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Democracy Education

"If America wants to show the world anything, show it true Democracy."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Zen Master)

"If America is not careful, it could lose its precious freedoms."
~ The late Gesshin Probhasa Dharma Roshi (German Zen Master)

We Are the People
The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America:
     "We the People of the United States of America, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution for the United States of America."

US Constitution

Oath of Office:
The oath of office of all American government officials is simply to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America:
     "I, name, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
  • The President of the United States
  • The Vice-president
  • All Cabinet Appointments
  • All Senators
  • Every member of the House of Representatives
  • Each branch (every member) of the U.S. military
  • All members of the FBI
  • All members of the CIA
  • Every member of the Federal government
  • Every police officer in the U.S.
Genius of America
As the Founding Fathers foresaw the wisdom of making an inspired document to guide the nation -- the complex protection of the nation and the nation's people was founded in the checks and balances described in the Constitution's "rule of law." The Constitution of the United States has been the rule of law for the nation since 1787. The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments.

The Declaration of Independence:
     "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which has connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal stations to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
     We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Freedom of Mind:
While Thomas Jefferson is most frequently attributed with writing the Declaration of Independence, some scholars argue that it is identical to the writing of Thomas Paine.

George Washington read Paine's Common Sense and The Crisis to his men to lift their spirits during the Revolutionary War. The Crisis, Number 1, December 23, 1776, begins:
"These are the times that try men's souls:"

A decade later in The Age of Reason, Paine describes the innate right of all human beings to live lives with the freedom of mind.

Age of Reason Common Sense

Forming a new Constitutional Republic:
The ideal of a new country with protected civil freedoms was designed by progressive minds who saw the wisdom in forming a nation that was not ruled by kings and queens who determined the religion, all the laws, trade, and ownership in the land. Instead, the new experiment of forming a Constitutional Republic of the people, would be maintained by following the rule of law as outlined in the U. S. Constitution. This Constitutional Republic would operate with checks and balances to avoid the concentration of power of just one person or a few people, by dividing the powers in three equal branches of federal government:

  • The elected Congress - LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
  • The appointed Justice Department - JUDICIAL BRANCH
  • The elected President - EXECUTIVE BRANCH
A Young Nation:
Major Karma:
  • Genocide and/or restricted relocation of native populations by European transplants to claim land for themselves. (1492 to the 1900s.)
  • Kidnapping Africans and bringing them to the United States for the lucrative slavery industry. (1500s to 1860s)
  • Big business, like tobacco and cotton, exploiting slavery. (1500s to 1800s, but slave-like exploitation continued.)
  • Women were not allowed to vote until 1920, after brave suffragettes paid dearly for bringing the issue to the center of public discussion by marches, publications and protests.
  • African Americans were guaranteed their right to vote in 1965. Black men were promised equality in voting after the Civil War, but in reality, the nation did not actualize equal racial voting rights until the Civil Rights protests of the 1960s.
While these huge injustices are undeniably part of our history, it is also true that the rule of law in the Constitution of the United States is the main tool that has had the power to bring real justice to citizens. The country is not perfect at all, but it stands-out in global history because of the power of equal civil rights that is articulated in the Constitution. When the people of the land no longer respect or even remember the Constitution, its ideals of freedom will no longer be possible.

How Democracy's Ideal is being stolen by the elite Corporate Oligarchy:
As a society, the last few generations have been lulled to sleep, as we have been sedated by gluttonous consumerism. The big picture of the inside-assault on American Democracy parallels America's responsibility in causing so much global imbalance, (directly and indirectly,) through shortsighted and careless commercialism.

"The river of materialism has burst its banks," Trungpa Rinpoche.

All roads lead to the failure of civic education that allows the elite Corporate Oligarchy to rule.

Assault on Reason Shock Doctrine

Glossary of Terms:

Oligarchy: A small group of people that have the power to control a country, organization or institution.
Republic: A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.
Democracy: The practice or principles of social equality.
Monarchy: A sovereign head of state; a king, queen or emperor. (At infoplease.com) Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, Denmark, Netherlands, Kuwait, Japan, Cambodia, Morocco, Nepal, plus 17 other countries are Monarchies. Most are Constitutional Monarchies, like Sweden and Norway. The UK is a Monarchy plus a Parliamentary Democracy. Saudi Arabia, Oman and Swaziland are Absolute Monarchies.
Dictator: A ruler with total power over a country.
Socialism: A political and social theory that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned OR regulated by the community as a whole. People's Republic of China, Republic of Cuba, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Communism: A society in which all property is owned by the state and each person works for the state for their livelihood. China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. (The USSR was totally a communistic state.)
Theocracy: A system of government in which priests rule in the name of God.
Fascism: An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

More Books that teach about America's Democracy:
Broken Government by John Dean
America (The Book) by Jon Stewart
A People's History by Howard Zinn
Other books by John Dean
The Bubble of American Supremacy by George Soros
The State of Denial by Bob Woodward
The Way of the World by Ron Suskind
Stealing Democracy: Politics of Voter Suppression by Spencer Overton
Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country by William Greider
Find more information on these books via this ZHS search box:

Media in America:

Television
PBS, BBC News, Frontline, Need to Know, Charlie Rose

Radio
OPB, NPR, Fresh Air

Come Home America People's History of US

When parents and teachers become aware of how things are really working, students will learn pieces of Truth from them.


©Copyright Deb Huntley 2008 - 2014 ~ All rights reserved