“Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.”- John Adams
I recently did something that I used to do fairly often, but hadn’t done in awhile. Last Friday, it was my day off from work, and I didn’t have anything to do. To curb my boredom I went to Barnes and Noble and spent over two hours there. I would find a book that interested me and would sit down and read it for a bit. Then, I would put it back and find a book about something completely different. But that’s not to say that I didn’t intend to buy anything and give it a thorough read.
On the suggestion of a friend, I bought a book called The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World by Cleon Skousen. The miracle that the title refers to is none other than the Constitution of the United States of America. In case anyone forgot that’s the document that the Founders of our country drafted at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which outlines how the Republic should function.
I suggest that every American reads this extraordinary book. It should be required reading in every middle or high school in the nation because I don’t know about you, but I was never comprehensibly taught the Constitution in my schooling. And that’s a serious problem, as Adams’ quote suggests. How can anyone be a proper citizen of a country and not understand the basic principles on which it was founded?
Skousen highlights the 28 Principles of Freedom set forth by the brilliant Founding Fathers through mostly their own words. The book is just over 300 pages, but it reads very quickly. The most striking information in the entire book is the countless warnings the Founders put forth in their speeches and writings about what could happen to the country if it strays from their principles. For example, Thomas Jefferson warned about how dangerous it is for a private, centralized banking institution to control all of the country’s currency: "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
Jefferson’s warning practically describes the Federal Reserve System that has been the central banking institution in the U.S. since 1913, and it has destroyed our monetary system. The book is filled with insights such as this. In fact, reading it has had such an impact on me that I’ve changed my political views. Most people seem to think that the Constitution is outdated, but after reading this book it is clear to me it is the only way for our country to properly survive.
So if boredom hits you hard while waiting to return to our beautiful campus, I suggest you give The 5000 Year Leap a chance. Who knows, maybe you’ll even impress some of your professors this fall.