William J. Bennett, former Education Secretary, syndicated radio host and fellow at the Claremont Institute, has a wonderful piece over at RealClear Politics that argues for the nation to re-educate itself on our common values and ideals that our grandparents and founding fathers held so dear to their hearts. Unless we begin to reclaim the ground we lost to the morally corrupt and silly ideas of multiculturalism presented throughout the universities and television programs to our youth. So let's join in Bill Bennett's clarion call to return this nation to the greatness that we once enjoyed before we're blown away like the dust of past societies. Here's a sample of Bill Bennett's moving piece:
We have it in our power to breed heroes and statesmen just as we have it in our power to breed terrorists and traitors. We breed by both example and instruction; and just now we need a great re-learning about what we are teaching and tolerating through our national example and instruction, both in how we treat the enemy as well as in how we treat our own philosophies of statecraft and soulcraft. Our only repatriation can come once we take seriously again our self-evident truths, our political religion. In understanding our Constitution and Founding as the basis of our laws Abraham Lincoln put it this way:Let's take on this challenge and vanquish the barbarians who await at the gates of our "Shining City," to the ash heap of history. Our future depends on this.
As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;--let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap--let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;--let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.
We've lost that teaching, that instilling of public faith in our own country and our own cause. We've replaced, and indeed denigrated, that extremism, if you will. Now, what Lincoln had in mind is a good deal different from today's teachings of the feckless thing we've replaced history and government with: social studies. Perhaps W.B. Yeats had it right, "The best lack all convictions, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."