Henry Steele CommagerHenry Steele Commager, (1902-1998) Historian and author

Henry Steele Commager Quote

“Every effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.”

Henry Steele CommagerHenry Steele Commager
~ Henry Steele Commager

Ratings and Comments

dm, y
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dm, y    10/30/06

i do not get it

Kit F, Oaktown CA


Bruce, 'Bama

My foreign exchange student argued with his German father long distance on the phone. One said New York was America the other said it was Chicago. I tried to explain to the student that New York and Chicago are America(n) but America is not New York and/or Chicago.

Mike, Norwalk

There is no federal common law. I will raise and educate my children in a manner that I prescribe, not the state (-; forgive my grammer, I'm a product of public education ;-). As is prima facie, I will drive as fast as I want as long as it does not inflict others.

E Archer, NYC

Whatever you want to say about Americans, it is true somewhere in America. ;-)

Bruce, 'Bama

But you will educate your children Mike, that I believe is a law! And are there no requirements a home schooler must meet as regards curriculum and proficiency?

Mike, Norwalk

Anonymous, Anytown. If there is a law addressing the subject matter, it is from an alien de facto entity that does not represent or concern me. If there are requirements a home schooler must meet as regards curriculum and proficiency it concerns the socialists, fascists, and otherwise slaves, not me. I will not delve to much in to my personal life but by way of example: My eldest child, as a teenager, competed in athletics on a national level and, entered a major university at the age of 16 without as much as a GED, SSN, or government test. After 6 years of doing very well as a full time student (that child paying 100% of all educational costs) that child is progressing as a spouse and parent, community activist, in career and by most any measuring standard one would wish to apply. That child has not been able to accompany me on my once a month trips to New Orleans (at personal expense) to help with the rebuilding but, serves those in need otherwise. To confine that child to a single pattern, to constrain that child to a single formula would have been criminal. Personal responsibility, or the lack thereof, is its own reward.

Mike, Norwalk

Note, I believe public school(s), on all levels to be an essential part of a progressive society and should be a resource for any given community. Concerning the quote, public schools are actively dumbing down America and, as such, should not be the single pattern or formula for America.

E Archer, NYC

That's awesome, Mike. My children are also home schooled and already 2 years ahead of their peers in public schools with but 3 hours a day formal study. It is amazing what they can do without the hindrance of socialized education. It is also a wonderful boon to our relationship which allows me to revisit all the subjects I studied when I was a child -- and to add my 2 cents when called for. What a pleasure it is to be able to share that experience with my children instead of institutionalizing them. I remember before we took them out of school, I would help them with homework, and often I would ask them questions related to the subject and they would roll their eyes and say, 'Dad, we don't have to study that, the teacher says this is what we should do.' I said, 'Well, I am the teacher, too -- we've hired the teacher to teach you.' I was surprised how the teacher was considered the boss, I was just a troublemaker, I guess. But if parents aren't willing to take responsibility for teaching their children, then I guess they'll have to send them to an institution -- even if they are turning our kids against us and teaching them propaganda all day. I could go on, but taking my children out of government schools was the smartest thing I could have ever done and I am only sorry I did not do it sooner. 'But what about your children's socialization?' some people say. I used to worry about that, too, but now I ask myself, 'Socialization? How much more socialization do they need? In fact, no, I don't want them 'socialized'. They can learn how to interact with others using the good manners they have been brought up with -- that is plenty.' My children also do not have any SS numbers and they won't be getting any if I can help it. We got rid of broadcast TV as well -- we'll pick what we want to watch without the incessant barrage of 'programming' and 'news' and the 'branding' of advertising. Most kids can remember 50 commercial jingles, but can't remember the Preamble to the Constitution -- what a shame.

Bruce, 'Bama

Mike my son was educated through 10th grade in private school. We went with TV for a number of years. It is nice to control your environment to suit your fancy. I still watch very little TV. Since you support public education may I ask how you think it should be financed? I ask because I am of the understanding that either you or Archer don't believe in taxes for such a thing, please correct me if I am wrong?

Mike, Norwalk

No advanced society can exist without an educated populace or taxes. There are many taxes, such as consumption taxes, excise taxes, etc. (not taxes against property or person - direct tax) that when added to an educational use tax could pay for public education. (Said use tax could be through specie of value, trade, labor donation, etc.) New Hampshire has a system that could be looked at as a starting point.

Mike, Norwalk

The educational use tax I referenced would have to be voluntary. Maybe bonds based on the voluntary tax (contribution) could be an option? Capitation and direct taxation, along with property taxes declare a master slave relationship. Prior to mandatory schools and related taxes, this land was the most educated in the world. How do we go back after years of government schools and other socialist denigration? (-; dunno? ;-)

Ronw13, Oregon

How beautiful in the sight of the Creator are his children, at Liberty and know it ! ( Gesnosco ) absolute ! No where on the planet is there found such a place to Walk at Liberty. God's grace does abound. but one must stand to be counted. That is the challenge, racing to know and communicate with others, our types of liberties. They are like no others, they are separated for our purpose under grace. Good question Mike, compiled within the sacred text of many forms, the end result knowledge of the truth.


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