Six things every American needs to know about their country
By Douglas Carswell
“Woke” radicals love to undermine America at every opportunity. They try to rewrite history in order to demoralize and disorientate the United States.
Cultural Marxism is able to thrive in that vacuum where there was once good civics education. If we want to defeat the radicals, both on and off campus, there are six things we should ensure every American child understands.
1. America is built on liberty.
Liberty is what makes America special. This country was started in 1776 because people living in 13 former British colonies had had enough of being bossed about by a British king.
America today might have its fair share of busybody politicians and bureaucrats, but the default setting in this country is to distrust anyone claiming authority over others, from George III to Dr. Fauci.
Americans also dislike being told what to think, and particularly having their children told what to think: an extraordinary 3.7 million American schoolchildren are now homeschooled.
2. The US Constitution created the best system of government in the world.
America might only be 240-something years old, but the US Constitution is now the oldest written Constitution in the world (with the exception of tiny San Marino). For context, France, which had its revolution at about the same time as America, is now on its fifth constitution. (Incidentally, how's that working out?)
It might be fashionable for CNN pundits to proclaim that American democracy is in crisis, but it is nonsense. If and when Americans adhere to what the Founders actually wrote, the system works.
The document they drafted, which fuses English ideas about natural rights with recently rediscovered insights from republican Rome, has withstood the test of time – and the challenge from would-be tyrants.
3. America is a force for good.
No country is perfect, and America has had its fair share of blunders. But overall, America has been a force for good in the world.
All previous great powers used their might to establish empires. Far from subjugating people, the United States used her strength to set people free, insisting the European powers dismantle their empires.
On three occasions – World War I, World War II and the Cold War - the United States has intervened to save the free world. Can you imagine what the world today would be like if on any of those occasions, the other side had won?
4. Americans are amazingly inventive.
From the first flight of the Kitty Hawk to the advent of the iPhone, there is one country that has proved extraordinarily inventive; the United States.
Take a look at the everyday household objects around you as you read this. The light bulb. The microwave oven. The refrigerator. Toothpaste. All are American inventions.
Innovation depends on being able to try out new things. It means freedom to fail. America is inventive because she is free.
5. Judeo-Christian ideals have shaped America.
Religion has been remarkably important in shaping America. Yes, I know that the Founders kept religion and government separate. That was not because they thought religion unimportant but in fact the opposite.
The Founders wanted to avoid the oppression of smaller religious groups, as had happened in Europe.
When George Washington became President, he wrote an extraordinary letter to the Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island. In it, he made it clear that they had a right to follow their faith. No one needed anyone else’s approval to worship as they pleased.
America’s emphasis on individualism is, I suspect, a reflection of Judeo-Christian thinking.
6. Americans have so much to be thankful for.
“Woke” ideology encourages grievance and resentment, rather than gratitude. This is why the “woke” seldom seem happy.
Gratitude is an essential ingredient for happiness – and if you want to “pursue happiness” won’t get very far without appreciating the good things that you have.
It is not a coincidence that one of the most important days in the American calendar is called “Thanksgiving”.
Initially, a day to show gratitude for getting the harvest in, today Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate being American. Simply being an American means you have so much to be thankful for.
Douglas Carswell is the President and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.