George Washington Wanted A National University And Thought Seminaries Stunk At Educating Kids In Gubbmint
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “He was calling for West Point basically, citing just as I had reminded you earlier, that he saw the need for officers. The need for officers does make sense. I’m not prepared to get into a full discussion of that, but I can tackle the education question.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: [mocking] “What do you think about candidate Bernie Sanders’ call for nationalizing universities and free tuition?” Of course, if you’re one of the allegedly soon-to-be-educated college-age kids, you’re probably predisposed to say, [mocking] “Yeah, man, I’m all for it. Like, yeah, man, like, that’d be, like, a great idea. Like, man, that’s great, like, really cool, man.” I suppose amongst the young, the answer would be a thundering majority. As you get a little older, some people might be counseled against that and may say no. I’d wager you that a majority of Americans would say yes to free tuition at public universities.
There are a couple problems with this. Number one, it’s not free. You’re going to pay for it. Number two, there’s no authority in the federal monstrosity to do this. Now, of course, that doesn’t restrain any other thing they don’t have authority for, but we can be nostalgic about a time when everyone acknowledged that this authority did not exist. I took the liberty of looking this up to see if this question had been posed when the framers of the Constitution and the founders were still alive, and, of course, it was.
On 7 December 1796, in his last address to Congress, President Washington actually called for a national university and a national army university. We know that we got the national army university because it’s called West Point. If you read the act that brings West Point into existence, you will note that the constitutional authority that is cited is not an Article I, Section 8 enumerated power. It is instead cloaked under the: We have to do this because we have to have the possibility of raising an army. And because we have the possibility of raising an army, we’re going to need officers beyond militia. That’s how they justified West Point. Washington, in his final address to Congress – we would call this today a State of the Union. Of course, they delivered it in writing. They didn’t go over there and actually give it verbally because it was just an accounting. Here on this day I have the State of the Union. I got it from the Congressional Globe. I’ll read you the pertinent part of it and we’ll see where Washington is going with this.
It will not be doubted that with reference either to individual or national welfare agriculture is of primary importance. In proportion as nations advance in population and other circumstances of maturity this truth becomes more apparent, and renders the cultivation of the soil more and more an object of public patronage. Institutions for promoting it grow up, supported by the public purse; and to what object can it be dedicated with greater propriety?
Among the means which have been employed to this end none have been attended with greater success than the establishment of boards (composed of proper characters) charged with collecting and diffusing information, and enabled by premiums and small pecuniary aids to encourage and assist a spirit of discovery and improvement. This species of establishment contributes doubly to the increase of improvement by stimulating to enterprise and experiment, and by drawing to a common center the results everywhere of individual skill and observation, and spreading them thence over the whole nation. Experience accordingly has shewn that they are very cheap instruments of immense national benefits.
I have heretofore proposed to the consideration of Congress the expediency of establishing a national university and also a military academy. the desirableness of both these institutions has so constantly increased with every new view I have taken of the subject that I can not omit the opportunity of once for all recalling your attention to them.
The assembly to which I address myself is too enlightened not to be fully sensible how much a flourishing state of the arts and sciences contributes to national prosperity and reputation.
True it is that our country, much to its honor, contains many seminaries of learning highly repeatable and useful; but the funds upon which they rest are too narrow to command the ablest professors in the different departments of liberal knowledge for the institution contemplated, though they would be excellent auxiliaries.
Amongst the motives to such an institution, the assimilation of the principles, opinions, and manners of our country-men by the common education of a portion of our youth from every quarter well deserves attention. The more homogenous our citizens can be made in these particulars the greater will be our prospect of permanent union; and a primary object of such a national institution should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic what species of knowledge can be equally important and what duty more pressing on its legislature than to patronize a plan for communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?
The institution of a military academy is also recommended by cogent reasons. However pacific the general policy of a nation may be, it ought never to be without an adequate stock of military knowledge for emergencies.
Mike: He was calling for West Point basically, citing just as I had reminded you earlier, that he saw the need for officers. The need for officers does make sense. I’m not prepared to get into a full discussion of that, but I can tackle the education question. What do you think now that I’ve read you the father of our country, George Washington, the first president, George Washington sounding very Bernie Sanders-like? Washington asking Congress to create a military academy and a national university because the nitwits out there that were running the seminaries were incapable of educating the next generation of youths. Of course, we’re going to have to have wise people in government to teach the science of government.
It’s a rare instance when you find yourself in disagreement with Washington. When you break that down and think about it, remember what Chris Ferrara said, author of Liberty, the God That Failed, what Ferrara told us on Friday about the implement of the Constitution, the charade that this was to be a very limited, specifically enumerated government and that it would not grow and always protect the liberties of the people, etc., etc. The whole thing was a farce. The guys that were running the show, they knew it was a farce. They knew that they had begun a game of conquest and of expansion. Specifically, that’s the reason why we went from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. A constitution would then lend the authority to nationalize things.
Fortunately, there were some guys that were around that said: Wait a minute now, you can’t do that. One of them was little Jimmy Madison. When this came up in the House of Representin’, Madison took his Howitzer out and just demolished it. Of course, he had to give proper respect to Washington, but that was not going to get a hearing. That was not going to make it to legislation and Madison was there to shoot this one down as president.
You may recall we talked about this a couple dozen times here on this show. As a matter of fact, I looked it up this morning just to make sure it was still published. The veto of the Bonus Bill in 1817, if you read Madison’s veto message, he says we ought to have roads and bridges and canals and Congress ought to do it and pay for it. We ought to have a national university and Congress ought to do it and pay for it. But we don’t have the authority under the Constitution. It was never enumerated, it was never granted, so I’ve got to veto this bill. We have good history on our side.
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What’s troubling about Bernie Sanders out there running around promoting this idea of a national university and free tuition – again, it’s not free – is that I don’t hear anyone – which just gives more credibility to the claim that the Constitution is dead – I don’t hear anyone yelling about this and asking where he gets the constitutional authority to do such a thing.
Even if you’re a communist – let’s just say for a moment you’re an avowed Leninist, a Bolshevik and you want to run for President of the United States. There is no President of the United States unless there is a Constitution that empowers the office. In order to become president, you’re supposed to pass through the Constitution. Of course, these days that’s just a formality, thus the Constitution is dead. Candidate Sanders’ pimping for a national university with free tuition for all public institutions of education is evidence of that. Of course, I take grave issue with the term “education” anyways being used in most universities today.
End Mike Church Show Transcript