Who Should Be Teaching Our Children about the Constitution?: A Post about the Tea Party Patriots, W. Cleon Skousen, Glenn Beck, and the National Center for Constitutional Studies

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

I wonder how many people are aware that there is a special day that has been set aside by Congress to commemorate the signing of the Constitution each year.

From the Library of Congress:

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

This commemoration had its origin in 1940, when Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to issue annually a proclamation setting aside the third Sunday in May for the public recognition of all who had attained the status of American citizenship. The designation for this day was “I Am An American Day.”

In 1952 Congress repealed this joint resolution and passed a new law moving the date to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing, on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution of the United States” but the day was designated “Citizenship Day” and also retained its original purpose of recognizing all those who had attained the status of American citizenship. This law urged civil and educational authorities of states, counties, cities and towns to make plans for the proper observance of the day and “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.”

In 2004 under Senator Byrd’s urging, Congress changed the designation of this day to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” and added two new requirements in the commemoration of this Day. The first is that the head of every federal agency provide each employee with educational and training materials concerning the Constitution on September 17th. The second is that each education institution that receives federal funds hold an educational program on the Constitution for students on September 17 of each year.

It appears that few Americans know about this educational requirement. It also appears that few schools have complied with the Congressional mandate to hold an educational program about the Constitution on the designated date.

As a former teacher, I’m not one to argue that we shouldn’t be teaching our students about the Constitution. I think our educational institutions should provide our children with in-depth knowledge of the Constitution of the United States—as well as with a wealth of information about the organization and responsibilities of the three branches of our Federal Government.

A new project sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots aims to pressure public schools to teach students about the Constitution this coming September. That sounds like a good idea on the surface—but here’s what has some legal advocates concerned: The Tea Party Patriots are advocating for the use of their favored “Constitutional” curriculum in the public schools.

Doug Kendall, the Founder and President of the Constitutional Accountability Center, recently penned an article on the subject of the Tea Party Patriots and their favored Constitutional curriculum for the Huffington Post. In his article titled Parents: This Fall, Beware Tea Partiers Dressed Up as James Madison, Kendall wrote:

“When I was growing up, my mom warned me each fall about Halloween candy with a hidden razor blade. As a parent, the thing I’ll be most scared about this fall is the prospect of Tea Partiers coming to my child’s school dressed up like James Madison to ‘teach’ the U.S. Constitution.

“It is undoubtedly the case that all our kids could use a good civics lesson, but these modern day Madisons are peddling snake oil, not real history. Mother Jones reported yesterday that, during Constitution Week in September this year, the so-called ‘Tea Party Patriots’ are planning to pressure school boards across America to allow them into our schools to teach our children about the Constitution using materials from the National Center for Constitutional Studies, an organization founded by a genuinely scary individual named W. Cleon Skousen, a far-right conspiracy theorist with links to the John Birch Society who passed away in 2006.”

Kendall claims the curriculum developed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies uses highly inaccurate source material and issued the following challenge:

“I defy the Tea Party Patriots to find one credible historian willing to support their view of the Constitution’s history. Before the Tea Party gets to go into school and teach our children about the Constitution, they need to find a tenured professor on the history faculty on one of any of the 50 highest-rated universities in the United States who will vouch for the accuracy of their teachings. To qualify to teach America’s children about the Constitution you need to do more than dress up like James Madison.”

In Radical Constitutionalism, an article that appeared in the New York Times, Jeffrey Rosen called W. Cleon Skousen “the constitutional guru of the Tea Party movement.” Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, says Skousen “argued that the founding fathers rejected collectivist ‘European’ philosophies and instead derived their divinely inspired principles of limited government from fifth-century Anglo-Saxon chieftains, who in turn modeled themselves on the Biblical tribes of ancient Israel” in his 1981 book The 5,000 Year Leap.

Skousen believed our Constitution was “divinely inspired.” Rosen says Skousen “saw limited government as not only an ethnic idea, rooted in the Anglo-Saxons, but also as a Christian one, embodied in the idea of unalienable rights and duties that derive from God, and he insisted that the founders’ ‘religious precepts turned out to be the heart and soul of the entire American political philosophy.’”

Rosen reports that Skousen was dismissed by mainstream conservatives for many years as “a conspiracy-mongering extremist.” In an article that appeared in Mother Jones last week, Stephanie Mencimer wrote: “Skousen’s views on the Constitution are considered well outside the mainstream, and they include ideas drawn from white supremacist dogma and other shady sources. One of his textbooks on constitutional history contained blatantly racist material suggesting that slaves were actually a happy bunch of folks.”

So how did Skousen’s views on our Constitution, which had been considered outside the mainstream by most conservatives for years, become popular with the Tea Party Patriots? Why, Glenn Beck…of course! Beck helped give a boost to Skousen’s book The 5000 Year Leap when he endoresed it. The book then became both a bestseller and a Tea Party favorite.

In December of 2008, Beck recommended the book to his followers as a way to become informed about “socialism and communism and fascism, and the free market, Americanism.”

Beck wrote of Skousen’s book:

“The first thing you could do, please, is get the 5,000 Year Leap. Over my book or anything else, get the 5,000 Year Leap. You can probably find it in the book section of GlennBeck.com, but read that. It is the principle. It is so easy to read. It’s the book Ronald Reagan wanted taught in high schools and Ted Kennedy stopped it from happening. That should tell you all you need to know. It is so easy to understand. When you read these principles, your mouth will fall open. You’ll read it and you’ll be – the scales will fall off your eyes on who we are. Please, number one thing: Inform yourself about who we are and what the other systems are all about. 5,000 Year Leap is the first part of that. Because it will help you understand American free enterprise. You’ll be able to defend it. You’ll be able to know what makes it possible for 6% of humanity living under our free economy to produce 1/2 of the Earth’s developed wealth every single year. That’s staggering! What is it? It’s the virtues and the principles that our founders believed in, that took us and pushed us and made us – allowed us to take a 5,000 year leap from the dark into the sunshine. We should know why collectivism is wrong. We should know why federal supervision is going to hold our standard of living down. It will reduce our productivity, just as it has in every single country where it has ever been tried. We should know why communist leaders of the past considered socialism the high road to communism. We should know the words of the old communist leaders that said ‘We don’t need to fight a war. We can push them into socialism and once we have them into socialism, communism is next.’ We should see and read the actual words of the early 20th century American Progressives and see the roots.”

Who wouldn’t trust the Constitutional views of a man who wrote a book that Glenn Beck thinks is the most important book for Americans to read??? Who wouldn’t want their children learning about our Constitution from educational materials provided by an organization founded by that same individual?

If, on the other hand, you’re as concerned about Tea Party Patriots pressuring your local school board to adopt the curriculum materials developed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies to teach your children about the Constitution as Doug Kendall is, you might want to check with your local school system to see what plans it may have for Constitution Day on September 17th.

SOURCES

The Tea Party Wants to Teach Your Kids About the Constitution (Mother Jones)

Legal Advocates Slam Tea Party Constitution Classes (Mother Jones)

Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck’s life:Cleon Skousen was a right-wing crank whom even conservatives despised. Then Beck discovered him (Salon)

Parents: This Fall, Beware Tea Partiers Dressed Up as James Madison (Huffington Post)

Radical Constitutionalism (New York Times)

Glenn Beck: Are you a Sept. 12th person? (Glenn Beck)

Wearing Dunce Cap, Tea Party Tries To Indoctrinate Children With Bad Constitutional History (Constitutional Accountability Center)

National Center for Constitutional Studies

73 thoughts on “Who Should Be Teaching Our Children about the Constitution?: A Post about the Tea Party Patriots, W. Cleon Skousen, Glenn Beck, and the National Center for Constitutional Studies

  1. Elaine,

    Other than feats that criminals teach…..I learn something valuable everyday from this blawg…..Today…..mame….You have exceed expectations of learning this boy something, anew ……

    I wish I had had all of my elementary teachers as great as you appear… If it had not had been for an exceptional Vo-Ag instructor….seeing a frustrated kid who cut school about 2 to 3 times a week…that was on the AB horror role…but just didn’t care for school….well, until I met college…. thats another subject all together….

    Thank you again….

  2. A couple of years ago I got to see Judge Posner speak at an event held by the National Archives for Constitution Day. I don’t have any problem with all educated viewpoints about the Constitution being presented — the key word there being educated. If the Tea Party was smart, they’d have Justice Scalia or someone else with impeccable credentials but a radical conservative viewpoint record a 30 minute lecture on some Constitutional topic (likely federalism or the nature of limited government) and then push schools to show all their students the tape.

