July 4, 2008, - 4:45 pm

How to Strengthen American Patriotism: Some Recommendations

By Debbie Schlussel
Today’s Detroit Free Press editorial page–normally extremely liberal pronouncements you can ignore–is all about the Bradley Project, funded by the Milwaukee-based conservative Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Project found that America is losing its national identity and makes some great recommendations on how to shore up our patriotism and common culture. I’ve posted those in a JPEG scan, below.
Here’s the portion of the Freep editorial I thought was noteworthy:

In the Harris survey done for the Bradley Project, 89% of parents said “there’s too much attention paid these days to what separates different ethnic and racial groups and not enough to what they have in common.”
Steve Hoffman, a consultant on the project, said some of the findings were surprising, including the areas of consensus that cut across racial and ethnic lines and the falloff in a sense of national identity among younger generations. For example, 45% of 18- to 34-year-olds believe international law should trump the U.S. Constitution where there is conflict between the two. . . .
“The good news,” the report said, “is that 84% of the respondents still believe in a unique American identity. The bad news is that 63% believe this identity is weakening, and 72% are concerned about ethnic, cultural and political divisions. Almost a quarter — 24% — believe we are already so divided that a common national identity is impossible. In their minds, it is already too late.”
The project makes the provocative assertion that “we are in danger of becoming not ‘from many, one’ — E Pluribus Unum — but its opposite, ‘from one, many.’ ”
Perhaps that is what we want to be. But certainly it’s not what George Washington had in mind when he said, in his farewell address: “Citizens by birth or choice, of common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism.”

So, how do we fix this? Well, below are the Bradley Project’s recommendations, most of which I think are worthy of meaningful pursuit (depending on how they are implemented and who is doing the implementing and teaching):

recsforpatriotism.jpg

What would you add to these? How would you improve America’s national identity and promote a stronger sense of patriotism to our country?

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8 Responses

Have every citizen who is capable to do military service or national volunteer service to the military, if they’re not fit to bear arms. A lot of Americans forget that part of being free is paying the ultimate price when it is demanded, to maintain that freedom. The military has great potential for uniting all Americans under a common bond of service to the country. That more than anything else we could do, would reinforce Americans’ sense of national identity and instill in them a willingness to go the extra mile for their country. Its much needed in a dangerous time in our country’s history. God bless America!

NormanF on July 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Although I agree with the spirit of these recommendations, especially the last few, a generalized admonition to study American History can lead to minefields. Most American History books today have terrible PC distortions. We really need traditional American History, the way it was taught in the 50s. While there are some unfortunate aspects of our history such as segregation, a balanced history will put them in proper perspective, and emphasize our positive traditions, and the positive uniqueness of the US, and put our weaknesses in perspective, reducing their emphasis. Unfortunately though, the trend is the other way, and many of the teachers are just about as airheaded as their students.
[CF: I AGREE. IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW THE SUGGESTIONS ARE IMPLEMENTED AND WHO IS DOING THE IMPLEMENTING. I TOOK AMERICAN HISTORY IN COLLEGE–AND IT WAS TAUGHT BY SLANTED LEFTISTS AND STANK. DS]

c f on July 4, 2008 at 7:36 pm

get rid of identity politics. we are americans, no matter what you look like.

mindy1 on July 4, 2008 at 9:33 pm

*What would you add to these? How would you improve America’s national identity and promote a stronger sense of patriotism to our country?*
I would push for vouchers that parents can use to get their kids out of public schools and into Catholic, evangelical, or other types of schools that meet the parents’ values. For unity, there could be a national standardized test of American history and government to make sure all students are learning the material.
The public schools are so far gone, the only way to reform them is competition. I teach in a Catholic school and just had to pick a history textbook for the middle school students forthe upcoming school year. Unfortunately, ALL the textbooks–Glencoe, McDougal-Littell, etc.–have a left-wing bias. It is impossible to find a good history textbook these days. They all stress multiculturalism and skew much of the history in order to make students into liberals.
For example, in the American history textbook used last school year, The American Journey, c 2000, there is an “academic consultant” Assad N. Busool, Ph.D., “Professor and Chairman of the Department of Arabic Studies, American Islamic College, Chicago, Illinois” who reviewed the history textbook. What the hell is a Muslim barbarian doing reviewing an American history textbook used by millions of students in America?
In a Catholic school, we teachers can point out the biases and supplement the material with good videos, such as Newt Gingrich’s video “Rediscovering God in America” or other videos that would be banned in public schools. It is scary, though, what public school students are learning about American history. It is all multiculturalism and how imperialistic America was. If they learn about Manifest Destiny, for example, it is all about how the Indians were pushed out of the way and nothing about the greatness of America spreading democracy from coast to coast.
In my opinion all the suggestions have merit, but, like c f, I would be wary of having a mandatory American Civilization course because of all the postmodern professors who use history to further their anti-American agendas.

Gabe on July 4, 2008 at 10:45 pm

First and foremost the abolishment of Islam.
Secondly, making ENGLISH the officially used language.

West Dearbornistan on July 5, 2008 at 8:03 am

“Unfortunately, ALL the textbooks–Glencoe, McDougal-Littell, etc.–have a left-wing bias.”
Yes, it’s a well known fact that reality has a left-wing bias.
This I suspect means that God is at best a goddam Pinko fellow-traveller, if not an actual Communist.

No Pasaran! on July 5, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Debbie… what’s your opinion or Mennonits? just curious
Karen
[PK: I LIKE THEM. I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST THEM. THEY DON’T BOTHER ME. I DON’T WANT TO BOTHER THEM. I RESPECT THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. ALTHOUGH THEY ARE NOT THE SAME AS THE MENNONITES (BUT SIMILAR), I WENT TO SUMMER CAMP IN SUGAR GROVE PENNSYLVANIA, AND WE HAD MANY AMISH PEOPLE HELPING OUT AT THE CAMP. THEY WERE FINE PEOPLE. I ALWAYS JOKE THAT ON THE JEWISH SABBATH, I AM “AMISH” FOR ONE DAY OF THE WEEK–SINCE WE DON’T TURN ELECTRICAL STUFF ON OR OFF AND WE DON’T USE CARS FOR THAT ONE DAY. DS]

PrincessKaren on July 6, 2008 at 12:59 am

Why use unreliable text book providers(Glencoe, McDougal-Littell, Houghton Mifflin, McGraw Hill and Prentice Hall etc.) when, as noted by GABE’s comment,
the status of “Professor and Chairman of the Department of Arabic Studies”
is considered a valid qualification for vetting our children’s history textbooks?
(also recall Shabbir Mansuri & Susan L. Douglass, the revert involvement with vetting history books)
How difficult would it be to re-issue the American History books used in the 50’s?
http://www.historytextbooks.org/

justamomof4 on July 7, 2008 at 10:11 am

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