The Common Sense of the American Mind Can Prevail

Over at the Claremont Institute’s The American Mind website, there is a statement every American who loves America will be interested in reading. Please consider taking a look.

It is a thoughtful response to the violence and destruction that is being inflicted on America by Americans who reject their country. How has it come about that there are so many Americans who want to see our country destroyed, and how has it come about that there are so many in America’s ruling class willing to defend and support the destroyers?

It started on campus, and spread from there. I watched it happen on one campus. I can tell you what I witnessed, but I cannot explain to you why it happened.

Most of my professors were World War II veterans. Some were among those brave and modest heroes which the war produced in such numbers. My point is that these were not weak people. They were brave men who had put their lives on the line to save the world from a horrible fate.

So I watched in amazement as they handed their academic professions over to a new generation that rejected the America they had risked their lives to defend. They went down without a fight. I don’t know why.

American universities have been taken over by tenured radicals who have taught their students to reject America. By now, the tenured radicals have poisoned the minds of generations of students. We see the results all around us today.

To discover for yourself what those students were taught and how they were taught to think, simply tune in to CNN, or MSNBC, or PBS, or CBS, or NBC, or ABC. They are all the same. Those media voices learned their radicalism on campus. If you attended a prestigious university, you won’t need to go searching because it is likely you’ve already heard all this at its source.

“Hate America” has spread far and wide. I got a dramatic lesson in this fact a few years ago. I spent a few days with friends at their home in Florida. At the time, I was deeply involved in writing Common Sense Nation, my book on America’s founding and the American idea. My friends had never paid any attention to these matters. They are hard-working, smart, and very successful, but focused on their careers and their personal lives. They were electrified by what I told them about the Founders’ vision. When my friend Dana said, “I can’t wait to read your book” I thought she meant she was eager to get her hands on my book when it was published. It turned out she was being literal. She meant she couldn’t wait, she had to do something right away.

Some weeks later, she called me quite upset. She had gone to the local bookstore and asked for a good American history book. She told me she was horrified by what she was reading in the book. The story it told was not what she had heard about America from me. I knew instantly what had happened; the bookseller had sold her Howard Zinn’s anti-American screed. This shoddy piece of Communist propaganda—Zinn was actually a Stalinist—has become the more-or-less official American history text.

Many have read it but many more have learned Zinn’s version of American history in the classroom without even having to read the book.

It has been said by the wise that America is always only one generation away from being lost or restored. The takeover of the universities and the march of the Zinnites through our institutions has brought America to a perilous moment. The Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to create America; it is their gift to us. If we care to preserve what they have given us, we must recognize that the hour is late and the peril is real.

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