Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Presidents’ Day free-for-all

To gratify Steve Thomas, here’s the busy Lincoln thread. And here’s a two-year old post raising the question of whether the abomination we’re celebrating (or is it just noticing?) tomorrow is Presidents Day, President’s Day, or Presidents’ Day. This site says that it’s officially still Washington’s Birthday (at least at the federal level), though some states officially call it P Day. More here and here.

Discussions - 19 Comments

Equally lively is the thread triggered by Lincoln, Obama and the State of the Black Union (below).

The choice of words here is unfortunate. "President’s Day" is a second-rate substitute for what we should have kept, a holiday for each of these great men. But to call it an "abomination" trivializes that word, and it also excuses the liberals (and others) who ignore or abuse the holiday as it now stands.

OK, I’ll bite: why do you give pride of place to "liberals" for ignoring or abusing the holiday?

I’ll admit that this is simply an educated guess on my part. Go ahead and amend it to "anyone who ignores or abuses the holiday." But let me ask you this: Do you really think President’s Day gets the same attention in our liberal-controlled public schools, let alone our liberal-controlled colleges, that MLK Day gets?
I can’t prove I’m right. But I bet someone could.

DF - No, I don’t really believe that. Another example: the reactions to the requirement that instructors do something with September 17.

The whole question interests me - how and why did liberals abandon celebration of the ideas, symbols, rituals, and most important characters of our common history? (I know, somebody is going to think I am foolish to believe that any "common history" has survived the same corrosive trends.)

Duh, that’s easy...they dislike Amerikkka. Essentially they apply a double-standard...every other society on the planet is extended forgiveness for its historical "warts," but not the good ol’ US of A. Hell no...

The Sept. 17 (Constitution Day) requirement is marginally good because it encourages sensible teachers, librarians, etc., to recognize the Constitution appropriately. Its value is limited, though, because it can easily be used by non-sensible people as one more excuse to spread liberal propaganda.

Well, my kiddo, 6 years of age and in public school, told me who Martin Luther King was, but never once talked about Washington, Jefferson, or any of the Presidents at all.

Anecdotal, I know, but I think this may be more the norm than not.

By the way, I was reading the Federalist Papers to him when he was not even a year old (I am sure dain is shuttering of the thought).

You’re right, Dale. I wouldn’t propagandize my kids lilke that. I was reading more meaningful stuff to them, like Dr. Seuss and, later, Tolkien. If you get the foundation right, they are more than up to the challenge of politics later in life.

Here">Here">">Here is a trail of bread crumbs from West, Vindicating the Founders. It is an interesting list, showing the movement away from some original foundational ideas. Some strange bedfellows.

What is sad, but not surprising, though, is that dain believes a group of founding documents to be propaganda.

Of course it is propaganda...anything of a political nature fed to children who haven’t had the experiences necessary to weigh evidence is inherently propaganda. It is meant to indoctrinate, is it not?

I don’t think West and many others, including me, has child-rearing in mind, but rather citizen-rearing, if such a thing is a coherent idea. The original idea, Montesquieu’s I think, of perpetuating a constitution rested upon or presupposed citizen-rearing. Any constitution, politically not merely legalisticly understood, tips toward certain principles and purposes, and it must nurture its own support. That bias is what its framers hope to perpetuate.

Washington scholar Matt Spalding at Heritage says it’s still Washington’s birthday. The problem is to get people to see it that way.

One could also view Dr. Seuss, and perhaps even Tolkein, as "propaganda." Seuss had an underlying political message in many of his books (even aside from the partisan nature of his older political cartoons). As for Tolkein, it’s kind of hard to miss the point of "The Scouring of the Shire" (even though Tolkein himself denied that it had any political content).

OK, John, you got me...Dr. Seuss and Tolkien are Leftist subversives. But then again, don’t most fairy tales have some political overtones (e.g., the Little Red Hen, or Goldilocks)? Reading the Federalist Papers to your preschool kids is indoctrination, pure and simple. Somehow, I just don’t think "Green Eggs and Ham" competes with that.

Indoctrination ...

Damn, I have corrupted my kids. I suppose I should have read the anti-federalist papers instead.

/sarcasm off

dain, you are truly being ridiculous here.

dain, I have over 600 books in my own library. They range from Plato’s Republic to the Clifford series.

And, if anyone is going to indoctrinate my kids, it is going to be me inculcating the rightousness of the United States and our founding instead of the pablum that I view eminating from your fingers.

Well, I spoke too soon. My son’s school is covering Washington and Lincoln this week.

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