  3. At least there is no debate that public schools are the ideal vehicle to indoctrinate the next generation with whatever flavor of pro-government propaganda is favored at the moment.

  4. James M.,
    Justice Scalia does not have impeccable credentials, in my humble opinion. How about if we let Constitutional scholars who use facts teach about the Consitution? Justice Scalia is bought and paid for by corporations. This is the same justice who doesn’t believe that he is impervious to conflict of interest even when duck hunting with litigants!

  5. High schools should have a one year law curriculum geared to their potential personal legal needs. Students should learn the basics of due process so that they can more effectively attempt to defend their lives, liberty, property and reputation. This should start with the assumption that they are at real risk of losing everything.

  6. The Bizarre Religious Myths Mormon Right-Wingers Are Pushing on Tea Partiers — With Glenn Beck’s Help
    With the rise of the right, the National Center for Constitutional Studies’ bizarre version of U.S. history is gaining adherents.
    By Alexander Zaitchik
    http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/150333/the_bizarre_religious_myths_mormon_right-wingers_are_pushing_on_tea_partiers_–_with_glenn_beck's_help/

    Excerpt:
    March 22, 2011 | FAIRMONT, W. Va. — One fine Saturday morning last year, around 60 mostly middle-aged conservatives trickled onto the otherwise deserted campus of Fairmont State University. Clutching notebooks and coffee cups, they looked like groggy Continuing Ed students as they took seats in a modern lecture hall on the ground floor of the school’s engineering building. In a sense, they were Continuing Ed students. The room had been booked months in advance for a one-day, intro-level history and civics seminar entitled, “The Making of America.”

    But this was no ordinary summer school. Randall McNeely, the seminar’s kindly, awkward, and heavy-set instructor, held no advanced degree and made no claims to being a scholar of any kind. He was, rather, a product of rote training in a religious and apocalyptic interpretation of American history that has roots in the racist right of the last century. His students for the day had learned about the class not in the Fairmont State summer catalog, but from the website of an obscure nonprofit run by fringe Mormons. Founded as the Freeman Institute in Provo, Utah, in 1971, the outfit now goes by the name National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCSS), and works out of a remote farmhouse in Malta, Idaho (population 177).

    This humble base of operations, however, constrains neither the outfit’s national ambitions nor its missionary zeal. The NCCS has been touring the country and propagating its ultraconservative Mormon message for nearly four decades. Yet its message has never been in greater demand than in 2010. Since the rise of the Tea Party circuit, the all-volunteer NCCS has experienced exploding interest from Tea Party-affiliated groups such as the 9.12 Project and the Tea Party Patriots. On any given Saturday, several of nearly 20 “Making of America” lecturers are giving seminars across the country in spaces like the rented classroom in Fairmont, with $10 tickets and NCCS book sales paying for their travel and expenses.

    Along with a busier schedule, the NCCS also has a growing list of allies. In the media, it has found a powerful voice in the form of Fox News’ Glenn Beck, who is a Mormon himself and has used his pulpit to advocate for NCCS books and ideas. Through Beck’s sustained and energetic advocacy, once-forgotten NCCS tracts of Mormon-flavored pseudo-history such as The 5,000 Year Leap have become unlikely online bestsellers. As a result, traveling volunteer NCCS lecturers like McNeely today have no shortage of students eager to learn his version of “truth.”

  7. Legal procedure isn’t content based. Court reformers get nowhere because they can’t agree on religion, abortions, unions etc.

    What they end up with is a lot of talk that doesn’t affect any public policy. Most individuals have essentially no input into public policy. Their votes are statistically insignificant, their congressional representatives really don’t care what their constituents think, and the written communications individuals send to Congress and the administration aren’t even read. Discussion of policy is just a form of entertainment but has no value and is basically a waste of time.

    Most people experience law in the context of divorce, custody, leases, mortgages, medical insurance and pensions.

    Now that we no longer have access to federal courts we are all at risk of losing all of our property, our insurance and medical care, our pensions and social security, custody of our children and access to grand children, reputation, driver’s licenses, and physical liberty.

  8. Elaine

    liked the link, especially at the end when it says

    Speaking last year in Mesa, Ariz., Taylor spoke cryptically of the need for “the Good Lord’s help” to take America “into a much better phase of existence lasting for a thousand years.”

    i recall someone else who’s system was going to last that long. he was about 988 years short

  9. rafflaw – facts have a well known liberal bias, can’t have the little dears minds cluttered and confused with facts when there is a need to peddle a broken down philosophy.

  10. Beck guru Skousen’s “story of slavery” suggests slave owners were “worst victims of the system”
    Media Matters
    September 30, 2009
    http://mediamatters.org/research/200909300024

    Excerpt:
    Fox News’ Glenn Beck has heavily promoted the writings of far-right activist W. Cleon Skousen, even making Skousen’s book, The 5000 Year Leap, a central part of his 9-12 Project. Skousen is the author of several controversial works, including The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, which presented as “the story of slavery in America” a passage from a book that attacked abolitionists for delaying emancipation; cast slave owners as “the worst victims of the system”; claimed white schoolchildren “were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates”; and claimed that “[s]lavery did not make white labor unrespectable, but merely inefficient,” because “the slave had a deliberateness of motion which no amount of supervision could quicken.”

    **********
    Read the following excerpts from Skousen’s book “The Making of America”:

    •Newly sold slaves “usually a cheerful lot.” “The tendency was to sell families as units, if for no other reason [than] to keep the slaves contented. The gangs in transit were usually a cheerful lot, though the presence of a number of the more vicious type sometimes made it necessary for them all to go in chains. At the other extreme, when the Central of Georgia railroad company in 1858 equipped a Negro sleeping car to assist in the slave trade it set a standard not always maintained in a later generation. When on the block, the slave was as likely to hinder as to help in his sale. Some, out of a vain conceit in bringing a high price, would boast of their physical prowess, in which case an unwary purchaser would likely be cheated. Others would malinger, because of a grudge against owners or traders or in order to bring a low price and be put at less tiring labor. Dealers, also, adopted the tricks of horse traders to make their merchants more attractive — the greasiest Negro was generally considered the healthiest.” [The Making of America, pages 731-732]

    •Slaves hampered efficiency of white labor. “In the management of slave labor the gang system predominated. The great majority of owners, having at the most only one or two families of Negroes, had to work alongside their slaves and set the pace for them. Slavery did not make white labor unrespectable, but merely inefficient. The slave had a deliberateness of motion which no amount of supervision could quicken. If the owner got ahead of the gang they all would shirk behind his back.” [The Making of America, page 732]

    •White schoolchildren would “envy the freedom” of “colored playmates.” “Slave food, even if monotonous, was plentiful. Corn bread and bacon were the mainstays, with plenty of fruit and vegetables in season. In hog-killing time, countenances were unusually greasy. Clothing also was on the par with that of the poorer white people and no less adequate in proportion to the climate than that of Northern laborers. If [negro children] ran naked it was generally from choice, and when the white boys had to put on shoes and go away to school they were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates. The color line began to appear at about that time.” [The Making of America, pages 732-733]

    •Cruelty rare, slave owners “the worst victims.” “Excessive toil occurred only where the masters or overseers were feeble witted as well as brutal. A persistent rumor among abolitionists was that sugar planters followed a policy of working slaves to death in seven years as a matter of economy. The persons spreading such reports were as ignorant of Negro nature as they were of conditions in the sugar mills. Furthermore, they overrated the ability of the masters to know how to kill a slave in the given time instead of leaving him a broken-down burden to the plantation. When they set out to prove the accusation they returned with no evidence, but convinced that the practice existed in some obscure region which they had not succeeded in ferreting out. Harriet Martineau, after watching slaves go through the motions of work without tiring themselves, considered the planters as models of patience and observed that new slave owners from Europe or the North were prone to be the most severe. Numerous observers, of various shades of opinion on slavery, agreed that brutality was no more common in the black belt than among free labor elsewhere, and that the slave owners were the worst victims of the system.” [The Making of America, pages 733-734]

    **********

    You can read more excerpts from “The Making of America” at the link I provided above.

  11. Have you heard the latest news about Glenn Beck?

    *****

    Glenn Beck to hold Jerusalem rally
    By Justin Elliott
    Salon, 5/16/2011
    http://www.salon.com/news/israel/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2011/05/16/glenn_beck_jerusalem

    Excerpt:
    Michael Calderone reports:

    Glenn Beck announced on his radio show Monday that he is planning to hold a rally in Jerusalem in August called “Restoring Courage.” Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally drew hundreds of thousandsWashington, D.C. in August of 2010, but Beck said that drawing as many to Jerusalem will be more difficult.

