Just three weeks ago, I spent a good part of two days in front of 350 very lively high school students teaching them a little history and some of the important elements of the Constitution. It was the annual Texas Farm Bureau Citizenship Seminar wherein each County Farm Bureau is asked to select one or two top students from the county and sponsor them to attend this four-day event on the campus of San Angelo State University. While this is one of the largest and most challenging assignments we are asked to accept, nevertheless I always come away with the conviction that people - mostly young people - are looking for answers. They seem to sense the hypocrisy of so much that goes on today and the total lack of correct solutions, particularly in the political world of today. When these young people hear the Founders' story, it brings them to life. The comments of individual students whose intellects have been awakened are extremely encouraging. The simple story of the Founders and their search for an ideal society seems to be a story so many can ready relate to. It's a search all Americans must make in order to appreciate what we have been given in this country. Perhaps that is why the Founders undertook in America what no nation in the history of the world had done - a massive program of general education of the entire populace.
Education - A Principle of Liberty
The Founders knew that universal education was a necessary ingredient of a free people. John Adams described the provision in early Massachusetts to make it a crime NOT to provide for the education of our young people. Said he:
"They made an early provision by law that every town consisting of so many families should be always furnished with a grammar school. They made it a crime for such a town to be destitute of a grammar schoolmaster for a few months, and subjected it to heavy penalty. So that the education of all ranks of people was made the care and expense of the public, in a manner that I believe has been unknown to any other people, ancient or modern.
"The consequences of these establishments we see and feel every day [written in 1765]. A native of America who cannot read and write is as rare ... as a comet or an earthquake. It has been observed that we are all of us lawyers, divines, politicians, and philosophers. And I have good authorities to say that all candid foreigners who have passed through this country and conversed freely with all sorts of people here will allow that they have never seen so much knowledge and civility among the common people in any part of the world.... Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.... They have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge -- I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers." (see The Five Thousand Year Leap, page 250)
A few years later, Alexis de Tocqueville observed the fruits of the Founders efforts to educate the people when he visited New England and commented:
"In New England every citizen receives the elementary notions of human knowledge; he is taught, moreover, the doctrines and the evidences of his religion, the history of his country, and the leading features of its Constitution. In the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts, it is extremely rare to find a man imperfectly acquainted with all these things, and a person wholly ignorant of them is a sort of phenomenon."(ibid., page 252)
Being Modern-Day Founders Means Participating In a Great Educational Effort
Believing the Biblical injunction "Without vision, the people perish", many of us have committed to a lifetime effort to take the Founders story of freedom to as many Americans as we can possibly reach. Some rather remarkable opportunities and innovations have recently been made available which seems to give us the feeling of Providential help in this awesome task. I speak of technology of the computer age. It is a remarkable thing to realize that the fruits of Dr. Skousen's teachings over the past five decades are manifesting themselves in ways which most would never have thought of before.
Those Who Loved Liberty In Ages Past Can Now Speak To Us In Our Homes
Over the years I have had the opportunity to see some of the massive library collection of Dr. Skousen and to get a glimpse of the massive work he and others have completed in reading and analyzing the many volumes of the Founders and others in order to package the Freedom Story. I have marveled and even kind of broken the tenth commandment a little as I wished I had some of the marvelous resource material I viewed in his library. Even he admitted to me there is so much that had to be left out of his works - so much that makes the telling of American history so very interesting.
Over the past few years, some good friends (many of whom were first motivated by Dr. Skousen's seminars) have spent much of their time putting these treasured resources on CD to make available these most precious and otherwise unavailable and out-of-print resources. Just in the past few weeks, NCCS has received several unrelated inquiries from families whose older generations have accumulated literally thousands of very old books on themes relating to America, wondering if we had any interest in helping preserve them. We have began receiving them by the box full. Hopefully, resources will be made available to NCCS to preserve them and make them available for any citizen to study through modern computer technology.
Let me tell you about another amazing collection which in book form would cost over $15,000.
