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Professor Richard Millsap (retired) Political Science Home Page

Excellence in Teaching award 2013 and Excellence in Teaching award nominee 2003 

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“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” Horace Mann


 Atomic Clock Time Set (most accurate on earth - need current JAVA)     US Naval Observatory Master Clock time set      National Park Vacation Lands in America  


To begin to understand America and its government and what we stand for, all Americans must read and study the following documents rated as the greatest essays on American democracy. This is knowledge that will not be gained in one day, one month or one year, but will take a lifetime of careful study from time to time to refresh your memory. They will help you to be more thoughtful and to be more informed about America and its government. Without studying these greatest documents on democracy from a position of academic search for truth - using constitution authors’ original intent (understanding they were not gods but pragmatic compromisers) and using Supreme Court decisions and Congress statutes that refine meaning - your views of American democracy will be like a rudderless sail boat.


- Study Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America,

 - Study the USA Federalist Papers selling why new USA constitution needed after American Revolution and what it would do

 - Study the USA President Jefferson's Declaration of Independence from United Kingdom

- Study the USA Constitution

- Study the Bill of Rights

 - Study USA President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address 11/19/1863

-  Study USA President Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address 3/4/1865

 - Study USA President Grant's Memoirs - the hero who saved the USA in the civil war


Photo by Varun Mallappadi from India, who was UTA student body president


“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Winston Churchill quote from a speech made to the House of Commons on 11 November 1947. Democracy is a work in progress and we are improving.  Aristotle - the Greek philosopher of 2400 years ago, stated: "All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth."


The new POTUS will nominate one or more Supreme Court justices and many lower level federal judges who are confirmed by the Senate for LIFE.  Important because they enforce the meaning of the Constitution, which is the well spring or foundation of all in America, as well as other law.  If NFL officials were partisans slanting decisions for the team they liked rather than enforcing “rules of the game,” lots of fans would be very upset and would view the officials as corrupt and would not have faith in their decisions and the game.  Instead, they are respected arbiters of the “rule of game law,” and when they make mistakes, the appeals process is the coach’s challenge and official instant replay.  Politics is a much more serious game and can be either fair or unfair.  Our federal court judges should be more like NFL officials to increase faith in government by ensuring when cases are brought to federal courtrooms, decisions will not be slanted or predetermined by partisan judge appointees on the radical extreme right or left.  Listen to this podcast interview of Supreme Court Justice Breyer on rule of law.  Listen to former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, another role model and Reagan appointee, who discusses the history of the court Here NPR Fresh Air interviews her  She also laments how extraordinarily uninformed many Americans are about civics/government/history.  That is dangerous for democracy.  3/4s of Americans can name an American Idol judge but cannot name the 3 branches of government.  She said in over half the states, government education is not required in high school.  In some colleges it is required.  At UTA two years of language is required while only one year of government.  If citizenship is so important, I believe we have to start that education in elementary school and accelerate through all grade levels and at least have 2 years of college political science focusing on how government works or doesn't and how governments can be changed for the better.  Afterall, we have changed dramatically since 1789 and we will change in the future - the question is whether it will be for the better. See Justice O'Connor's civics website trying to educate the nation.  Khan Academy


© 2017 Prof. Richard Millsap (retired)
The University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Political Science, Box 19539, Arlington, Texas 76019-0539
Phone (817) 272-2991

This site was last updated 06/28/17


Photo of Professor Millsap when a ranger leading National Geographic on a climb to a mountain summit. Photo by Lowell Georgia, National Geographic




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Speaker of the US House of Representatives Jim Wright, retired colonel USAF, decorated WWII hero, my boss and my friend
























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