    Beck told his listeners that a disaster is about to strike Israel, and that unspecified enemies “are going to attack the center of our faith, our common faith, and that is Jerusalem. And it won’t be with bullets or bombs. It will be with a two-state solution that cuts off Jerusalem, the old city, from the rest of the world. ”

    Translation: The rally will be filled with ambiguous messianic rhetoric and will oppose any sharing of Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians, both of whom claim the city as their national capital.

    The announcement comes just days after Beck returned from a surprise trip to Israel, during which he visited tourist sites, broke his raw food diet, and donned a yarmulke. (One Israel press report also said Beck would be meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but if that happened, it was not publicly reported.)

    Beck, a Mormon, has not always had the best relations with the Jewish community. He, for example, took flak last year for a week-long attack on the liberal philanthropist — er, “Puppet Master” –George Soros that was steeped in anti-semitic tropes. The Anti-Defamation League ultimately forgave Beck because of his right-wing pro-Israel stance.

  12. As far as I can tell, since education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is one of those powers reserved to the states until the Supreme Court declares that education is a fundamental interest. (Tenth Amendment)

    The constitution of a state usually determines where power over education is vested in state government. Unless educated parents in the usual suspect states take Kendell’s warnings seriously and unite against “Tea Partiers Dressed Up as James Madison”, their children will be fully exposed to the folderol that is teabagger intellectualism.

  13. Hmmm maybe letting parents decide who teaches their children and what they want taught to their children would solve the problem of right wing nut jobs putting political pressure on public schools?

    Also google “cthulu constitution” if you want a hilarious parody of that picture of jesus delivering the constituion to america.

  14. Elaine M,

    I’ve been sick for almost two weeks and I’m finally able to semi-coherently collect my thoughts … excellent post. I echo AY – I wish I had a teacher like you when I was in elementary school!

    Glenn Beck … lol … shouldn’t he be getting ready for the Rapture coming up on the 21st?!

  15. Stamford Liberal,

    So glad you reminded me that the end is near! Must make sure I have some wild and crazy fun before Saturday dawns on the horizon.

    :)

    Hope you’re up and about soon.

  16. Elaine M,

    “So glad you reminded me that the end is near!”

    To quote The Green One – One lives to be of service.

    “Must make sure I have some wild and crazy fun before Saturday dawns on the horizon.”

    I wish the Rapture had happened about a week ago … it would have saved me an additional week of feeling like 10 lbs of manure stuffed into a 1 lb bag!

    Thanks, lady … slowly but surely I’m coming along :)

  17. Thanks, Elaine. This is a very important post for anyone genuinely concerned about the Constitution.

  18. Thanks for this posting, Elaine.

    Frank Schaeffer (author of “Crazy for God”) has written another book. Today’s article from AlterNet:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/150936/insider%3A_%22the_christian_right_is_aiming_to_destroy_all_things_public%22?akid=6972.147321.KZjKjb&rd=1&t=2

    Insider: “The Christian Right is Aiming to Destroy All Things Public”

    By Frank Schaeffer

    “The Right has pushed for the state to hand over its public duties to private companies, including military operations, prisons, health care, public transport, and all the rest.”

    excerpt:

    New Evangelical universities and even new law schools appeared, seemingly overnight, with a clearly defined mission to “take back” each and every profession—including law and politics—“for Christ.” For instance, Liberty University’s Law School was a dream come true for my old friend Jerry Falwell, who (when I was speaking at his school in 1983 to the entire student body for the second time) gleefully told me of his vision for Liberty’s programs: “Frank, we’re going to train a new generation of judges to change America!” This was the same Jerry Falwell who wrote in America Can Be Saved, “I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools.”

  19. Sharthmore and rafflaw,

    Thanks for the good wishes – much appreciated! I’d say I’m about 80% but now … I … have … pink eye … can’t see, still can’t breathe too well … but, the best part?

    Chasing my daughter around the house screaming, “I’ve got cooties!” is providing me with much-needed entertainment! I swear, my neighbors must think we’re both completely looney tune … :D

  20. Lol …

    High School Sophomore Challenges Bachmann To Basic ‘Fact Test’ On U.S. Constitution

    In expounding upon the Constitution, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) rarely troubles with reading it. Her musings on the subject have earned her yet another Politifact “pants on fire” award and ensured the employment of fact-checkers everywhere. Now, the Minnesota Independent reports that one American — a high school sophomore — wants to take the Congresswoman head on. Fed up with the “injustice” that Bachmann’s “politically expedient” inaccuracies serve to “women everywhere,” New Jersey 10th grader Amy Myers is challenging Bachmann to a public debate — or a basic “fact test” — on the Constitution:

    As a typical high school student, I have found quite a few of your statements regarding The Constitution of the United States, the quality of public school education and general U.S. civics matters to be factually incorrect, inaccurately applied or grossly distorted. The frequency and scope of these comments prompted me to write this letter. […]

    Rep. Bachmann, the frequent inability you have shown to accurately and factually present even the most basic information about the United States led me to submit the follow challenge, pitting my public education against your advanced legal education:

    I, Amy Myers, do hereby challenge Representative Michele Bachmann to a Public Forum Debate and/or Fact Test on The Constitution of the United States, United States History and United States Civics.

    Bachmann does have a law degree, but given the knowledge she’s displayed on the subject, the 10th grader stacks up pretty well.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/13/bachmann-constitution-10th-grader/

  21. It always dumbfounds me the way the left refuses to deal with the truth of the ISSUES in favor of slinging mud at the messenger and name calling. The reason of course, is that the left loses on the truth of the issues and would divert attention with their mud slinging in hopes that no one will notice their losing positions.

    The 5000 Year Leap was totally based on the original writings of the Founding Fathers. The left, like Elaine, do not address that truth at all. They sling mud to try (successfully to those who do not care to do their own research) to get you to believe it is based on Mormonism or what ever mud they are slinging.

    The truth and the fact remains that this IS the ONLY compilation of the original writings of the Founding Fathers that exists anywhere explaining how they came to accumulate their knowledge and wisdom to create the Constitution. Period.

    Contrary to Elaine’s deceptive mud slinging, the belief that the Constitution was divinely inspired was NOT Skousen’s idea! It was from the writings of the founding Fathers as quoted in the book.

    One only needs to read the beginning of the book to discover the TRUTH behind the why, how and what that resulted in the only compilation of our Founding Fathers’ own writings for insight into the immortal document that is our Constitution.

    The demonization by the left to prevent the Constitution from being taught to our children in reality exposes their fear that people will see destruction of this document that is going on right before our eyes. Virtually every day more central government control is eroding our freedoms. Usurping the power from the people as established in the bottom up control structure embodied in the constitution. Creating the top down control of the leaders at the top. Just the type of leadership our Founding Fathers hoped to kick to the curb for ever with the Constitution. It places the power with the people. The power of the Vote. To control this government. Learn about what went into the Constitution and why, exposes the destruction that is occurring to that bottom up control by the people.

    Will the ultimate sacrifices of our Founders who gave their wealth and their lives so we would not have to go for not?

    Read the book for yourselves. Make up your own minds. Don’t be led to the slaughter by the deceptive spin and mud slinging of those that would avoid the truth of the issues, because they KNOW they lose on the truth.

  22. “The truth and the fact remains that this IS the ONLY compilation of the original writings of the Founding Fathers that exists anywhere explaining how they came to accumulate their knowledge and wisdom to create the Constitution. Period. ”

    No. It’s not, but that is beside the point.

    I think reading the Federatlist Papers and the letters of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton would give you better insight into what the Founders intended. Teaching the Constitution and the history of it to children is important. In fact, it’s too important to be left up to revisionist clowns like Skousen, so why not go with the original words of the Founders themselves instead of relying on the editorial distortions of someone with a contemporary political agenda. For example, Madison and Jefferson clearly understood (as did the other Founders) that they were establishing a secular state. Their own writings clearly indicate this fact.

    Left? Right? Who cares? Those are simply the facts.

    Careful there, Stevie! You got some lamb’s blood on you.

  23. stephenwv:

    “Learn about what went into the Constitution and why, exposes the destruction that is occurring to that bottom up control by the people.”

    *************************

    We’ve never had “bottom up control” and never will have it. The Founders were anything but the bottom of society and they insured that special care would be taken to prevent any popular mob from taking over as the Tea Party crowd seems to be advocating. Senators were appointed by legislatures, standing armies were prohibited, and only a small segment of the population could vote – basically white landowners. Even with that amount of conservative controls, an electoral college was established to preside over national elections to insure that emotions of the moment wouldn’t lead to a popular demagogue.

