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screwed by state 4
A warning from 1834 about the overreach of government. Playing now in your community in 2016.



When studying Common Core States Standards Initiative and current educational reforms, it is imperative to understand why Federal mandates supersede states’ educational policies.  The politicians have forgotten/ignored the purpose of government and now mandate and/or legislate policies allowing the eradication of the rights of the people.  Instead of protecting those rights, the government via initiatives as CCSSI and ESSA legislation set the policy and the how the policies must be enacted.

For current thoughts on William Leggett’s 1834 commentary, read the comments from readers in Notable & Quotable: William Leggett A Democrat’s warning about government favoritism.   As you read them, think of how they align to the education reforms with nary a vote by the taxpayers having to now fund them.  Here are a few of the comments:

1834. What better reason to study and revere history. Technology might make us smart; It doesn’t make us wise.


Too many of the lawyers who run the Executive and Legislative branches—yes, even the Judiciary—know the law only so they can contort it. How better to turn citizens into their subjects.


“Governments possess no delegated right to tamper with individual industry a single hair’s-breadth beyond what is essential to protect the rights of person and property.”

In the modern left’s view the government does absolutely have a right to us as persons and to our property. Have you noticed, for instance, how they speak about giving us more or less money? Isn’t the money the government has ours in the first place? What right do they have to be deciding what part we keep and how we use that which they choose to give us back from what they took? (MEW note: This view is not only shared by the modern left.  Republicans supporting NGOs such as NGA and CCSSO should be included in that statement)


This reminds me of Charles Murray and his new book, “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.”

As Murray put it recently, “The meaning of the American experiment was a presumption of freedom…If you screw up you have the tort system…the Progressive Movement, in its early twentieth century terms with its dramatic origins—Woodrow Wilson’s progressivism—was one of the first times that it was assumed that the state knows better, and that experts can say ‘no, actually you can’t live under the presumption of freedom, we will decide what’s okay, what’s not; we will decide that this is not safe; we will decide that this is not ethical; we will decide that this is not fair; and we will promulgate these rules and we now live under a presumption of constraint’…If I am minding my own business and have not hurt anybody, for someone to use the power of the state and say ‘well, you haven’t hurt anyone or done anything wrong but I am going to lay all of this constraints because you might,’ that’s wrong.”

So we started with the presumption of freedom but we’ve gone down the incline that William Leggett wrote about in 1834, and in the left’s new world we now have to make a case for it at every turn. It’s imperative that we take the government back and set it straight, and it won’t be a small job either, we will have to turn the starting point back to where the presumption is one of freedom, not of constraint.
(MEW bolded)



Wilsonian progressivism is based on the theory that “man” is flawed and that only the intellectual / elite class can lead flawed individuals to realize their true potential.  This manifests itself in what we see today – government intruding too broadly in the affairs of individuals.  This necessarily strips individual freedoms as those freedoms would allow individuals to stray from some theoretical end-state of near perfection.

What progressives are doing is for our own good, whether we like it or not.  (MEW bolded)

This is the type of debate which should be occurring in classrooms rather than apologies that such conversations could trigger a student’s ‘safe space’.  Such discussions should also be offered in school for content understanding of history, rather than measuring students’ attitudes, behaviors and beliefs about what they study.  They should receive educational instruction on the proper role of government and individual freedoms and allow them to form their own opinion.  The preferred outcome in education should offer the teaching of classical history so they can ponder the authentic meaning on the role of government and protecting their own freedoms, not curtailing them.
An example of thought provoking questions suitable for Civics, Social Studies, and History classes comes from  author and historian David McCullough as he speaks about The Founding Fathers’ Attitudes and Beliefs on C-SPAN Classroom.  Let us know if such lessons are being taught in your public school and if not, what is being taught instead.