The American Freedom Library Today's Issues, Traditional Values
A monumental electronic library featuring powerful easy-to-use text retrieval software
This disk contains eleven major collections:
THE FOUNDING FATHERS:
Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison. These names are familiar to every American, but how much do you really know about their lives? Get to know these giants of American history and many of the other individuals who shaped the course this nation would follow to the present day. This collection presents such works as The Writings of James Madison, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, and The Real George Washington.
DOCUMENTS AND HISTORIES OF AMERICAN FREEDOM:
Learn about the critical events that shaped our nation's history and made America what it is today. This collection has more than sixteen thousand pages of classic historical material, including History of the United States by George Bancroft, Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, plus dozens of other works.
CLASSICS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION:
Immerse yourself in over five thousand years of collected wisdom. This essential collection includes some of the greatest political, religious, and literary writings in history: classics such as the Bible, Plato's Republic, and the complete works of William Shakespeare are all included.
THE PRESIDENTIAL PAPERS:
Now have split-second access to eighty-nine volumes of published papers of nearly every president from Washington to Clinton: Every word of all the speeches, letters, memos, executive orders, press conferences, proclamations, and other vital documents of two immense compilations are instantly available for your personal library.
TODAY'S ISSUES TRADITIONAL VALUES:
Are traditional-value approaches to today's issues obsolete? This collection contains hundreds of books, articles, and reports reflecting the variety and sometimes controversy of responsible conservative and non-partisan viewpoints on contemporary issues such as affirmative action, the family, the environment, big government, health care, taxes, education, and many other facets of American life.
THE CONSTITUTION REFERENCE COLLECTION:
Explore the documents that form the backbone of our unique form of government in America. This extensive compilation includes the entire text of the United States Constitution, as well as crucial commentaries such as Story's Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States and the Federalist Papers.
THE U.S. CONGRESS COLLECTION:
Learn how the laws of the land are created, modified, and adopted in this collection that explores the highest legislative body in the United States: the U.S. Congress. Works such as How Our Laws Are Made, Historical Almanac of the U.S. Senate by Robert J. Dole, and The Legislative Process: Tying it All Together are all included in this collection.
THE SUPREME COURT COLLECTION:
Explore in detail the thousands of analyses, interpretations, and annotations that the U.S. Supreme Court has released. This collection will help you research how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution over the course of two centuries on issues such as due process, the right to bear arms, executive privilege, and freedom of speech.
NATIONAL PARTY PLATFORMS COLLECTION (1840-1996)
Track the evolution of the major political parties in the United States by researching their official party platforms from every election year since 1840. You may be surprised by what your favorite party espoused as little as 50 years ago!
HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION COLLECTION
Whether you are planning to run for office yourself, or just want to understand how candidates win elections, you will want this extensive collection of inside information into the complex world of modern campaign strategy. This fascinating collection includes Candidates, Consultants, and Campaigns by Frank Luntz, Issues '96: The Candidate's Briefing Book, and Language of the New Majority.
Spice up speeches and discussions, research papers, and articles with this immense collection of quotes from thousands of influential individuals throughout history. Organized by subject, get instant access to just the right quote for nearly any occasion.
The Greatest Diffusion of Knowledge In World History
American's have an opportunity to be a part of the greatest diffusion of knowledge in the world. Why shouldn't the principles of truth and freedom be among the most taught and learned in America? We encourage you to take advantage of this technology. You may bring your family and friends closer to you and you may help save America.
As noted last month, some other good friends have launched a program of network marketing to help disseminate Constitutional information. They seem to be reaching many more people who are now listening to the Founders' story for the first time. NCCS is continuing to supply materials to them for mass distribution through their network. As a reminder, NCCS supporters may still purchase our products directly; however, if you have the slightest interest, request from us a packet concerning the network marketing approach to disseminating this material. With minimal effort, a person at least pay for his own products and with a little more effort, a person could turn this into an income-generating business. (see enclosed product flyer)
Thank you for you financial support of NCCS. Some of you receiving this letter have not let us hear from you for a long time. Hopefully, you see things happening you can lend you support to again. Let us hear from you.
Earl Taylor, Jr.