America is changing — and what students are learning about their country is one big reason why – Lumen Student News


America is changing and it’s happening right under our noses—or more accurately, in our classrooms.

A recent poll by YouGov finds 58 percent of millennials would prefer to live in “a socialist, communist or fascist nation rather than a capitalistic one,” the Washington Times reports, with a staggering 44 percent preferring socialism.

“This troubling turn highlights widespread historical illiteracy in American society regarding socialism and the systemic failure of our education system to teach students about the genocide, destruction, and misery caused by communism since the Bolshevik Revolution one hundred years ago,” Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, said in a statement.

Only two years ago, the same group found 36 percent of millennials have a positive opinion of socialism–so the trend is troubling, to say the least.

When I launched Lumen Student News this fall, I did it for one reason: The generation of future leaders being raised to believe America is to blame for the world’s ills, socialism is preferable to free enterprise, and there are no moral absolutes.

Up until now, schools and parents have had primarily two daily options for students to learn about current events: CNN 10 and Channel One.

On CNN’s flagship channel, a reporter recently held a marijuana joint and lit a Colorado New Year’s Eve reveler’s gas mask bong on live television. The same night, a female anchor made a sex joke about the “balls” hanging around her neck, and said hers were bigger than her male colleague’s. No, this was not broadcast to students per se (though it was aired in prime time and some inevitably watched it), but is the culture of this “news” service what we want influencing our kids?

Channel One, which has the same ideological persuasion as MSNBC, has done segments on transgenderism, accommodating illegal immigrants on college campuses, and reported the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack as a “mass shooting”—as if radical Islamism had nothing to do with it.

With Lumen Student News, that’s all changing because we believe students need to see how America is exceptional, free enterprise has brought prosperity, innovation and health to millions around the world, and previous generations, from the Founding Fathers to the greatest generation, have sacrificed so that we may live in freedom.

I was reminded of the importance of teaching our students American history when I visited Ford’s Theater during a recent trip to Washington, DC.

In the basement museum, one of the most sobering moments comes as the pistol John Wilkes Booth used to assassinate President Lincoln starkly stands alone in a display area by itself.

As I was observing it, a mother and her roughly 12-year-old son were looking at it as well. His mother was explaining the significance of the gun and the boy replied, “Did he die?”

Suddenly, the innocent pondering of a 12-year-old boy was just as impactful as standing face to face with the very pistol that assassinated Lincoln.  How can we expect our sons and daughters to understand and appreciate the magnitude and selfless sacrifice of D-Day, or the genius of our constitution if they don’t know basic American history.

How will today’s students find the inspiration to reach beyond the achievements of the great leaders who came before them if we don’t teach these men and women’s stories?

And without being anchored in our founding ideals and history, how will they know why America is exceptional?

But that’s just the thing: the other news services dispute the very notion that America and our principles are fundamentally better than others. After all, they’re about creating “global” citizens and multiculturalism here at home.

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In our first two months, we told students about the brutal communist regime in North Korea, the history of the Constitutional Convention, and a 13-year-old boy who is changing out tattered American flags for new ones in his eastern Illinois town.

“I love Lumen!  It has already sparked discussions in my classes about current events, and I love how it tells stories of heroes like Frederick Douglass,” a high school teacher wrote to me in October.

We hope you’ll join and help to preserve America’s free enterprise system and exceptionalism.

Tudor Dixon is CEO of Lumen Student News.