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The Five Thousand Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen: A Synopsis

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

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America was an Exceptional Nation

The list of achievements by Americans in our first 200 years staggers the mind. Free market economics provided the foundation. The average life span doubled in America. American achievements affected people worldwide as we shared our inventions, and our political and economic ideas were emulated. We have only been able to help so many because of our accomplishments as a people. Where would the world be without America?

Now, we have lost our way. We punish the producers and reward the lazy. We created an entitlement mentality and a victim mentality. Our country is plagued by massive sins, massive debts, and an idolatrous celebrity culture as we entertain ourselves to death. Half our national budget is now transfer payments from taxpayers to wards of the state.

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America was Founded on Anglo-Saxon Principles

America was founded on Anglo-Saxon principles: All people in positions of power to be elected; all decisions require the consent of the people; law comes from Natural Law, which comes from God Almighty. Four crimes were considered crimes against everybody: Treason, cowardice, desertion, and homosexual acts. We owe a duty to God, family, and country.

Problems should be solved by individuals, families, and local communities. State governments can solve problems of too broad a scope for them to handle. The federal government is the last resort.

Americans became the first free people in world history. Federal powers are to be few and defined, according to James Madison, and the powers of each state are to be numerous and indefinite. The idea: To keep as much power as close to the people as possible.

It was considered immoral for one generation to pass on its debts to the next. The government, Jefferson said, "is unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and we are morally bound to pay them ourselves."

Virtue must be learned, and therefore it must be taught—cultivated in homes, churches, and schools. Education was to teach the Christian Faith, Christian morals, and knowledge. When the Constitution was written, seven states of the original 13 had official state religions. The First Amendment constrained the federal government from taking the side of any denomination. The whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state governments," declared Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in 1858.

Everybody knows that he is something and that something cannot be produced by nothing. Whatever created man and the universe had to be incredibly superior to his creation: GOD (Anglo-Saxon for the ultimate good.)

Since God created Man in His image, God is a thinker, and He loves, and like us, he has a sense of right and wrong. ‘In God We Trust’ has been our motto since the founding. Before court testimony or congressional hearings, we take an oath and swear to God we will tell the truth.

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All Men Are Created Equal

‘All Men Are Created Equal’ means they are equal the day they are born. Equal before God, who will judge each person equally according to their actions and thoughts—and equal in the eyes of the law (the same rules apply to everyone). Individuals are decidedly unequal in physical strength, mental capacity, emotional stability, and scores of other ways. All men should have the same rights, but this in no way means they possess the same faculties and powers, will have a similar influence, or identical property. America attracted tens of millions of immigrants because of freedom and opportunity.

Blacks in other parts of the world could see that their ethnic cousins in America had the highest standard of living of any blacks in the world. In1970, a black high school student in Mississippi had a better opportunity to go to college than a white student in England. Even the black radical Eldridge Cleaver acknowledged: “I would rather be in jail in America than free anywhere else.”

Alexander Hamilton said, “Inequality would exist as long as liberty exists. It would unavoidably result from that liberty itself." Some say we should take from the haves and give to the have-nots and make everybody equal in income, but government gratuities are corrupting and debilitating. Every person is entitled to the protection of their life and property. If your neighbor had two cars and your other neighbor none, should you take one from the former to give to the latter? What about the choices they made? What if the former went through four years of college, worked fifty hours a week, and scrimped and saved? What if the latter only chose to have a job five of the last ten years and blew thousands on dope and booze? Now your neighbor is free to donate one of his cars, but should he be forced to by the government?

Only idiots knock Capitalism. It was capitalists who pooled their money to build factories and purchase complicated machinery and tools to provide millions of jobs that did not exist before and brought men in out of the cotton fields.

The Founders rightly thought America would become a nation dominated by a vast middle class—perhaps 80% of the citizens—with 5% on top and 15% at the bottom. Some would become rich, but because of the Rule of Law, you wouldn't be able to predict who it would be at birth. Everyone would benefit from economic freedom. No one is locked into poverty. Some would prosper more than others because of intelligence, talent, good luck, or inheritance but mostly from determination, hard work, and frugal living.

By 1960, America had become the most prosperous, best educated, most free, most creative, inventive, innovative, and most generous people on Earth for all time.

Government welfare blunts the motivation to work for a living, encourages laziness, and makes you dependent and weak—you lose your job skills as you sit around. Temporary help is fine—not habitual. A person should help himself, then turn to family, then to church, then the community, then to the county, and finally the state. Under no circumstances should the Feds be involved in charity. There is no such constitutional authority.

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God Revealed Divine Law to Man

God revealed Divine Law to Man. No government should contradict God's Law—only protect it. The divine pattern of law for human happiness includes reverence toward God and acknowledging His supremacy over all things. Marriage is sacred; adultery wrong; human life sacred; no lies; no stealing; do not covet; work for what you want; no murder; be honest in your dealings; support law and order; keep the peace; honor and obey parents; honor the elderly; cherish women. And men protect, feed, clothe, and shelter your women and children. Help the helpless—the disabled person, the injured, the sick, the widow, the orphan. Do not participate in vice or promote it. Be morally upright, not filthy, nasty, and evil—support personal and public standards of decency.

