"No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders." --Samuel Adams
John Adams wrote: "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers. ... Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties..."
Thomas Jefferson insisted: "Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. ... If a nation expects to be ignorant -- and free -- in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
James Madison agreed: "A people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. ... What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual & surest support?"
These four icons of the American revolution who brought us freedom and who cherished liberty all knew the importance of a well informed electorate to maintain the freedoms and liberty they fought for and the need to pass this on to future generations so that their freedom and liberty would continue. Keeping the electorate well informed was indeed a challenge without modern communication but for over two hundred years a reliable system of education and a counterbalanced news media somehow was sufficient to allow the people to make reasonable, and at times, outstanding choices of those who would lead our country.
What is the situation now, over two hundred years later? As one author said “Today, however, it would seem that ignorance is not only blissful but virtuous.”
Our public education system is in shambles because the government and teacher unions have been able to dictate how and what school children are taught and through politically correct laws and coercive union membership practices have developed huge treasuries to buy legislative, executive and judicial power. Higher levels of education are swarming with academics who consider their main function is to instill political ides of their own in young people not sophisticated enough to understand truth and distinguish un-American propaganda from ideals that made our country great.
George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams:
"In 1993, a Department of Education survey found that among college graduates 50 percent of whites and more than 80 percent of blacks couldn't state in writing the argument made in a newspaper column; 56 percent could not calculate the right tip; 57 percent could not figure out how much change they should get back after putting down $3.00 to pay for a 60-cent bowl of soup and a $1.95 sandwich, and over 90 percent could not use a calculator to find the cost of carpeting a room. But not to worry. A 1999 survey taken by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni of seniors at the nation's top 55 liberal-arts colleges and universities found that 98 percent could identify rap artist Snoop Dogg and Beavis and Butt-Head, but only 34 percent knew George Washington was the general at the battle of Yorktown. With limited thinking abilities and knowledge of our heritage, we Americans set ourselves up as easy prey for charlatans, hustlers and quacks."
The condition of our education system and the news media entrusted by our founders to keep the electorate “well informed” has deteriorated to such an extent that the American people are unaware of threats from home and abroad that in a very real sense WILL change our lives just as a lost military war would but this is more insidious because we stand to lose our freedom without a shot having been fired and in increments just as a lobster in water loses its life as the water is brought to a boil – one day, in the not too distant future, there will be no one around who will know what America once was.
In Part Two we will examine some of the serious threats about which the American public has not been properly informed.