Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama's success a victory for equalty

Senator Barack Obama's huge win in this weekend's South Carolina Democrat primary, combined with his earlier showings (including his win in Iowa), are a remarkable turning point for America. That he prevailed - and by a whopping margin - below the Mason-Dixon line reveals that the First Principle of equality is prevailing like never before in American politics.

America has long been committed to the principle that all men are created equal, but the reality was often quite different. Today, Obama's campaign is giving added life to that promise. Regardless of the outcome of the Democrat primary or the general election, Americans can be proud to have reached this milestone.

Perhaps someday - sooner that most thought possible - the race and gender of a candidate will be irrelevant to the voters.

For more about the First Principle of equality, go to

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How King helped America achieve dream of equalty

Originally published in the Detroit News:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
How King helped America achieve dream of equality
Michael Warren
As is apt to happen during the presidential primary season, politicians have wrapped themselves in the flag and America's icons. Quite appropriately, many candidates are harkening to the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, a small primary eruption occurred when the leading Democrat candidates, U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, sparred over his contributions to the American Dream.

As we approach the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday (his birthday was Tuesday), we should take the opportunity to put aside partisanship and invective. Instead, we should focus on King's pivotal role in moving the country toward realizing the yet unfulfilled dream of racial equality.

The Declaration of Independence so eloquently penned by Thomas Jefferson and the Second Continental Congress declares as a self-evident truth the First Principle that "all men are created." Of course, at the time of the Declaration, that self-evident truth was honored in the breach as much as in reality. Jefferson and many other Founding Fathers owned slaves; indentured servants were common; and women were disenfranchised.

However, the principle of equality was so powerful that over time it assaulted and eventually tore down the bulwarks of inequality. Even before the nation was born, many Founding Fathers railed against the hypocrisy of slavery in light of the self-evident truth that all men were created equal by the Creator. Abolitionists continued this tradition through the antebellum period.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed this principle in the Gettysburg Address when he explained that the nation was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Armed with this, Lincoln and the Union Army eventually liberated the slaves. Likewise, the Radical Republican Congress enacted Reconstruction to affirm the principle of equality.

Yet, the promise of racial equality was quashed with the infamous Tilden-Hayes presidential election of 1876 and the abandonment of Reconstruction thereafter. Not until Martin Luther King Jr., along with many other courageous leaders and foot soldiers, was America forced to more fully confront the legacy of racism.

King's efforts were deeply rooted in equality. Writing from a jail cell in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, he predicted that African-Americans "will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom." He explained that "One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy that were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence."

Inspired by this understanding and the struggles of the civil rights movement, Congress passed a series of civil rights laws; and America has moved -- all too slowly -- to embrace the full ramifications of equality.

As we approach the holiday on Monday, our schools, museums, politicians and the media should reflect on King's achievements during this critical period and pay homage to his indispensable role in making America accountable to equality.

To fulfill his legacy, all of America's citizens and students need to be well versed about equality and continue King's demand that we unequivocally apply it.

For more visit

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Michigan's Republican (GOP) Primary Offers Opportunity to Apply First Principles

Two days from now, Michigan voters will be going to the polls to cast their vote in the presidential primary. Because of the timing of the primary, all of the leading Democrats are boycotting the election. The Republican primary, on the other hand, is a spirited contest drawing major GOP candidates Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee to the state over the last few days. The primary offers voters - many whom are just focusing on the election - an excellent opportunity to evaluate the candidates in light of our First Principles and History.

When evaluating the 2008 presidential candidates, consider whether they understand that too many of our students and voters do not adequately understand our First Principles and History.

Ask whether the candidates understand our First Principles. Do the presidential candidates understand the rule of law, equality, unalienable rights, the Social Compact, and limited government? How will they approach public policy issues in light of those First Principles?

Ask whether the candidates understand the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Gettysburg Address, and the great civil rights movements.

Do the candidates respect key components of American government, such as federalism, enumerated powers, judicial review, separation of powers, and checks and balances?

Do the presidential candidates have a comprehensive understanding of American history, and will they draw upon our rich history when they confront the issues of the day?

Will they support the education, media, holiday, legal, nonprofit, and political reforms America needs to survive?

To help you better evaluate the candidates, review my website's more elaborate review of whether the Next President Will Save America at

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Special Guest Post by Tom Watkins: You Are a "Good Man" Judge Warren

He is a conservative and compassionate Republican and I am a reform-minded Democrat. He cast a deciding vote to help propel me into a major statewide policy role and I spoke at his investiture to become a circuit court judge. We come at public policy issues from a different slant, yet on a number of issues; especially debates dealing with kids, we remarkably end up at a similar space.

We have learned that we can disagree, and do so often but we do not need to be disagreeable and in fact can and are friends. We both wish there was more of this behavior taking place in our state and nations capital today.

What brings us together is a sense of obligation to make government work as effectively and efficiently as we can while upholding our democratic principles and ideals. We both understand and have played politics but know when and how to come together for the common good of our state and nation.

I am speaking about Oakland County Circurt Judge, and former state board of education member, Michael David Warren, Jr. Judge Warren is some one I respect and pay the highest compliment when I call him a "good man."

Judge Warren is a patriot and someone who loves this country and the principles and ideals on which this land of our was founded. The judge does not simply think deep thoughts he has put his thoughts into action in his new book: "America's Survival Guide, How to Stop America's Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History."

The book was published on Constitution Day - the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution (September 17, 2007) - by Mill City Press and cost $15.99. You can order the book at or by going to the Judges Web site:

The book is as I describe it in on the dust jacket is "A comprehensive tour de force of what is going wrong with our republic and how to make it right. It does not matter if you come from the ideological left, right or straight-down the middle - this book is worth reading if you love America and cherish our freedom." It is a "one stop, full-service" primer to raise the alarm about the impending suicide of America and to help stop it.

In "America's Survival Guide," Warren describes how America is slowly committing suicide. He believes that contrary to popular wisdom, the most serious threat to America does not spring from overseas adversaries. The threat is from within. As the famous cartoon character, Pogo once declared: "We have met the enemy and it is us!" America's history and First Principles have been cast aside and denigrated by the public, educators, mainstream media, legal profession, and politicians. According to Warren, this state of affairs imperils the country's very survival; and these are self-inflicted wounds - the very definition of suicide. This is a must read book for everyone that is concerned about the direction our nation is moving today.
Besides being an author, Michael Warren is also a leading voice regarding social studies reform. As a sitting judge, former member of the Michigan State Board of Education, and board member of several education nonprofit organizations (including the Michigan Center for Civic Education and the Michigan Council on Economics Education) he is a forceful and powerful advocate in support of preserving America unique ideals.

He received national exposure when he challenged the Michigan Department of Education's attempt to excise the words "America" and "American" from the classroom. He has written extensively about education reform and the importance of American history and civics.

It has been written that those that forget history are doomed to repeat it. Judge Warren is a strong advocate to assure that American's history is not going to be forgotten on his watch.
No, we do not agree on everything. Yet as my first boss would often remind me, "if we both agreed on everything - one of us would not be necessary."

As I think of our relationship, I think we should find a way to bottle it and sell to the ultra partisan crowd in Lansing that seem to spend more time on "political gottcha" than solving our collective problems. Perhaps some one will read this column and be compelled to read the Judges book: "America's Survival Guide," and give it to all the members in the Executive and Legislative branches of government both in Lansing and Washington.

Read Judge Warren's book, "America's Survival Guide, How to Stop America's Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History." Remember, if you don't know your history or where you are going - any path will take you there.