Because they believe in Freedom of Thought!
By Jill Simonian
A couple of weeks ago, I had an hour-long interview with a reporter from The American Prospect about PragerU’s program for families, PragerU Resources for Educators and Parents (PREP). Our discussion was genuinely enjoyable, despite our differing opinions about our nation and world. The reporter brought up issues, I offered my take and corrected some projected narratives, and she respectfully and kindly responded with more questions.
When I hung up the phone, I thought, “This is how folks on opposite sides should talk about issues together.” I even sent her a thank you note saying how much I enjoyed our conversation — because I really did. I hoped the journalism tenets of accuracy and objectivity would result in an unbiased report of our conversation.
How naive of me.
Nearly two weeks later, two pieces with altered quotes were published online. The headlines are both amusing and alarming: “The Right Curriculum? How PragerU Infiltrates Schools” and “PragerU’s Newest Target: Kindergarten.”
I will admit I am taking this a bit personally, not because I happen to be the mom-on-camera who “exhorts” children to never cut up an American flag after launching “right-wing propaganda” at them, but because I have taught my children that honest and civil conversation with most anyone on an opposite side of an issue is always productive towards achieving unity.
The problem here is not that this reporter and I have fundamentally different value systems. The problem is that the liberal media have no room for free thought — ironic, since they have long championed tolerance.
Consider this statement from one of the articles: “…seemingly innocuous PragerU videos are a gateway to explicit right-wing content.”
Conservative educational content is likened to a gateway drug that must be avoided at all costs. Because if a child — or an adult, for that matter — watches one PragerU video, then look out! They have opened Pandora’s box.
When there are no rational answers, progressives fall back on the old strategy of attacking the messenger. They do not like our efforts to take back the microphone from the liberal mainstream media via our wildly popular, short videos which explain the rationale behind conservative ideas. Now, they are especially enraged, as we have launched several new children’s video series and resources for parents and educators who wish to celebrate American values with their kindergartners through high schoolers.
Evidently, if you cannot recognize how threatening a mom sitting criss-cross-applesauce in socks, reading a book about how special it is to become a United States citizen with a costumed-character dog next to her is, then you need to wake up.
Rather than advocating for children to think for themselves and to make their own decisions, progressives want children to take what they are being taught at school and simply regurgitate it without question.
Serves me right for believing respectful discourse can bring people closer together.
I am not sure who decided that political correctness (or as some call it, “tolerance”) should be the unofficial rule of law, but it seems that the majority of people living in the United States desire to maintain their First Amendment rights of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.
For example, CATO Institute’s 2017 “The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America” survey found “Nearly three-fourths (71%) of Americans believe that political correctness has done more to silence important discussions our society needs to have” and “58% of Americans believe the political climate today prevents them from saying things they believe.” And a 2019 Gallup/Knight Foundation poll revealed “Close to 7 in 10 college students (68%) regard citizens’ free speech rights as being ‘extremely important’ to democracy. Nearly the same percentage (69%) believe an inclusive society that is welcoming to diverse groups is ‘extremely important.’”
The exchange of ideas and opinions should not scare anyone because each of us, at the end of the day, gets to choose what we think and believe and why. That should not prevent us from listening to one another or challenging each other. And, by the way, a diversity of thought and belief is essentialfor a nation that desires to thrive.
We are blessed to live in a society that values vigorous, healthy debate and freedom of thought — that was why my great-grandparents fled to America in the early 20th century. Or at least we did. I am not so sure we are that same country anymore. Our only hope? Ourselves. Those of us committed to protecting America’s future are here, unafraid and with courage, to stand up, speak truth and prevent the Left from ruining America forever.