declaration of Independence among many of the elitists in high political office and it’s at the core of what is troubling America. In fact, there is solid evidence to support the belief that we wouldn’t be in the economic peril we find ourselves today if we would only adhere to the tenants of our Constitutional Republic. But just like our nation’s deficits, our citizen’s lack of Constitutional knowledge is rapidly escalating with each passing year.

We have strayed so far away from our nation’s founding documents, the average citizen no longer understands the significance of the principles affirmed therein. One can actually look back through the pages of history and see a deliberate erosion of citizen allegiance to the Constitution by societal forces. Evidence of purposeful intent becomes clear to even the most casual observer.

Matthew Spalding’s bestselling book entitled, We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future, delves into the beginning of the insidious movement to restructure the way we view our nation’s founding.

He writes, “What began a hundred years ago as an intellectual project made up mostly of academics and independent writers became a popular reform effort under the banner of progressivism.” Spalding notes that it became the philosophical basis for modern liberalism that dominated the politics of the twentieth century and which “continues to shape our politics and confuse the public mind.”

He notes that the first thing the progressives did was to reject the Founders’ belief in “permanent principles.” Progressives deny fixed truths and believe that “self-evident” truth, writes Spalding, is “a faulty assumption . . . and assuredly the wrong starting point for establishing a political system, especially one meant to be responsive to changing circumstances. As the prominent progressive historian Carl Becker put it in 1922, ‘To ask whether the natural rights philosophy of the Declaration of Independence is true or false, is essentially a meaningless question.’ This relativist view renders meaningless the whole American political tradition.”

The second thing progressives wanted to accomplish was to eliminate the idea of God-given rights. As Spalding notes, “any concepts of natural right or natural law—that is, ideas of right and law grounded in a fixed or enduring nature—had to be rejected. ‘The idea that men possess inherent and inalienable rights of a political or quasi-political character which are independent of the state, has been generally given up,’ the prominent progressive scholar Charles Merriam wrote in his 1920 book American Political Ideas.”

The progressive movement took root from 1890 to 1920 and has flourished ever since. It is intent on corrupting our founding fathers’ vision. More evidence follows...

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