    The truth is that the modern world has shown an unending march towards individual freedoms starting with the Suffragettes through the Civil Rights Movement and now to the struggle for gay and lesbian rights. Economically, there has been an expansion of individual freedom with a curtailment of Blue Laws, expansion of capital markets to unprecedented range, and the availability of financial services unimaginable to our Founders and even likely our grandparents. Taxes are up, sure, but so are services and benefits to the poor and elderly.

    The problem with Tea Baggers isn’t their skewed political rhetoric or their inability to grasp fundamental political principles (thought they are handicaps to be sure), it’ s their dogged refusal to accept historical fact. Say what you will but nobody likes dumb or ignorant. That’s is why they are relegated to the cheering section in the political football game.

  24. Gene H. YOU ARE WRONG.
    There is no compilation f the Founding fathers explaining the Constitution as I stated. The compilations you point to are about each founding Father and comparisons of them as to their individual philosophies and their lives … biographies… but NOP WHERE is their any other tie in to the creation of the constitution and the knowledge and thinking behind it. It is YOUR revisionist and INCOMPLETE understanding of the Founders thoughts that relate and tie into the creation of the Constitution that is apparent. READ the book or show me where their is such a compilation of the actual writings you mention – and MANY MANY more – theta give a TRUE insighte into the creation of this immortal document.

    Your sick insistance to sling mud and name call reacher that address the truth in the book shows you have never bothered to read it and do not know what you are talking about – simply repeating the deceptive spin of others like yourself; OR you have read the book and KNOW you lose on the issues and do not dare to address them and resort to deception instead- liberals, progressives, Democrats… exasperating.

  25. Mespo727272
    NEVER BEEN BOTTOM UP IN CONTROL?????
    You have NOP CLUE what that means do you??? Yalk about some one who sorely needs to read the 5000 Year Leap and begin to understand the Constitution…

    Sir or Madam
    Bottom up is opposed to top down. Top down is a leader at the top who makes all the rules and decisions and tells everyone else what to do, what their rights are, and can change those laws and regulations on a whim – any time he wants – like a king or a dictator or the CEO’s of most companies – or the Department Czars that are under Obama’s control – rewriting and changing regulations on virtually a daily basis – essentially creating legislation with out representation – with out our elected officials in Congress having a say in these changes (our Founding Fathers revolted over less).

    Bottom up is the VOTE. Our Founding Fathers – through the creation of the Constitution – gave us the ultimate power and control of our own government – with checks and balances no less. The VOTE is the bottom up ultimate power given to us through the ultimate sacrifice of life and wealth by our founders so that We The People would never have to go through that again.

    If you read the book you would understand the power that you have and the type of government provided us by the Constitution.

    “Bottom” in “bottom up” is not the bottom you have learned in the class warfare that Obama espouses to divide and conquer the people in this country. That warfare that he is using to destroy the Constitution and freedoms through the nanny state of larger government and more and more central government control. Creating his top down government that IS the government our founders desired to prevent us from ever being dominated by again.

    Mespo727272, you sorely are in need of reading this perspective on the Constitution. To refuse to do that is educational stupidity at its best. If you actually read it and still agree with the deceptive spin that you swear ignorantly by – then God bless you.

  26. I apologize for typing errors and auto correct of them… I just went too fast and will attempt to slow down and proof read in the future.

  27. Divine Constitutional Abomination
    By Caroline Fredrickson
    Executive Director, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
    5/27/11
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-fredrickson/divine-constitutional-abo_b_868106.html

    Excerpt:
    Recent news reports have revealed that the nation’s largest Tea Party umbrella group is seeking to infiltrate our public schools with the radical theory that the Constitution is divinely inspired.

    The Tea Party “Patriots” are pushing a constitutional curriculum designed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, which disseminates reading materials suggesting that God intended for America to be a Christian nation, that the Jamestown settlers starved to death because they were communists who failed to embrace capitalism, and that national parks are unconstitutional.

    This outrageous so-called “history” is not fit for any classroom. That the Tea Party “Patriots” intend to impose these materials on young children with little or no knowledge of our founding document as part of their “Adopt a School” program is an abomination.

    The American Constitution Society has been participating in Constitution Week for years through its Constitution in the Classroom program. By sending volunteers to schools around the country, we introduce students to the important principles in the Constitution that affect their lives. Such principles include the freedom of speech, equal protection under the laws, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and freedom of religion.

    There is room for debate about what elements of the Constitution should be featured in a Constitution Week curriculum, and of course, how to interpret those clauses. But the Tea Party “Patriots'” efforts to indoctrinate schoolchildren with material so far outside an honest and basic understanding of the Constitution should not be tolerated.

    Instead of teaching a neutral version of the First Amendment’s religion clauses and their history, NCCS teaches that the First Amendment establishes the “Religion of America.” This theory traces back to NCCS founder W. Cleon Skousen’s book, which drew the connection between the Founding Fathers and the biblical tribes of Israel. During his own time, Skousen, a Mormon, was rejected by the Mormon Church and mainstream conservatives including William F. Buckley Jr., law professor Jeffrey Rosen explained recently in The New York Times.

    *****

    Public Schools, the Wrong Forum for Tea Party’s Religious Constitution Courses, ACS’s Fredrickson Says
    American Constitution Society
    5/27/11
    http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/public-schools-the-wrong-forum-for-tea-party%E2%80%99s-religious-constitution-courses-acss-fredricks

    Excerpt:
    Public schools, as the Supreme Court has noted time and again, are not forums for proselytizing. Organized prayer and spiritual services are for private institutions, such as churches or private schools. Voluntary student prayer is permitted. But public school officials who allow the Tea Party “Patriots” to enter their facilities on school hours to lecture students about a Godly Constitution, are running afoul of the Constitution’s First Amendment principle of a separation of church and state, and inviting lawsuits.

  28. As I posted earlier and Elaine refuses to realize, instead continuing to spread deceitful spin re coping and repasting her previous information … as I posted earlier IT IS THE FOUNDING FATHERS OWN WRITINGS THAT SUGGESTED THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS DIVINELY INSPIRED.

    Invoking mud slinging “seeking to infiltrate our public schools with the radical theory that the Constitution is divinely inspired.” As if reporting the truth of what our Founders ACTUALLY THOUGHT AND STATED should be censored from the sensitive minds of our children that the liberals hope to have the corner on the market of mind control with their own revisionist history.

    No matter how many times you attempt to vilify the messenger with your deception, and ignore the facts of the issues, the truth will win out.

    Read the book or be lead by the deception of those like Elaine that try to convince you to close your mind and fall victim to their deception.

    Reporting on the religious thinking and writings of the Founding Fathers in in NO WAY violating a separation of church and state. Nor is it your mud slinging term of “proselytizing.” It is truth in history free of censorship by the liberals that control education in the US.

    Listen to Elaine’s deceptive spin to avoid the truth and the issues at your own mindless peril. Read the book to decide for yourself and take control of your own mind.

  29. And what the heck is this stupid link of bomb dropping that goes nowhere??? “BREAKING: Joel Skousen Drops Bomb After Bomb on Coast to Coast AM 8.2.2011 Radio Show | Alternative News Report
    Trackback on 1, August 4, 2011 at 5:05 am”

  30. So Joel Skousen is the nephew of the author W. Cleon Skousen. Big whoop. All that explains is your propensity to avoid the truth and the issues with deceitful spin that has NOTHING to do with the issues and the truth.

  31. Oooo. Shouting. That certainly makes you more credible, Stevie. And everyone knows he who shouts loudest is right, right? Right ……………..

    “There is no compilation f the Founding fathers explaining the Constitution as I stated. The compilations you point to are about each founding Father and comparisons of them as to their individual philosophies and their lives … biographies… but NOP WHERE is their any other tie in to the creation of the constitution and the knowledge and thinking behind it.”

    Actually what I pointed to was original source materials that are in their own words to the thinking and knowledge behind drafting the Constitution as held by the Founding Fathers themselves. It is what is known in legal circles as “best evidence”. I’m certain that they knew what they were thinking far better than some remote in time editor does, let alone a remote in time editor with a contemporary political ax to grind.

    You feel free to point to secondary interpreted materials as better proof over the original materials themselves and be sure to shout some more though.

    It looks good dingbats on you.

  32. Elaine,

    Such a group attempted to insert themselves into one of our local schools. The School Board meeting was packed with parents from several denominations and the Tea Party group’s petition was emphatically denied. The Tea Party members in attendance seemed stunned that so many Christians were misunderstanding their intent. It didn’t take them long to grasp the fact that their intent was perfectly well understood by all these Christians and the disapproval was unanimous.

