How do we learn about our American basics, our core values, our roots, and about American Exceptionalism? We start teaching American history in schools again, and we don’t soft peddle it.
We teach kids about real American heroes, and the amazing men and women who went through tremendous personal difficulties to put their ideals into practice.
We teach kids about the real American Revolution. For example, Alexander Hamilton, embroiled in combat at Yorktown, protected the headmaster at what would become Columbia. The crowds wanted to string the headmaster up — he was a Tory. Alexander didn’t care about the politics when it came to saving a life — that’s the sort of ethics we come from and what we stand for. (Hamilton’s life is a very interesting study.)
Washington was a rural man, a farmer, although he didn’t get to spend very much time at home. Hamilton was unique–he saw America as an urban country, not as a rural country. They both put individual beliefs aside to hammer out the basic principles that were, and still are, fundamental.
American history is exciting, it is energizing. Vibrant. It should be taught that way. Get kids enthused! We are teaching values, American values that say: we are not a country of victims. This is very important. We want our kids to grow up knowing they come from a country with a heart. A country with a fighting spirit when we need to protect our values that were so hard won.
JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” This is what we need to get back to, every one of us, and it begins in early learning.
We are the most generous people on earth, but to all of those who wish us ill, to those who want to ride the back of the tiger, we say, “Careful… You may end inside of it.”
American History. That’s where kids, anyone, can learn about where we started out and how we can get back there.