During a taping of Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record” today, Gene Clem — president of the Southwest Michigan Tea Party Patriots — said that the state’s Tea Party members “will look at ways to teach public school students the origins of the U.S. Constitution.” Clem noted that the Tea Party already holds sessions about the Constitution in public libraries and that the group has “plenty of retirees who could go in as Benjamin Franklin or whatever”:
“What we’re afraid of is individuals really don’t know where liberty, freedom and their rights come from, how the Constitution was written, the pain that went through in the summer of 1787 to write that and get it approved,” Clem said.
Tea Party volunteers are, of course, welcome to teach an accurate version of the Constitution to schoolchildren. Indeed, Michigan’s current social studies standards already require students to learn about the origins of the U.S. Constitution and “Core Democratic Values” — including liberty and patriotism — by third grade. Given the Tea Party’s close association with radical “tenther” views of the Constitution, however, it is unlikely that they wish to provide Michigan children with an accurate constitutional history. Similar attempts have already been made to inject right-wing ideology into public school curriculum. Earlier this year, the right-wing Texas State Board of Education successfully adopted new content for the state’s social studies curriculum, which included more conservatives, more Confederate glorification, and more distortion of progressive viewpoints.