    I think they moved on to the next town.

  33. Gene H.
    Actually what you pointed to is a small part of the original writings that Skousen used in the 40 search of all the original documentation that went into this one of a kind compilation. You would know that if you actually bothered to read it instead slinging mud at me hoping that no one will notice that you continue to avoid the issue that this is truly a great explanation – using the quoted works of the Founders NOT your mud slinging name calling avoidance that this is in fact the only piece of work of its kind that anyone has ever undertaken to show the combined knowledge and thoughts of our Founders that created the Constitution.

    It never ceases to amaze me how you liberals can mindlessly comment on so many things you have no personal knowledge of, by slinging mud to avoid the truth, and expect that will pronounce you an intellectual.

    Blouise:
    The deceitful mud slinging and fear mongering gets people to do things that are against their own best interest.
    Guaranteed there were none in that meeting that had actually read the book and all decisions were based on the deceptive mud slinging of the left. Name calling, mud slinging, deceptive spin, out and out lies, to create fear and avoid the truth of the issues is what they use to control those in the population that do not bother to do their own research.

    Fortunately more and more people are actually waking up to see the deception being fed to them. They are doing their own research to find out the truth for themselves, not listening to either side, and they are seeing where the truth comes from and where the deception comes from.

  34. “Actually what you pointed to is a small part of the original writings”

    Actually, it’s not, but small is a relative judgment and infinite regression becomes an issue at some point. However, it is irrelevant to the main point that the original source material is the best source for information on what the Founders knew and thought rather than the editorial distortions as presented by someone with a contemporary political ax to grind. Also, I’ve read the source materials and then some. I don’t need some theocratic schmuck telling me what he thinks it means. I’ve seen enough of Skousen’s claptrap to know that claptrap is putting it mildly. I’ve also seen enough of what self-identifying tea party members call their “Constitutional scholarship” to know it’s totally laughable. Why? Well because my formal education includes a law degree from an accredited school which demanded that I study Constitutional Law as part of my graduation requirements. Unlike some people, I actually stayed awake in class and paid attention. I even took notes and read beyond the assigned reading. I’m funny that way. I’d rather understand something for myself when it’s that important than have someone else spoon-feed me what they think it means as filtered through their agenda(s). I’ve also studied the Constitution in other contexts such as comparative international law. I dare say I understand the history and the application of the document as well or better than Slousen who despite having a legal education is notorious for his far-right wing fringe views. His use of the word “Constitutional” is quite frankly propagandistic bait to sell his extremist views to people who don’t really know what the term “Constitutional” entails. He was an End Timer, a zealot and hate mongering fringe extremist. Not to mention, anyone who seriously thought Eisenhower was a Communist agent is simply a fucking moron. But that’s your boy Skousen! Quite frankly, the only thing Skousen’s writings are good for is wrapping dead fish. I don’t include lining bird cages because his bile and ignorance would probably leap off the page and strangle the birds to death.

    See? Now that was some mud slinging. Made all the more effective by being factually true and combined with my true opinion of the “man” (and I do use that term loosely in Skousen’s case). He was a vile piece of extremist right-wing American brown shirt. I’ll trust my own scholarship on the matter of Constitutionality rather than that tripe you teabaggers are feeding off of. If that offends? Too bad. I still suggest others read the source materials if they are interested instead of relying on Skousen’s garbage pseudo-scholarship.

    You should be careful who you hero worship.

    You might get some on you.

  35. Gene H.
    You continue to be – and I quote you- “the fucking moron” with your narcissistic self promotion as if that allows you to continue to speak on “The 5000 Year Leap” which you admittedly HAVE NOT READ. Moron indeed.

    Again you sling mud at me falsely claiming I “hero worship” Skousen. It is the truth of the book that I speak of. You continue to avoid the issue that his work is the ONE work that pulls together an understanding of the creation of the Constitution and the minds of the Creators.

    It is wonderful that several advanced degrees and years of extra studies and education have allowed you to begin to understand some of their writings and beliefs so you do not need the input of any other source as you know it all.

    This book allows ordinary REAL PEOPLE to get in one reading more than you have attained in decades of study. Still you do not read that which you attempt to vilify by attacking the author. Your stupid deception says more about your intelligence than your ego driven narcissistic rant of accomplishments.

  36. The book allows ordinary people to be dilberately misled by someone with a very unconstitutional political agenda about what the Framers knew, thought and meant when they drafted the Constitution.

    As for self-promotion? I’m not selling myself or anything else. I am, however, promoting than the idea that people should consider the original source material – which is written in English by mere mortals – and think for themselves instead of reading the editorialized polticized polemic pablum that Skousen tries to pass off as scholarship. The letters of the Founders and the Federalsit Papers are not hard to understand even if the style is a bit stilted for the modern reader. There is no problem they should encounter reading it that checking a dictionary won’t solve. But let me guess. You’re the kind of person who thinks Cliff’s Notes and Reader’s Digest Condensed Books are just the best thing in the world. When you are lazy or incompetent in your reading, you are not learning how to think, you are learning to parrot what someone else wants you to think. It’s a major distinction. But to imply REAL PEOPLE can’t understand the Federalist Papers and the letters of our Founders is insulting to REAL PEOPLE. Do you think they are so stupid they need Skausen to interpret for them papers and letters written in the language they have been speaking since childhood? I don’t. They should read the source material and see what the Founders thought without anybody else interpreting it for them so they can make up their own minds. Yeah. Encouraging people to read the best evidence possible in the form of the original source material and to think for themselves! What was I thinking!

    Clearly I am promoting a dangerous idea.

    As to not personally reading Skousen? I’m too old for fairy tales and I have a professional understanding of the subject that tells me prime facie Skousen was a poltical polemicist but legitimate scholar of the Constitution he wasn’t. I don’t read Skausen because he’s bullshit. I don’t read the bullshit Stromfront publishes either. After you’ve read “Mein Kampf” in the original German, the rest of it is kind of repetitive. I also don’t read Sidney Sheldon, B.E. Ellis or Jackie Collins either and for similar reasons. Once I identify garbage, I try to cull it out of my reading lists. Garbage in, garbage out.

    As to why I villify Skousen now? It would be because I know enough about him to know he’s was a nasty lil’ theocratic brown shirt with a half-assed understanding of the Constitution and that when I villify him it seems to really piss you off. Which I find just hysterically funny. It’s just adorable when you lil’ teabaggers foam at the mouth.

  37. Gene H.
    AGAIN… you persist to make false pronouncements about that which you admit again that you have not read.
    Your radical political far left agenda is overpowering any vestige of intellectual capacity you claim to possess.
    Why do you persist in attempting to deceive people about a book you know absolutely nothing about as you have never read it?

    This book does not mislead or even attempt to mislead ANYONE. If you actually bothered to read it you would see how ridiculous your claims are.

    You must be seriously disturbed to persist in this line of thought when a simple reading of the book would do you no harm. Unless facing the truth would cause you a nervous breakdown or some kind of psychotic episode… if that is the case, maybe you shouldn’t read it… if the truth is that damaging to your psyche. For normal people… the truth will set you free.

  38. All Patriots ‘Know’ That Moses Wrote the Constitution
    By Garrett Epps
    Oct 29 2010
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/10/all-patriots-know-that-moses-wrote-the-constitution/65353/

    Excerpt:
    The subject of today’s class is the Constitution, but the discussion keeps veering to various methods of sending Mexicans back where they came from.

    Not surprising: Our instructor is Lester Pearce, Arizona Justice of the Peace and brother of Russell Pearce, author of that state’s harshly anti-immigrant Senate Bill 1020 1070. Lester Pearce can’t stop mentioning that Mexicans have begun leaving Arizona since the official persecution began. In fact, Pearce says, he wants to send some Americans to Mexico too. “I wrote a bill when I was in the legislature to give [the Gadsden Purchase] back to Mexico, because we had people in Tucson who were socialists.” Mexico didn’t want them, he says.

    We are in the basement of Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church in Ashburn, Va. It is Saturday, October 23, ten days before the midterm elections. A group of 50 patriots has gathered for a seminar of “The Making of America,” presented by the National Center for Constitutional Studies. NCCS, headquartered in Malta, Idaho, sends speakers across the country to reveal the truth that liberal elites have hidden about the American form of government. The seminar is sponsored by four local groups–a Constitution-oriented meetup in Purcellville, Va., the Loudoun Patriots Organization, the Virginia Conservative Party, and the Loudon County Republican Women’s Club.

