Why Education Is Essential
by William S. Hahn, Chief Executive Officer
All of us want to see success — success for ourselves, success for our families, success for our friends and neighbors, and success by preserving American freedom by making large strides in our mission.
JBS founder Mr. Robert Welch wrote about how to achieve this success in The Blue Book, the presentation given at the founding meeting of the Society on December 8-9, 1958. He wrote a postscript for the fifth printing of the book on March 15, 1961, which included the following:
All we have really done so far is demonstrate rather convincingly that we have the formula for ultimate success. And it is a very simple formula indeed, as must be the basic plan of every movement that changes the course of history. We must grow into an army of sufficient size, fighting with facts and truth as our weapons, until the enemy with all his ruthless cunning, gigantic organization, limitless resources, and entrenched power, still cannot withstand the total impact of our unified strength and dedicated labors.
He reiterated many times throughout the years that we are an educational army. In the April 1959 Bulletin, he wrote, “Let us repeat also that we are an army fighting with facts as our chief weapons. Most of our members are far better informed than is the general public concerning the Communist conspiracy. But to acquire still more and more dependable knowledge is to be still better armed.”
To be better armed, Mr. Welch asked members to read at least one book every month from our recommended reading list. Our new member packet contains a recommended personal library of books, booklets, videos, and audio CDs. Plus, as you well know, we have no shortage of content being cranked out on a daily basis. Consuming some of this to keep yourself informed is a good idea. However, don’t get too focused on consuming all our content, as there will be no time left for Birching activities.
At our National Council Dinner in Dallas last October, I had a candid conversation with a gentleman who had emailed me regarding the amount of content we published. He said he was unable to keep up with all that we were putting out. I agreed with him and told him I couldn’t either. Who can? While it’s important to stay informed, we must not allow it to occupy all our time. If we did, when would we have time to Birch?
Our strategy of pumping out as much content as we do is based on reaching a wider audience. In the digital world, content drives traffic. The more you can publish, the more traffic you generate. In an era of such blatant censorship from search engines, social media, and Big Media, our Web traffic continues to grow, given the diversification of where we publish the information and how much content we create.
More content means more traffic, which means more prospects, more subscribers, and more members — basically more pullers at the oars. Please don’t try to keep up with all the content. However, please do focus on staying up-to-date with the monthly Bulletin, the print issues of The New American, our newest educational tools for the action projects, and our legislative alerts sent via text, email, or both. The Bulletin is geared toward sharing best practices and identifying our top priorities and recommended actions.
Let’s not define success as being the smartest person in the gulag (because we didn’t have time to do the real work: Birching!). Rather, let’s ensure we all stay informed and then engage in action, doing our part to build educated electorates within our localities.
One of our newest action tools is actually a throwback to the TRIM (Tax Reform IMmediately) days. We’ve adapted data from the Freedom Index to create individual Congressional Scorecards that report specific votes and the financial impact of each vote to taxpayers/households, and have added space to customize the scorecard by adding your contact information. These scorecards are available as digital downloads at TheFreedomIndex.org, allowing you to print out three different formats. Be sure to check out the User Guide at https://thenewamerican.com/freedom-index/user-guide/ for details, as well as the articles throughout this Bulletin giving you more details and direction.
As we posted on the site, “The Freedom Index is an educational resource provided by The New American magazine. We do not endorse or oppose candidates. The Freedom Index is intended to inform the American people, candidates, and elected officials about the rights and freedoms protected by the Constitution of the United States.”
Share the Scorecards throughout districts within your local electorate to give voters an idea of how well their U.S. representative and senators are adhering to the Constitution. Distributing these Scorecards is a great way to help hold elected officials accountable and to help educate voters about the impact these votes in Washington, D.C., really have on American liberties, freedom, and the Constitution. Regular distribution by active chapters also provides great recruiting opportunities, as you are visible in the community, especially if this is part of the 100/10/6 program. This plan — distributing literature at least four times a year to 100 households, targeting at least 10 opinion molders, and recruiting at least six prospective activists — has the potential to reach thousands of voters, creating tremendous influence. Is your chapter currently active in the 100/10/6 program? Review the video The Power of 500: Informed Electorates That Work! at https://youtu.be/47vf04LlHYY to get in-depth information on how this plan can work.
As Robert Brown discusses in the video, each Freedom Index (or Scorecard in this case) can be a mini-lesson on applying the Constitution to current issues, helping others to determine what is constitutional. Nowhere else will voters get this type of candid information. U.S. Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said the Freedom Index is the best scorecard because it doesn’t notify congressmen ahead of time of the votes that will be used to tally the score, as do many other competing scorecards.
Building an educated electorate is not rocket science, but it is essential and foundational to creating understanding of the issues and what concerned Americans can do. This works to keep elected officials accountable to the Constitution, offers immediate solutions to government usurpations of power and tyranny (such as nullification), and teaches the principles of limited government under the Constitution. Where else are Americans getting this? Where else are they being organized to expose the enemies of freedom and to right the Republic?
Success in 2022 begins with education. Educate yourself, educate others, and take action. Just don’t let the “educate yourself” portion consume all your time. Rather, focus on cranking up your chapter’s monthly activities. If you’re not in a chapter, host a video showing of Overview of America or a “Constitution Is the Solution” workshop to bring like-minded people together for the purpose of starting a chapter. Organized efforts will definitely produce fruit and success!