The fake Tocquevillism that John J. Pitney Jr. sought to stamp out in these pages two years ago -- "America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great" -- not only lives on, it metastasizes. Earlier this year, the Christian Defense Fund published One Nation Under God -- according to the cover, a compilation of "powerful statements by America's Founding Fathers on the crucial role of the Christian faith in building our great nation." The introduction argues that American students are routinely subjected to the mistaken liberal belief that the Constitution and America's founding both call for strict separation of church and state. The book's goal is to set the record straight, and in certain respects it does. But it also adds to the confusion, providing a long version of the infamous fake Tocqueville quote on page 13. "I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors . . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
For its part, THE SCRAPBOOK fears that an America that persists in putting the words it wants to hear into the mouth of a dead French nobleman will soon cease to be great.