David McCullough Opens New Constitutional Center With Warning Over The Passivity Of Citizens

I am in Utah today to give a keynote address at the opening of the new Center for Constitutional Studies at the Utah Valley University. I am honored to follow Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough who gave the opening keynote yesterday. It was an ironic pairing since they will open with a devotee of John Adams and close with a Madisonian scholar. They were able to keep us separate to avoid any fights in the halls. Despite our disagreement over the legacy of John Adams (McCullough seems to blow through that whole Alien and Sedition Act business pretty quickly in his extraordinary book on Adams), I was pleased to read how McCullough warned the audience about the rising dangers posed by citizens who are increasingly passive and detached from their government.

McCullough spoke about the greater need to teach history in this country because “we are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.” I agree wholeheartedly with that view as well as his warning that we are becoming a “generation of spectators.” I just spoke on that same need in Florida and the need to reinforce our public schools. The low salaries and pressures placed on teachers in our schools is undermining our educational system and most importantly the fundamental role played by the common public educational system. McCullough stressed “Nobody is doing more important work that will last longer than teachers. We are accountable for what happens in government and the direction of the country and the education of our children and grandchildren.”

I regret that my flight came in after McCullough’s speech, but it was clearly a wonderful way to kick off the nation’s newest major Constitutional Center.

This is my second speech at Utah Valley University and I have been incredibly impressed. UVU is now the largest university in the state and the new Center is an extraordinary addition to the academic institutions in the state. The University wisely selected Professor Rick Griffin as the founder and direction of the Center. Griffin was an inspired choice. He is one of the hardest working academics in the country with a deep background in the scholarship on the Framers and founding documents.

This afternoon I will give the “Finale Address” entitled “The Tax Man Cometh: The Life and Death of American Federalism.”

Source: Deseret News

39 thoughts on “David McCullough Opens New Constitutional Center With Warning Over The Passivity Of Citizens

  1. Tricksy

    How about we focus on lies…

    Do you think Obama is dismantling welfare? Do you think Obama was born in Kenya? Do you think Obama hates America? Do you think it is possible to get pregnant from rape? Do you think there is global warming? Do you think 47% of Americans think themselves victims and are not responsible for themselves? Do you think lower taxes and greater defense spending will erase the deficit? Do you think Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Do you think Saddam played a role in 9/11? Do you think the Romneys struggled as college students? Do you think corporations are people? Do you think Romney remembers cutting off a kid’s hair while he was in prep school? Do you think Fox News is fair and balanced? Do you think death panels were part of ACA? Do you think Obama has thrown Israel under the bus? Do you think Obama wants to take away our guns? Do you think H. Clinton wants to hand over the US government to the UN? Do you think Obama is a Muslim? Do you think Ryan’s acceptance speech had multiple untruths?

    Are you growing tired of this list? Probably not as tired as I am of “both sides do it”.

  2. Eeyore 1, September 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Tricksy

    How about we focus on lies…
    ———————————-
    Figure out the lies. Are you the liar?

    • Matt, getting personal is mean spirited, and unfortunately what politicians feast on. If we applaud diversity, let’s be civil. You can disagree with me without calling me a liar. What i make is observation. I appreciate your thoughts which is why I read the blog; challenge should provoke thought, not anger. Go placidly amid the noise and haste…..etc.

  3. Tricksy:

    “Do republicans, i.e. Romney, or conservatives (who carry bibles and guns), have a monopoly on lies or misleading claims, greed and corruption?”

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

    No, they are just so damn good at it!

  4. Larry: Your full of skull and cross bones and the sh — word too. David McClough, or however one spells it, is is a good historian.

  5. “Larry: Your full of skull and cross bones and the sh — word too. David McClough, or however one spells it, is is a good historian.”

    Why doesnt he write about the history of Skull & Bones then and tell us what really happens there?? Oh that’s right, he can’t. It’s secret.

  6. Tricksy 1, September 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Matt, getting personal is mean spirited, and unfortunately what politicians feast on. If we applaud diversity, let’s be civil. You can disagree with me without calling me a liar. What i make is observation. I appreciate your thoughts which is why I read the blog; challenge should provoke thought, not anger. Go placidly amid the noise and haste…..etc.
    =============================
    Tricksy, I did not call you a liar. If you think I did, explain.

  7. Eeyore, i considered your questions rhetorical…they are very well worn. Like an old pair of shoes, they give you comfort, but they have no appeal to others.

    Matt, I stand corrected, you ‘asked’ if I was a liar. Or did I miss the point again? FYI, I consider myself a realist. I do not look at the world through tinted lenses.

  8. Tricksy 1, September 26, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Matt, I stand corrected, you ‘asked’ if I was a liar. Or did I miss the point again? FYI, I consider myself a realist. I do not look at the world through tinted lenses.
    ===============
    I did not ask you if you were a liar. Read the above post. The lack of intelligence is astonishing.

    Maybe you need bifocals.

    • Already have the bifocals; will schedule an examination🙂 If it is not too much of an imposition, please take the time to help me understand properly.

  9. Tricksy 1, September 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Already have the bifocals; will schedule an examination🙂 If it is not too much of an imposition, please take the time to help me understand properly.
    ===========
    I don’t know what you’re talking about. You said I said you were lying. I didn’t say that. You need to explain.

  10. Tricksy 1, September 28, 2012 at 7:28 am

    The circle is complete. Thanks….
    ==========================
    Goodness. What circle?

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