For many years my column ran in the Hillsdale Daily News, a newspaper based in Hillsdale, Michigan. It was running there in the year 2000 when our nation celebrated the Millennium (which means a thousand years). This will always be special to me because the Hillsdale Daily News sponsored a communitywide gathering to celebrate this historic year, and invited me to come to Hillsdale to be the speaker for the event.
But something far more important is taking place in Hillsdale these days, and this is the battle Hillsdale College is waging on behalf of every freedom-loving American.
If you are an older citizen, can you imagine hearing from a teacher that our nation’s history is essentially one of injustice – that America at its heart is racist, sexist and undeserving of respect? But that is the sad reality for too many of our K-12 and college students today. Too many young Americans do not learn what makes America an exceptional nation and a beacon of liberty for the world. Too many of them are taught that our nation’s past holds no positive lessons which we can apply moving forward. So, is it any wonder that too many younger Americans today feel an increasing attraction to socialism and other ideas destructive of liberty?
It is sad to me to even consider writing a column on this topic, but I am not blind and consider myself to be a patriotic American. When I see riots, looting and burning large sections of a business community, I have sense enough to know that something is wrong. The people doing this have simply gotten the wrong message. Sure, we have problems and can certainly improve, but we must never throw the baby out with the bathwater. America is still the best hope for man on earth. The freedom and opportunities we have here came with a great price, and thousands and thousands of Americans made great sacrifices for these blessings.
Like me, you may also be discouraged by the reports of some of our schools and colleges teaching this kind of garbage. The best, and really only, way to confront this kind of ideology is with the truth. The truth is what I have always tried to promote, and if I can find something closer to the truth, you can bet that I will share it with you. While I certainly believe in individual rights and to peaceably protest and assemble, those rights stop when it comes to the unlawful activity of stealing and destroying someone else’s property. They must be held accountable and I believe we are beginning to see this happening.
Early in 2020, Hillsdale College produced a free on-line course titled, “The Great American Story: A Land of Hope” taught by historian Wilfred McClay, on his recently published “History of America.” This course presents a full, unbiased account of America’s past. Hillsdale’s goal in producing and promoting it is to restore the kind of intelligent patriotism – especially among our young people – that is essential to preserving free government. You may know that Hillsdale College refuses to accept one penny of government funding – not even indirectly in the form of federal or state student loans or grants.
That’s why Hillsdale can remain true to its mission on behalf of liberty, free of so many bureaucratic regulations that burden other colleges and universities. Ever since I began my column back in 1995, my goal has always been to help individuals succeed and use more of their God-given potential. We can’t do that unless we are free.
Jim Davidson is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and Founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in the Log Cabin Democrat in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states.