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The Greatest Country on Earth

In 1905, 100 people organized the Intercollegiate Socialist Society (ISS) to work toward government ownership or control of all production—farms, factories, mines—and all means of distribution, transportation, and communication. In 1921 it changed its name to ‘The League of Industrial Democracy’ because of all the killings in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)—violence, starvation, torture, concentration camps: And that was for their friends!

ISS members went into politics, the press, publishing, radio, academia, teacher-training colleges, and oddly enough, infiltrated the National Council of Churches. Clarence Darrow, the militant Atheist and the Scopes Monkey Trial lawyer, was one of its members. To them, the Constitution was out of date—obsolete.

The Constitution is there to protect us from abuse by those in authority. It is based on the fact that human nature does not change. Without the right to private property, I could buy some field, spend ten years building a beautiful home, and you could kick me out and move intake the fruits of my labor. People can only take the things that belong to others by force—such as the power of the state. This destroys all incentive. Why would you want to create, invent, or build anything if that only invites someone to take it from you? Your property is an extension of your life, energy, labor, and ingenuity. Abe Lincoln said, "Property is the fruit of labor."

America is the first nation to structure its national economy on the free-market concepts described by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations. There would be no government interference in production, prices, or wages. Prices would be regulated by competition—supply meets demand. Profit means you are operating efficiently. Competition is good—it improves the quality, quantity and lowers costs.

By 1905, America was the wealthiest nation in world history. With 6% of the world's population, it produced half of all the clothes, food, housing, transportation, and communications on Earth.

The greatest threat to prosperity has always been government interference in the economic affairs of private businesses and the public. America became the land of thriving industry, fruitful farms, beautiful cities, and flourishing commerce because its people were free to be prosperous and had a high standard of public morality.

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Progressive Subversion

The Great Depression brought collectivism to America after the Income Tax, and Federal Reserve had paved the way. The Constitution authorizes only Congress to issue and control currency—its responsibility is to make sure money retains its value. Money was to be coined in precious metals. If any paper money was issued, it had to be redeemable in precious metals. The Federal Reserve inflates the economy by printing more money—that is not redeemable for gold or silver.

The courts have no legal power to make law. The bureaucracy has no legal authority to make laws (or regulations, which are laws by another name). Only Congress can make law.

The Feds have massively usurped the power of the states. Before the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, United States senators were appointed by state legislatures for the simple reason that their job was to represent the rights of states in Congress, while the House of Representatives directly represented the citizens of the nation. Now that senators are elected, they are subject to pressure from voters to bring federal funds home; and from lobbyists to influence national policies.

The Constitution only authorizes the federal government for currency, war, peace, foreign commerce, and mail delivery. Centralization destroys liberty because it takes decision-making power far away from the people and into the heads of 'experts' and judges. Volunteerism goes down, as does involvement in community affairs.

James Madison warned about laws “so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

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The Family

The core unit that determines the strength of any society is the family. Therefore, the government at all levels should foster and protect its integrity. The man's role is to protect and provide; the woman's role is to nurture family bonds and family members with wholesomeness. Any action by the government that hurts the family is a threat to society itself.

Just like individuals and families must, governments should live within their means. If you do not have cash for something, you cannot have it. Now we are addicted to goodies. What is needed is not another fix but withdrawal—rehab. Big-spending, high taxes, oppressive regulations, and ruinous debt is killing America. We must cut programs, reduce costs, cut regulations, balance the budget, and pay off our debts.

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Faith and Freedom

Way back in 1765, an American who could not read and write was “as rare as an earthquake,” in the words of John Adams. Meanwhile, only 500,000 of the French were literate out of 24 million.

Religion and morality were deemed necessary for good government and the happiness of humankind. America set the standard for the rest of the world. Morality is "a standard of behavior that distinguishes right from wrong." Religion is the foundation of morality: “A fundamental system of beliefs concerning man’s origin and his relationship to the cosmic universe, as well as his relationship with his fellow man.”

Liberty & Religion—Faith and Freedom united—produced Harmony & Order. America was based on religious principles and Christian values. Government should make no law that opposes Christian morals. The Founders approved of church meetings in public buildings.

Public schools taught the non-denominational 'Five Fundamental Points:' 1) Recognize and worship our Creator who made all things. 2) The Creator revealed a moral code for happy living, not for His sake but our sakes. 3) We will be held responsible for our actions by our Creator. 4) Man lives beyond the grave. 5) We will all face Judgment Day and eternal rewards or punishment.

It wasn’t like they prayed all day in the public schools. They might recite the Lord’s Prayer or say a generic prayer (voluntary for students) such as this one named in the Supreme Court case that erroneously got prayer kicked out of our schools: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.”

In the 1925 Gitlow Case, the Supreme Court, for the first time, granted the federal government supremacy over the rights of heretofore sovereign states. Then in 1940, the Cartwell Case was used against religious liberty. In 1947, the Emerson Case broke down the wall by asserting federal court power to dictate what states could do or not do regarding religious questions. In 1948, the McCollum Case said kids could not be taught religion. So here we are, full of sexual perversions and addicted to narcotics, pornography, and violence; infested by filthy habits, manners, and language, with the family in the toilet.

Daniel Webster said: “If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, and trifle with the injunctions of morality, no man can tell how a sudden catastrophe may overwhelm us.”

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