George E. Lowe Helps Save Public Education, Pt. 2
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 10:23:31 AM EST
[here's part 1] George E. Lowe describes the genesis of "A Nation a Risk", which Lowe describes as a successful bureaucratic infighting attempt, on the part of public education's supporters in the Reagan Administration's Department of Education, to prevent Christian right movement conservatives within the Reagan Administration from implementing their plans to destroy public education in America. Lowe served in the first Reagan Administration as T. H. Bell's "nonpolitical" speech writer. The term "nonpolitical" meant that Lowe was not a Republican appointee - in fact Lowe was secretly a Democrat who had gotten into the administration due to being registered as a political independent and being vouched for by a moderate Republican from the Nixon Administration.

In the first two minutes George Lowe describes the cancellation, which Lowe suspects came from James Baker's office, of a planned T. H. Bell speech at Bob Jones University (which at the time had a ban on interracial dating) that Lowe had written - at the last minute, as Lowe describes, "STOP STOP STOP.. The White House has decided Bell shouldn't go... CANCEL CANCEL".

As Lowe describes how his speech, never given, was based around a core of values that Lowe, trained as an historian, identified as what had formed the core of "traditional American values" and according to Lowe his speech, which was shelved, was appropriated by the Christian right.

"The speech was canceled, I put it away and it was forgotten. Except, the Christian right discovered it and said 'Oh, this is great - we're now going to now use and organize around Traditional American Values, and let anyone contradict us and they'll be un-American. And we're in the glory, the great glory now because we can use American history against our enemies."

At approximately 2:00 into this 7-minute segment, part 2 of my interview with Lowe which I did in May, 2008, George E. Lowe explains the genesis of "A Nation at Risk" as an internecine ideological fightback, under T.H. Bell, to save American Public Education from the Christian right.

As Lowe narrates, Bell instructed Lowe to add material, into the speech Bell was to give - in which the "A Nation at Risk" was to be announced, that was not cleared by the Reagan Christian right movement conservatives. In fact, explains Lowe, he and Bell hid the speech from its would-be enemies in the Reagan administration, and Lowe personally supervised printing of a only very limited numbers of copies of the speech, after which T. H. Bell was hustled onto a plane, to fly off to his appointed speech before hostile members of the administration could get their hands on the final speech version.

According to George Lowe, he personally wrote the speech that launched A Nation at Risk", which effectively committed the Reagan Administration to strong support of public education.

James Baker plays a key role as one of the heroes in this tale, backing T. H. Bell's covert battle against Reagan's Christian right conservatives:

"We then put out "America at Risk", the great pamphlet that changed the whole name of the game - and we even convinced Jim Baker to let Ronald Reagan run, in his second term, on education!... What happened was, before it was formally announced, Bell was called over to the White House [by] Jim Baker, [who] said 'Well, let's see this report, let's see the speech', and so i wrote the speech launching it - I made a very tough speech, because I wanted to save American Public Education - and so I put in stuff that I knew the White House would knock out. You always do that as a speech writer - you want to see what you can get through the system. In fact, that's the only satisfaction you get, because you get no respect as a speech writer. You get no respect at all.

But, anyway, Bell went over there and Jim Baker made a few changes [to Lowe's speech]. Now, Bell comes back, gives me the changes and says 'Put these in' and then Anne Graham, from [The White House Office of] Public Affairs says, 'We want to see the completed speech'. [as Lowe has previously described, Graham was one of the Christian right movement conservatives who had been tasked with keeping an eye on Bell's Dept. of Education, which the Christian right was plotting to do away with eventually]

And what I did was, I made the changes immediately with Bell over my shoulder and we ran them off, 50 copies, and didn't put it on the wire and kept them only to Bell and we put Bell on the speech with the speeches so that he could officially launch "A Nation at Risk" with the blessings of the Reagan Administration and right then and there Secretary Bell saved education from the Christian right. Because it then was given out, becomes a tremendous hit, everyone thinks it was a great report - which it was and it should be followed today - and Jim Baker was so pleased, that he said 'Well, we're going to have Reagan run around the country now speaking about education!'. Which he did and that was how we got 'Morning in America' and the great landslide in 1984."




Display:

WWW Talk To Action


The President's Faith: A Matter Of Choice, Not Compulsion
Today President Barack Obama, who is the world's worst Muslim - he drinks alcohol and eats bacon - will do something many Muslims do......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Voting For Jesus?: Candidates Seek To Outdo One Another With Religiosity
The Iowa caucuses are today, and, despite what you may have heard, Jesus Christ is not appearing on the ballot.Several of his close friends......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Conventional Wisdom Watch: Getting it Wrong about the Religious Right
It is a case of the more things change the more things stay the same. I wrote a short post in 2008 about how......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Club Fight: Tenn. Residents Complain About High School's Gay-Straight Alliance
At public schools around the country, students, mostly high schoolers, are forming Gay-Straight Alliance clubs. Fundamentalist Christians often freak out over the existence of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Zionism and Eschatology
The church I attend just had a member place a display at the back of a Sunday morning Bible class.  The display called for......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Save The Day: Celebrating Real Religious Freedom
Saturday is Religious Freedom Day. While it's not one of our most well-known or popular holidays, Religious Freedom Day shouldn't be overlooked. Our country......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Warning of Theocratic Zones of Control
This week, I published a report -- months in the making --  titled, When Exemption is the Rule: The Religious Freedom Strategy of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Moore Grandstanding: Ala. Chief Justice Tries Again To Block Marriage Equality
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore last week tried, once again, to block marriage equality in that state.There is no case pending before......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Mullarkey Share the 2015 Coughlin Award!
Yes, folks it's that time of the year again. It's time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As it is every......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
All Quiet on the War on Christmas Front
It is time for my annual response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a War on Christmas.......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Christian Right: Inviting Cruz or Trump to Tea?
With Republican candidate Ben Carson dropping like a stone in a pool of confusion, who gets invited to the tea party? Tea Party activists......
By Chip Berlet (2 comments)
A Plethora Of Pulpit Politicking Problems?: Far-Right Pastors Prepare For Electoral Bids
The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Trump: An Apocalyptic Messenger for the Christian Right
We stand in the overflow crowd of some 300 in the small town of Tyngsborough near the New Hampshire border. Several thousand people are......
By Chip Berlet (3 comments)
Trump's Demagoguery Threatens Democracy Itself
Now is the time for blunt talk. Donald Trump is a dangerous demagogue generating "scripted violence." Trumpism threatens not just the First Amendment but......
By Chip Berlet (3 comments)
Irony Implosion: Pat Robertson Opposes Politics Masquerading As Religion
TV preacher Pat Robertson and I go way back. In 1996, I wrote a book about him, and I've followed his career since.I long......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (4 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (1 comment)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (6 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.