By Dr. Carole Hornsby Haynes
Unless each generation receives a solid grounding in our founding principles and our Constitutional rights, we cannot, and will not, remain a free nation. A survey conducted in December 2009 by the nonprofit American Revolution Center (ARC), showed that Americans knew more about the Gosselins, a TV reality family, than our U.S. Constitution. Only 54 percent could identify James Madison as the “Father of the Constitution” even with the other choices being Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill.
When asked about the chronological order of the Declaration of Independence, 44 percent thought either the Civil War, The Emancipation Proclamation, or the War of 1812 came first.
The famous quote about Socialism, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” was recognized by only 19 percent as being made by Karl Marx. Others attributed the quote to George Washington (19 percent), Obama (15 percent), or Thomas Paine (21 percent).
It’s not surprising then that most of our modern Presidents, along with willing Congresses, have usurped our Constitutional rights with no one stopping them and, all too often, with many Americans not even recognizing legislation or Supreme Court decisions that undermine our freedoms.
One of the many major assaults on the foundations of our country was the Great Society. However, our U.S. history textbooks, which have been heavily influenced by revisionist historians and their leftist agenda, tout the merits of the Great Society’s programs.
David E. Harrell states in Unto a Good Land, “If Johnson’s programs fell short of eliminating poverty in the nation, they, nevertheless, changed many lives for the better.”
Statistics debunk this liberal lie.
Modern Day Slavery?
For the past 100 years, power hungry politicians, under the guise of “soak the rich to help the poor”, have passed legislation that has created a modern day feudalism.
Although legally the last vestige of slavery and reconstruction was ended by the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Great Society legislation produced the first truly dependent class in American history, re-enslaving many poor and minorities.
President Lyndon Johnson and Congress expanded Aid to Families with Dependent Children (ADFC) by quietly changing the qualifications to include any woman with children in a household where there was no male family head present. Incentives were added that made it financially more lucrative to be unmarried than to be married and for having more children. The result of these changes to AFDC was the destruction of black marriages and a high rate of illegitimacy.
A side effect of AFDC’s no-father policy left inner city black boys with no male role models. This void was quickly filled by gang leaders who led the young boys into a life of crime and drugs.
Marriage is statistically the single highest correlating factor in wealth accumulation. With the destruction of marriage by the AFDC, the opportunity to climb out of poverty also went by the wayside.
The war on poverty failed to reduce the number of poor.
Prior to the declaration of war in 1965, progress against poverty had been rapid with poverty rates consistently falling. A sharp drop occurred after the John F. Kennedy tax cut took effect in 1963. Once the Great Society programs went into effect, progress against poverty stopped and the number of poor began to rise. In the mid-1970s a comparison of the percentages of poor, before and after the programs were enacted, showed no measureable improvement as a result of the programs.
However, the programs increased the tax burden on the American people. Worst of all, the war on poverty resulted in millions giving up their freedoms to the government in return for a lifetime of poverty, crime, and low self-esteem.
The winners were the politicians. Perhaps some of the programs were well intended, but they also created welfare dependent voters beholden to politicians, who are rewarded with lifetime careers in Washington, something not envisioned by our Founding Fathers.
Early on most people knew intuitively that welfare was not working. And we know today it is not working. Leftists have provided their own blame theories. However, there is much statistical evidence that proves the devastation wreaked by the government programs upon the poor and minorities in our nation.
For decades the leftist lie that the Great Society had a positive impact on the poor has been taught to our students for, indeed, the leftists’ attitude is that history is what they say it is.
There is much ado about presenting a balanced view on such topics. Why?
There are not two sides to this. Facts are facts, and our Social Studies textbooks must be historically accurate.
We must teach our students to distinguish between facts and the propaganda of self-interest groups.
We must teach them to recognize even subtle, seemingly innocent, encroachments upon our Constitution.
If we fail to do this, we will slide ever deeper into modern day slavery, trading the plantation master for a big government master.
The author welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.