Maybe you listen to mainstream talk radio, and if you do, that’s okay. I sometimes do, too. But I would not skip a great podcast to do so. “Free radio” has its advantages, but you have to listen to nearly 20 minutes of commercials for a one hour show. I notice commercials, particularly the recent trend to advertise podcasts on the radio. Seems odd, but it is happening.

One set of commercials always stands out to me, those by Hilldale College called the “Constitution Minute.” They are well produced, slick, and engaging…though you have to be careful with how they frame the document.

That has to do with Hillsdale President Larry Arn.

Arn published a little book in 2012 entitled The Founders’ Key where he made the (unoriginal) claim that the principles of American government, even the Constitution, are found in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, namely the proposition that “all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights….”

And of course St. Abraham connected the dots with his pithy Gettysburg Address.

Not true.

The defining principle of American government is federalism. Jefferson himself said that that famous phrase from the Declaration was never intended to be anything more than the expression of his mind at the time.

But we can find part of the “key” to American government in the last paragraph of the Declaration. Arn–and Lincoln–ignored the fact that Jefferson declared the “Free and Independent States” to be the foundation of the American system.

“States” was a conscious word choice, like the “State of Great Britain” as Jefferson called it. So the State of Virginia and the State of Great Britain were equal.

You won’t hear that from the mainstream educational establishment, even Larry Arn.

I discuss this in Episode 91 of The Brion McClanahan Show.


I would be remiss if I didn’t blame Hamilton for skewing our perception of the powers of the general government. Get on the bandwagon and get some goodies. and #blamehamilton.

Brion McClanahan
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