    The atmosphere reminds of me of a church pancake supper. The 50 people attending are mostly at or near retirement age, and overwhelmingly white, though there is a young Asian-American woman in killer boots, and several fashionably dressed moms with their young children in tow. By and large, these seem like people who would make wonderful neighbors–civic-minded, polite, outgoing. The conversation at the tables, however, doesn’t center around the pastor’s last sermon but on which Democratic politician the speaker hates most (“Obama claims to be a constitutional scholar. He knows just enough to undermine it”) and the viciousness of media bias against good candidates like Christine O’Donnell (“She’d be fine elsewhere, but in Delaware she’s not going to win”).

    But what’s striking is how much these people hunger to understand America and its Constitution. “I have a master’s degree,” one man said to me, “and nine-tenths of this information I never got in any formal education. That’s not good when you live in a country that you don’t understand.” There’s a palpable yearning for tools to understand and change the terrible mess we’re in.

    Given that curiosity, it’s quite striking that the seminar, which begins at 8:30 a.m., takes until 1:30 to get to the actual Constitution.

    That’s because we have to learn the basic truth about the Constitution: God wrote it. It comes directly from the government instituted by Moses when he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt. That system was re-instituted in England around 450 A.D. by the Anglo-Saxon rulers Hengist and Horsa. The Founding Fathers, led by Thomas Jefferson, copied the Constitution directly from the “ancient constitution” of the Anglo-Saxons.

    At this point a faint alarm bell should be ringing. First of all, just for the record, Jefferson didn’t take any part in writing the Constitution. He was in France, and when he read the Constitution he had mixed feelings about it. (Jefferson did actually write the words “a wall of separation between church and state,” which Judge Pearce and the NCCS generally regard as a pernicious myth.)

    But the louder alarm should come from maps and displays in the materials that suggest, without quite saying, that the Anglo-Saxons were in fact the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. On page 20 of our workbook, a map shows an arrow marked “Northern Tribes of Israel,” running from Palestine to the Caucasus region. That arrow stops in 721 B.C.; another arrow begins at the same place at the same time: “Migration of Celts, Angli, Sacki, etc.” It stretches to Northern Europe and then to England. NCCS Founder W. Cleon Skousen’s big textbook, The Making of America, says that “many have thought the Yinglings, or Anglo-Saxons, included a branch of the ancient Israelites because they came from the territory of the Black Sea . . . and because they preserved the same unique institutes of government as those which were given to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. But whether related or not, there is certainly irrefutable evidence of a cross-fertilization of laws and cultural values between these two peoples.” (Princeton historian Sean Wilentz’s recent piece on Skousen is here.)

    This coy suggestion embodies what historians call the “British Israel” theory–the idea that the English nation, not the Jews of Europe, is the rightful heir of God’s Covenant with Abraham. One of the major figures in the growth of this anti-Semitic ideology in the U.S. was Howard B. Rand. Rand’s Anglo-Saxon Federation worked with William B. Cameron, Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic ghostwriter, to link British Israelism with the American far right wing.

  39. AY,

    I’m a deceitful mudslinger. Haven’t you heard?

    *****

    rafflaw,

    Didn’t you know that God actually carved the US Constitution on a tablet that Moses brought down from the Mount?

  40. Elaine,

    And artfully done….. You’re good at what you do….. And it appears you don’t have a hidden agenda…..

  41. THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT AND THE PERILS OF POPULAR ORIGINALISM
    Jared A. Goldstein
    Arizona Law Review
    VOL. 53:827
    http://www.arizonalawreview.org/pdf/53-3/53arizlrev827.pdf

    Excerpt:
    a. The Tea Party’s Mythological History

    Professor Jack Balkin asserts that constitutional rhetoric in American
    politics comes in two popular flavors, redemption and restoration. The Tea Party movement falls sharply on the side of restoration. A typical Tea Party group characterizes its mission as seeking “to promote the principles of our founding fathers—individual liberty and responsibility, limited government and moral leadership.” Tea Party supporters believe that Americans have turned their backs on the “the Founders,”—an amalgamation of the leaders of the American independence movement of 1776 and the Framers of the Constitution of 1789—and the movement is devoted to restoring their vision of the Constitution.

    The Tea Party movement invokes Founders that are more mythological
    than historical. The establishment of the United States and the creation of the Constitution were nothing less than “miracles.” Its eternal words command our devotion. Of course, the hagiographic depiction of the Founders is far from novel, but Tea Party supporters take it to an extreme because they reject conventional accounts of history. Just as they reject the mainstream media’s depiction of current events because of supposed liberal bias, they believe that mainstream historians have distorted American history to paint the Founders and America in a negative light and to undermine what they view as American values. As Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen declare in A Patriot’s History of the United States, for decades “those writing history have allowed their biases to distort the way American history is taught, . . . utterly downplaying the greatness of America’s patriots and the achievements of ‘dead white men.’” In July 2010, Glenn Beck, one of the most trusted figures among Tea Party supporters, hosted an hour-long program of his Fox News show entitled “Restoring History,” in which he told his viewers that American history books are full of lies produced with “malicious progressive intent.” For the last hundred years, Beck explained, leftists (as he characterizes them) have been rewriting history because they knew that they had “to separate us from our history to be able to separate us from our Constitution and our God.” Beck warned that all conventional views of American history are suspect: “You’ve been taught one lie, I think, your whole life.” The Tea Party’s mission thus involves not merely restoring the Founders’ Constitution, but also restoring the true history of the Founders.

    The Tea Party invokes the Founders in distinctly religious terms. Tea
    Party supporters frequently declare their “faith” in the Founders. The Wetumpka Tea Party declares, “We believe in the principles that our country was founded upon: Faith, Honesty, Reverence, Hope, Thrift, Humility, Charity, Sincerity, Moderation, Hard Work, Courage, Personal Responsibility, Gratitude.” The Vidalia Tea Party likewise affirms its adherence to the “values upon which the United States of America was founded,” which they identify as beliefs in “Natural Law, . . . free will, [and] the primacy of individual and personal responsibility.” All Tea Party groups claim to speak for the Founders and to stand for their values, but they often differ about what those values are. Tea Party groups declare these
    distillations of the Founders’ principles without any reference to history but as affirmations of faith.

    b. The Commie-Fighting Constitution of W. Cleon Skousen

    To the extent that the Tea Party supporters point to written sources for
    their understanding of the Founders and the Constitution, they rely on narratives that reject conventional history and which, in turn, have been spurned by mainstream historians. As Harvard historian Jill Lepore has declared, Tea Party claims about the Founders are “to history what astrology is to astronomy, what alchemy is to chemistry, what creationism is to evolution.” The most popular sources about the Founders and the Constitution among Tea Party supporters are
    the books of the late W. Cleon Skousen, an ardent supporter of the far-right John Birch Society. His Cold War-era books about the Constitution share a singular goal: to save America from international Communism Legal historian Jack Rakove once described Skousen’s work as “a joke that no self-respecting scholar would think is worth a warm pitcher of spit. Nonetheless, hundreds of Tea Party groups use Skousen’s books as the basis for seminars devoted to educating their
    members and the public on the principles of the Constitution and to show that the answers to America’s problems can be found in the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.

    Like Beck and many Tea Party supporters, Skousen believed that leftists
    have sought to manipulate what Americans believe about history, undermining belief in the Founders and the Constitution in order to make it possible to trick the nation into accepting Communism, which right-thinking Americans would otherwise recognize as a foreign doctrine.58 According to Skousen, the false history foisted upon Americans succeeded in creating a “[g]eneration of lost Americans” and a nation of “un-Americans,” who had lost touch with their national identity.

    Skousen sought to reintroduce America to the true Founders, presenting
    them as a unified group of chosen disciples to whom God revealed a divine formula for government. He scoffed at conventional versions of American history that depict the Founders as relatively nonreligious deists, declaring that the Founders “continually petitioned God in fervent prayers, both public and private, and looked upon his divine intervention in their daily lives as a singular blessing.” Skousen likewise rejected the conventional understanding that the framers of the Constitution were principally influenced by European philosophers
    of the Enlightenment era, including Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Far from following what Skousen refers to as the “fads of European philosophy,” the Founders took their inspiration from the Bible and the ancient Anglo-Saxons. In fact, the Founders rejected all “European” theories and “made European theories unconstitutional.”

