by Phyllis Schlafly
January 29, 2014
Barack Obama has now revealed that he unilaterally plans to use executive orders to “bypass” Congress. His shocking words were: “We are not just going to be waiting for legislation. … I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions.”
I hope every American actually sees Obama speak those words on a TV or computer screen. His dictatorial attitude, layered with arrogance and condescension, should be repudiated by a self-governing people.
Obama claims to have taught constitutional law but he doesn’t seem to be familiar with the Constitution’s words. Lost in his shuffle are “all legislative powers” are vested in Congress, and the President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
He refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton). He used his now-famous pen to wipe out key sections of the 1996 bipartisan Welfare Reform law and of Obamacare (which his appointees repeatedly bragged is “the law of the land”), and to “legislate” the Dream Act which Congress refused to enact.
For decades, the liberals have tried to take total control of public school curriculum so they can mold the minds of our youngsters into activists for leftwing causes. Obama’s famous “pen” can now achieve that goal.
Back in 1951, the National Education Association (NEA) published the “American Citizens Handbook,” which proclaimed, “It is important that people who are to live and work together shall have a common mind — a like heritage of purpose, religious ideals, love of country, beauty, and wisdom to guide and inspire them.” That goal was fortified by selections for memorization, including Old and New Testament passages, Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, Golden Rule, Boy Scout oath, and patriotic songs.
Then public schools started to change under the influence of Humanist John Dewey and his followers. Sidney Simon sold a million copies of his book “Values Clarification” urging kids to abandon their parents’ old-fashioned values and make their own choices about what is right or wrong.
Schoolchildren were no longer taught to read by phonics but were subjected to what was called “whole language,” which taught them to guess text from pictures and memorize one-syllable words. That entire sorry story was told in Rudolf Flesch’s landmark book “Why Johnny Can’t Read.”
In a famous and widely quoted 1992 letter to “Dear Hillary,” the then-incoming First Lady, education guru Marc Tucker called on the government “to remold the entire American [school] system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone.” Then came a series of fads marketed as improving test scores, but which actually continued the dumbing-down process.
Meanwhile we had the Kinsey invasion of curriculum to teach explicit sex education to younger and younger children, shredding them of their natural modesty. Fads continued with death education, suicide education, environmental education, and endless promotion of “self-esteem.”
We had a year of toying with new History Standards, which omitted many historical leaders and facts that most Americans believe students should learn, and we had the highly touted “Goals 2000″ and “School to Work.” More recent fads were “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top,” which were used to delude parents into believing that schools were producing a new generation where, like the kids in the Lake Wobegon radio program, every child is above average.
William Blackstone’s summary of English law in 1765 included the right of parents to direct the care and upbringing of their own children because parents were assumed to act in their kids’ best interest. Unfortunately, American law was shuffled around by our lawyers in the 1970s, and the “best interest of the child” was taken away from parents and given to judges.
Family court judges now exercise discretion (a.k.a., personal bias) to make thousands of decisions about children instead of their parents, including where they live and with which parent for how many hours a week, how family money is spent and by whom, and even where kids may go to school and church.
Don’t look to the regular courts for a remedy. The federal Ninth Circuit ruled against parents, and in the 2005 version of its opinion ruled that parents’ rights do “not extend beyond the threshold of the school door” and that public schools have the right to provide students with “whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise.”
Obama’s pen is now forcing schools to use the Common Core standards, and parents are up in arms nationwide about what they see as defective methods, bad choices of readings, obnoxious federal control through required tests, and the computerizing of very private information on all students.