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Reclaim the classroom

Basic tenets need to be restored to the classroom.

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As we approach Columbus Day next week and Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving next month, I want to make some observations about the current state of American culture. As a candidate for the Wissahickon School Board, I especially want to focus on the educational system that has been so corrupted by the dominance of Leftists and those they manipulate. 

They pretend to be altruistic, morally superior, and intellectually exceptional. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, for the most part, they are the self-righteous, led by the self-important, for the benefit of the self-interested. They are not altruistic, but instead selfish. They are not morally superior, but instead supercilious. They are not intellectually exceptional, but instead sciolistic.

They have removed from public education some basic tenets that need to be restored, or if they were never included, need to be added now. What are these precepts? Some are the traditions of our country. Americans are united not by language, ancestry, race, or religion. We are united by an idea. An idea that was often ignored or forgotten but always the polestar. An idea that caused us to fight a civil war in which 600,000 of us died to ensure that idea was realized. 

An idea that was enunciated in our Declaration of Independence, implemented by our Constitution, and reinforced by our Bill of Rights. Documents that were created in Philadelphia over two centuries ago and still adequate for the governance of this nation. 

This idea guarantees freedom of speech and religion. This idea limits government from oppressing its citizens. This idea allows people to engage in whatever business, profession, or trade one chooses – or simply to sell their labor to others for a fair price. 

There is a ball of confusion today, especially among the young. The rapid dissemination of information and competing information outlets engaging in sensationalism to increase market share has perverted news. The development of the internet is giving people not only an information overload but it has also created distractions from serious issues. 

Our young people are taught little of the basic skills necessary to be self-supporting. These are replaced by political and social doctrines that are at best tendentious and at worst lies. Our young are more entertained than enlightened. It is no wonder they are confused. 

The panem et circenses approach of the politicians, which has existed since probably the New Deal, has chipped away at society so badly this past century that we are in danger of an entire generation of Americans who know more about the Billboard Top Ten songs than they do about the First Ten Amendments. They learn only the Hollywood version of American history, not the real version. Their morality and ethics are shaped by television shows.  

Soi disant intellectuals in academia pass judgment about things of which they have no knowledge. These “scholars” denigrate America to their captive classroom audiences. This teaching to loathe America is intentional. It is manifested in that the “Star-Spangled Banner” was a signal to stand up – now it means to take a knee.

If our young people are filled with doubt, America’s future is in doubt. 

We need a revival of patriotism – not the brand of patriotism of Chairman Mao, Comrade Stalin, Der Fuehrer, or Il Duce. That was not patriotism at all. We need to revive Americanism. Teach all of our history. Teach the bad, but teach the good too. Do not omit parts to denigrate certain groups of people. Remember for all of America’s faults, we have never produced a Stalin, a Pol Pot, a Castro, a Mao, a Hitler or a Mussolini.

It is for us the older generation of Americans to do this. We, who lived through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam; we who helped the oppressed claim their rights as Americans, rights which were denied because of their race, religion, or gender; we who fought the Cold War and now are fighting the war against the twin evils of communism and jihadism. We must bring the truth to American classrooms.  

Benjamin Franklin was asked on September 17, 1787, while leaving the Constitutional Convention at Independence Hall, what kind of government was created. He replied, “A republic if you can keep it.” 

It is up to us to keep our republic. It is up to us to maintain and pass on to succeeding generations the genius that is our Constitution. If we fail, the best chance of freedom for mankind fails with it.

Michael P. Tremoglie

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The war to end all wars

The mission is complete and over, or at least that’s how the Biden administration would like to describe the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Maybe the mission is over but it’s far from complete. The push to drive out the Taliban in Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was successful initially but over the years has failed significantly. The American efforts to establish an Afghan military and democracy never really materialized. The reality today is a Taliban-controlled Afghan country.

I can’t help but reminisce about the “so called” end of the second Gulf war in Iraq. George W. Bush made a victory speech under a larger than life banner aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln stating mission accomplished. The fact is both Afghanistan and Iraq still have a homeland for rogue mercenaries and terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS. The manhunts to capture or kill Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were successful and produced a sense of American nationalism at first but slowly waned. Don’t forget Trump was credited with taking out the leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi. This could be an ironic play on words of the Trump administration’s rhetoric of fake news.

The latest cost to American military was an attack on an airfield by ISIS-K who is now public enemy number one on the U.S. counter-terrorism radar. Over a dozen military personnel lost their lives on that day, and Biden has admitted it could happen again. This strategy of withdrawal has been a debacle from day one. The blame can’t only be placed on Biden. Trump wanted out of Afghanistan as well as Obama.

I think the biggest cause for alarm was when the withdrawal of American personnel commenced from Bagram Airbase nobody in Afghanistan knew about it. The Afghans were notified at the last minute that U.S. aircraft and equipment were being evacuated from their country. This is unheard of for a military campaign that has lasted well over 20 years and is known as the longest war in American history.

There seems to be a pattern here with U.S. foreign policy in a post-9/11 world. The push to take the head of the snake off has been an unsuccessful strategy. It is evident with the suicide bombing attack at the Kabul airport by ISIS-K. The Biden administration will have to take a longer look at the consequences of a lack luster end game by American military and foreign policy going forward.

Joseph A. Olmstead | Downingtown

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