-Thomas Jefferson

“Earn this – earn it.” These were the last words of Capt. John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) to Pvt. James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon) at the conclusion of Saving Private Ryan, the 1998 WWII film directed by Steven Spielberg.

Most of us spend an entire lifetime striving to improve the lot of our family. Most of us have never experienced the whistle of bullets on a battlefield. And, most of us have never experienced the fear and uncertainty of waiting at home while our spouse fights in a foreign land to preserve freedom for our children. Let’s face it. Most of us have not “Earned” the freedom we have. It has been purchased by the blood of the Capt. John H. Millers of past and present.

I’m not asking you to sacrifice your life by adding your name to the list of over one million military men and women since the Revolutionary War who have died for your right to pursue happiness. I am asking you to “Earn” your share of freedom by “Learning” something about who we claim to be as a nation – a small price to pay back to our founding fathers and countless heroes who have gone before. Indeed, giving yourself and your family the power of knowledge is no sacrifice at all in comparison.

If you and I do not educate ourselves about our history, our Constitution and our government, we will not be prepared to self-govern. “We, the People” will not be prepared to guide the ship of state as was intended by our form of government and we will “Lose” it all.

As I put this website together, this nation is in a civil war of ideas. If you believe in the principles upon which this great nation was built, the war to preserve them and our Constitution will be far more difficult to win than any war fought with bullets. As Thomas Jefferson said, “A democracy can never be ignorant and free.” In other words, education of the masses is required to preserve freedom in a country where the responsibility for preserving freedom rests with its citizens.

I believe this nation is facing its greatest challenge since our founding. Earn it, Learn it or Lose it. Such a simple concept with such high stakes. Shall we defeat ignorance or be driven by it? ELL Constitution Clubs challenges you to do your part to earn your freedom. Take the ELL journey. Together, we can govern and restore pride in America.

/s/ Tad Armstrong – September, 2010