  42. On Elaine’s first copy and paste above:
    Elaine CONTINUES to deceive with her spin to avoid the truth.
    All this SPIN about Moses and Anglo Saxons refuses to address the TRUTH. This is NOT about religion as your spin would attempt to disparage. No where in the book does it say that God wrote the Constitution. The 5000 Year Leap QUOTES the feuding Fathers who themselves have said the they believe the Constitution is inspired by God. Elaine prefers to LIE about it. Why does she resort to such despicable behavior to convince you to not read the book?

    The book explains that these cultures were a bottom up culture of responsibility. When people had a problem that they themselves could not solve… they looked to their family. If the problem was too insurmountable, they looked to their friends and neighbors in the community who all cared for each other and helped those in need who could not do for themselves. If the community found something that was insurmountable like an invasion or regional famine, they would look to their national leaders for help. This is referred to as “THE PEOPLE”S LAW” and has NOTHING to do with religion as your DECEPTIVE LIBERAL SPINMEISTERS would have you believe.

    With lies like this bombarding all of you by the liberal media, the liberal bloggers, and the liberal Washingtonian spinmeisters, you trust them??? Weird. When I find a questionable situation I become skeptical and do my own research to find the truth for myself. I just refuse to be mindless and be deceived.

    Read the book for yourself to find the truth because you are not getting it from those that do not want you to understand the thoughts of the Founders that were behind the creation of the greatest document ever.

    Why do they try SO hard to convince you not to read The 5000 Year Leap?
    Even those that admit they have NERVER read the book yet they tell you they know all about it. If that is not trying to deceive you, nothing is. If my telling the truth is trying to deceive you… well… Years ago George Orwell wrote: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

  43. On Elaine’s second copy and paste from a well known liberal progressive educator, who does not attempt to hide his bias with his mudslinging and proclamations of what Tea Partiers do and think. Thank you for you for your biased presentation of a biased presenter of his political agenda.

    He lumps quotes about Skousen and his works to deceive you into thinking all his works are the same. The 5000 Year Leap stands out as a true account of our Founders. Quoting their writings at length.

    Skousen has done and said all that is stated BUT NOT IN THE 5000 YEAR LEAP as the deceitful spin would try to convince you to not read the book.

    To move the subject slightly to :The Making of America”…

    “The Making of America is about the world’s greatest political success formula. In a little over a century, this formula allowed a small segment of the human family — less than 6 percent — to become the richest nation on earth. It allowed them to originate more than half of the world’s total production and enjoy the highest standard of living in the history of the world.”

    “But Americans have more to share than their wealth. They have the world’s greatest political success formula to share. In this respect they have been at fault. They have been too self-conscious about their system and its accomplishments. At times they have been almost apologetic that they have had such a remarkable system when the rest of the world did not. The world needs to know this formula.” – From the introduction to the Making of America

    In this book you will learn the Founding Fathers’ story. Much of it is told in the words of the Founders themselves. You will feel the power of their minds sweeping away centuries of bad government and bad laws to formulate a whole new society based on human freedom.

    Read what others have said about The Making of America .

    “There is no other contemporary source that offers such a thorough compilation of statements by the Framers relating to constitutional interpretation. Furthermore, there are few works that actually attempt to find the Founders’ purpose for each phrase of the Constitution. This well-organized approach toward finding the Constitutions substance and meaning has great merit and provides a wealth of material on the Founding Fathers’ intentions when drafting the American Constitution.”

    Leonard Anthony Leo
    A former member of the
    U.S. Senate Subcommittee
    On the Constitution.

    “The Making of America will serve as a great aid to all of us who serve as members of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. It belongs in every library throughout the land as must reading, particularly for our youth.”

    Edward P. Morgan
    A member of the National
    Bicentennial Commission.

    “I have just completed the reading of the book, “The Making of America”, and have now placed it in an important position in my law library. When applying the framers’ intent to the resolution of constitutional issues, “The Making of America” is indispensable. The quotations of the writers of the document go to the heart of the problem and make this solution exceedingly clear. It is a book long overdue.”

    William C. Goodlow Justice

    “The text was recommended to the resource material by the Social Studies Curriculum Advisory Committee. This committee works under the jurisdiction of the State Textbook Commission. The recommendation of the committee was then acted on by the Commission on November 13, 1986. The Commission at the time voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the committee. Therefore, it will be suggested to Utah schools that the book be used as resource material for teachers and student use.”

    James R. Moss
    State Superintendent
    Of Public Instruction

    “I wanted to thank you for … giving me your book on the Constitution (“The Making of America”). I read a good deal of it during my flight back to Washington and I found your thoughts interesting, insightful, and enlightening. I cannot tell you how much admiration I have for your work educating Americans on our most important document. I have said many times that your earlier works provided incentive for me to enter public service. For that I will always be truly grateful.”

    Senator Jack Kemp

    But hay.. I’m sure Elaine and the other spinmeisters here will try to convince you how radical, biased, and blindly following the John Birchers and the guru Glen Beck the above people are… so don’t pay attention to them… move along… there is nothing to see here.

  44. stephenwv,

    It looks like you’re a pretty good “spinmeister.”

    Why not take your own advice and move along…since–according to you–there “is nothing to see here.”

  45. So you tell me what am I spinning??? NOTHING the truth is what I have spoken. You continue to sling mud by unjustly calling me a spinmeister. I do NOT need to spin. I have the truth on my side. When you lose on the the issues you resort to deceptive spin and name calling and mud slinging instead of discussing the truth of the issues… to avoid the issues you lose on.

    People, solve the dilemma and actually read the book. Determine for yourself what the truth is… don’t be a sheep to be led by deceit.

  46. I will quote George Orwell again: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

  47. Elaine
    Why is it that all you are capable of is slinging mud?
    Where is your intellectual capacity for honest conversation?
    Your last statement is a great example.
    By it, you suggest that I am not telling the truth, yet you do not give ONE example of any deceit or lies that I have stated.

    This is the “tragic flaw” of all the liberals/progressives/Democrats… they know they lose when it comes to the truth of the issues so they attack the messenger or they spin deceit with misquotes and out of context statements, or out and out lies.

    They do this, of course to divert attention from the truth of the issues they lose on. The truly sinister, unethical part is that they do this to convince people to believe their lies… especially using language that invokes fear and anger against their target.

    The truly sad part is that so many people fall victim to these sick tactics. These are the same tactics used in Germany and adopted by Obama’s good friend Saul Alinsky in his book. George Orwell’s quote is so true, as Elaine’s statements illustrate.

    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    Truly learn about the Founding Fathers and their writings that illustrate their ideas that created our immortal Constitution. Read the 5000 year Leap for yourself and find the actual writings of the Founders that are contained in the book… follow the deception of the spinmeisters and remain ignorant and controlled if you must.

  48. stephenwv,

    “…follow the deception of the spinmeisters and remain ignorant and controlled if you must.”

    I’ll leave that job to you. I’d say that you’re the expert at attacking the messenger. When you don’t like what someone says, you accuse the messenger of being deceitful, being a mudslinger, being ignorant.

  49. The truth is NOT spinning.
    When you have not read the book you are ignorant of what is contained in it. That is true. That is not spin. That is not attacking a messenger that purports to know what the book contains without reading it.

    There is a BIG difference in not liking what someone says, and being outraged by lies, false claims, misrepresentations, and taking things out of context for the purpose for deceiving people. You and others have done all these things as I have pointed out many specific instances which occur in virtually EVERY posting you have made. That is not spin… that is the truth.

    You attempt to get people to not read the book because you fear the truth with in its pages.
    When you attempt to avoid the issues (such as the fact that The 5000 Year Leap is the only compilation of our Founders’ writings that give insight and meaning to what went into their creation of the Constitution)…
    when you avoid the issues and attempt to denigrate the book by “throwing mud” at the author, (calling him names, bringing up quotes about other books he has written or philosophies he believes in, etc. ) that have NOTHING to do with the content of the book, I will call you on it. Because you ARE being deceitful. You ARE slinging mud. Facts. Truth.

    You do not like that I see your tactics and you attempt to accuse me of doing that which YOU do. Your kind do deceive MANY people. These tactics are what Saul Alinsky teaches in his book to control the masses. Many of your kind have learned to do it very well. I won’t let you get away with it. The truth will win out despite your deceit.

    AGAIN: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

  50. stephenwv,

    It appears you see deceit where there is none.

    What names did I call the author of that book?

    How did I attempt to get people “to not read” the book?

  51. Elaine,
    To begin with you have accused me of being deceitful in a recent post to which I asked you to point out where I have done that. YOU have not responded to that challenge AT ALL.

    Now you turn it around and expect ME to do that which you are either unwilling g to do. ACTUALLY you are UNABLE to do it as I have NOT been deceitful. I have been truthful.

    I challenge you again to prove your statement.

    Fortunately it is a simple task to point out the deception you present referring to some of the many you have posted.

    “Elaine M.
    April 19, 2012 at 10:41 am
    All Patriots ‘Know’ That Moses Wrote the Constitution”

    Not only is that statement a TOTAL lying deception, but the dribble
    that follows in the rest of the copy and paste, is a total politically slanted biased spin which I already responded to by pointing out your deception in my post:
    “stephenwv
    April 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm”

    “Elaine M.
    April 17, 2012 at 9:52 am
    Divine Constitutional Abomination
    By Caroline Fredrickson
    Excerpt:
    Recent news reports have revealed that the nation’s largest Tea Party umbrella group is seeking to infiltrate our public schools with the radical theory that the Constitution is divinely inspired.”

    Total deception as I already pointed out in my Response:
    “stephenwv
    April 17, 2012 at 11:41 am
    As I posted earlier and Elaine refuses to realize, instead continuing to spread deceitful spin re coping and repasting her previous information … as I posted earlier IT IS THE FOUNDING FATHERS OWN WRITINGS THAT SUGGESTED THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS DIVINELY INSPIRED.”

    Now skipping to the top, your original copy and paste:
    “the National Center for Constitutional Studies, an organization founded by a genuinely scary individual named W. Cleon Skousen, a far-right conspiracy theorist with links to the John Birch Society who passed away in 2006.
    Kendall claims the curriculum developed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies uses highly inaccurate source material”

    If “a genuinely scary individual named W. Cleon Skousen, a far-right conspiracy theorist with links to the John Birch Society who passed away in 2006.” is not name calling and mud slinging… WHAT IS?

    Your other copy and pastes contain similar examples. Do not attempt to say that that you did not say it they did… by coping and pasting … YOU are responsible for saying it… as it is YOU that presented it.

    Just as when I quote George Orwell by posting it it is ME… it is my responsibility… as if I were saying it… I take the responsibility:

    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
    George Orwell (and stephenwv by the posting there of).

    If you do not agree with or want what you post to be attributed to you… then don’t post it.

  52. Sorry, I forgot to comment on:
    “Kendall claims the curriculum developed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies uses highly inaccurate source material”

    If you read the book you will see the source material used, by the numerous quoting of that sours material which is THE ORIGINAL WRITINGS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS!!!

    If calling their historical original writings “highly inaccurate source material” is not deception (or more accurately an out and out lie) can ANYTHING be called deception?

    And of course he gives NO examples… because the book The 5000 Year Leap is about the TRUTH which they can only attempt to disparage with lies and deception. The only way their lies hold up is for you to not read the book to find out the truth for yourself. Be led by their deception or think for yourself. Just like the proverbial horse… You can lead a person to the book but you can’t make him read.

  53. Elaine.
    As far as asking me “How did I attempt to get people “to not read” the book?”
    Are you kidding me???
    Every lie and deception in the posts you present do that in spades. You don’t purport that these are book reviews that are neutral or actually posted with the intent to get people to read the book??? Be serious.

    It is time for you to admit that you need to read the book to see for yourself if I am the lier and deceiver or if all those that you have been listening to and copy and pasting are the liars and deceivers.

    I have pointed out at every turn that they are the liars and deceivers by stating the truth. NO ONE has or can show that what I have stated is wrong… because the truth is the truth.

    I do not need to deceive. The truth is on my side. I refuse to stoop to the level of the liberals/progressives/Democtats that chose deceit over the truth of the issues. Because they know they lose on the truth of the issues.

  54. “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” – Patrick Henry

    “The Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.” – Noah Webster

    On March 27, 1854, the U.S. Congress released a report stating, “Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect. . . . In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity. . . . That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expect it to remain the religion of their descendants.”

  55. Before anyone invests energy in promoting or defending the credibility of Skousen and his book “The 5,000 Year Leap,” they should do themselves a favor and look up the orginal sources of the various quotes, anecdotes, and claims in the book. See for yourself if any of them have been taken out of context, distorted, misrepresented, or even falsified.

    Here’s one excerpt from the book that is very instructive:

    [Begin excerpt]

    Redistribution of the Wealth Unconstitutional

    In earlier years the American courts held that the expropriating of property to transfer to other citizens was unlawful, being completely outside the constitutional power delegated to the government. It was not until after 1936 (the Butler case) that the Supreme Court began arbitrarily distorting the meaning of the “general welfare” clause to permit the distribution of federal bounties as a demonstration of “concern” for the poor and the needy. Before that time, this practice was prohibited. The Supreme Court had declared:

    “No man would become a member of a community in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest labor and industry. The preservation of property, then, is a primary object of the social compact…The legislature, therefore, had no authority to make an act divesting one citizen of his freehold, and vesting it in another, without a just compensation. It is inconsistent with the principles of reason, justice, and moral rectitude; it is incompatible with the comfort, peace and happiness of mankind; it is contrary to the principles of social alliance in every free government; and lastly, IT IS CONTRARY TO THE LETTER AND SPIRIT OF THE CONSTITUTION.” (2 Dall 304, 310 [Pa. 1795]; emphasis added)

    Caring for the Poor Without Violating Property Rights

    But, of course, the nagging question still remains. If it corrupts a society for the government to take care of the poor by violating the principle of property rights, who will take care of the poor? The answer of those who built America seems to be: “Anybody BUT the federal government.”

    [End excerpt]

    I think it is pretty clear by the context that in this passage, Skousen was claiming the following:

    A. The quote (“No man would become…” etc.) is from a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

    B. The U.S. Supreme Court case concerned the issue of redistribution of wealth to help the poor and needy.

    C. In that decision, the Supreme Court declared that under the U.S. Constitution, redistributing wealth or income to help the needy is unconstitutional.

    D. Specifically, the passage he quotes (“No man would become…” etc.) is the Court’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

    But if you look up the actual case, you will learn the following:

    A. The quote is NOT from a U.S. Supreme Court decision. It is instead from a U.S. Circuit Court decision that was never appealed to the Supreme Court. As such, it represents only the ruling of 1 of the 7 members of the Supreme Court.

    B. The case had nothing whatsoever to do with issues of redistribution of wealth to help the poor and needy or any kind of welfare program. In fact, it dealt only with issues of eminent domain and competing claims over land in Pennsylvania, involving two groups of settlers who each thought they had valid deeds to the land in dispute.

    C. Neither the Supreme Court (who didn’t even hear the case) nor the judge who actually presided over it made any rulings for or against redistributive policies to help the needy. Skousen convieniently ignored the fact taht elsewhere in the opinion the judge makes it clear that it is acceptible under the Constitution to take personal property from one person to aid other people in need.

    D. The section of the decision quoted by Skousen doesn’t even refer to the U.S. Constitution. The judge is actually interpreting and applying the Pennsylvania constition to determine whether the Pennsylvania legislature’s attempt to resolve the land title disputes was valid under that state’s constitution. And Skousen HAD to know that he was blatantly misrepresenting this passage from the opinion, because he removed the second half of the sentence that made it clear that the judge was referring to the Pennsylvania constitution. Here is the complete passage from teh judge’s opinion, including the phrase that Skousen deleted, with the deleted language shown in all capital letters:

    “No man would become a member of a community in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest labor and industry. The preservation of property, then, is a primary object of the social compact, AND, BY THE LATE CONSTITUTION OF PENNSYLVANIA, WAS MADE A FUNDAMENTAL LAW. The legislature, therefore, had no authority to make an act divesting one citizen of his freehold, and vesting it in another, without a just compensation. It is inconsistent with the principles of reason, justice, and moral rectitude; it is incompatible with the comfort, peace and happiness of mankind; it is contrary to the principles of social alliance in every free government; and lastly, it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.”

    Skousen had a law degree, so he had to know he was misrepresenting this decision by presenting it as a U.S. Supreme Court decision dealing with welfare and income redistribution, and he certainly had to know that the quoted passage dealt with the Pennsylvania constitution rather than the U.S. constitution. And by deliberately editing the quote to make it appear the judge was talking about the U.S. Constution, he clearly falsified his supposed evidence.

    That is just one example of the sloppy, misleading, and sometimes dishonest way Skousen treated his source material. One more quick example: He presents a quote from Samuel Adams as evidence for the claim that the writers of the U.S. Constitution intended to make income redistribution unconstitutional. However, if you look up the source of the quote you will discover Adams had written it in 1768, long before the Constitution was written and even 7 years before the start of the Revolution. Only two explanations are possible: either Skousen was an incredibly sloppy and incompetent historian or he deliberately misrepresented Adams’ quote.

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