The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is taking its message of teaching freedom to the airwaves through a new exclusive syndicated radio segment on the Dan Proft Show.
In December 2020, TFAS began collaborating with TFAS alumnus Dan Proft ’93 on his radio show to showcase how TFAS is promoting the ideas of limited government, free market economics and honorable leadership. Continuing in 2021, Proft and a special TFAS guest will discuss through weekly segments the many ways TFAS is equipping young leaders to champion these ideas across the country and throughout the world.
The first three segments in the series featured TFAS president Roger Ream ’76, who shared the importance of TFAS’s mission. Proft’s show airs on more than 60 stations nationwide, including online platforms, reaching listeners from Pittsburgh to Honolulu.
Promoting Ethical Journalism
In the first segment, which aired on Dec. 8, Ream and Proft discussed how TFAS educates aspiring journalists. In the face of the growing weaponization of free speech, an increase in agenda-setting media, and the lack of proper education in journalism, TFAS provides young journalists with the tools necessary to discern the facts, report with objectivity, think critically, and remain intellectually curious.
TFAS believes that providing journalists with a strong knowledge base in history, current events, culture, and the great ideas of our civilization are as important as writing and editing in the journalistic field. Ream explained that this is why TFAS created programs for college students and young professionals to learn ethics and economics. This foundation gives students a better understanding of moral reporting and prepares them to become great journalists.
Ream and Proft concluded this episode’s discussion with a reflection on the late Walter Williams and his impact on the world of economics.
He just had a great way of communicating economics. He was very empirically driven, but he also had very strong moral principles. He really believed in our Constitution and said that it’s our rule book.” – Roger Ream ’76
“He just had a great way of communicating economics,” Ream shared. “He was very empirically driven, but he also had very strong moral principles. He really believed in our Constitution and said that it’s our rule book.”
Teaching America’s Founding Principles
Ream’s second segment aired on Dec. 15, national Bill of Rights Day. In this episode, Ream and Proft discussed the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which outline the American people’s basic rights and protect them from government encroachment. Ream also introduced TFAS’s Public Policy Fellowship program, which teaches young professionals about America’s founding principles and how to protect them in the present day.
Explaining the purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Ream quoted TFAS lecturer Randy Barnett who said, “Our Constitution is the document that governs those who govern us.” Ream further explained that the Bill of Rights preserves our rights against infringement by the government. Ream explains that this is “why we started this Public Policy Fellows program…to make sure that young professionals in leadership positions understand our founding principles, which are under attack.”
Through a rigorous curriculum and monthly dialogue, TFAS Public Policy Fellows are exploring the “Experiment in Self-Government.” TFAS guides 15-20 young leaders each year through a series of workshops and seminars on the American Founding. Over the course of the Fellowship, TFAS provides Fellows with the tools to achieve their potential and change the world by promoting liberty in their careers.
Embracing Free Speech
On Jan. 4, Ream and Proft examined free speech and intellectual diversity. The pair debated the current state of affairs on college campuses where free speech is continually censored. Even the idea of America as a great nation is challenged by young adults these days. To counter this harmful culture, TFAS programs welcome young leaders from around the world and encourage them to maintain civil and respectful conversation, observe new opinions with an open mind, and ask questions to understand different perspectives.
It’s a shame that the current generation seems to be so triggered by someone expressing a viewpoint that they object to.” – Roger Ream ’76
Ream discussed the free speech movement at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s, which he believes helped shape essential dialogue in the U.S.
“It aimed to bring in speakers from all over the spectrum to let their voices be heard,” Ream shared. “It’s a shame that the current generation seems to be so triggered by someone expressing a viewpoint that they object to.”
This phenomena of imposing limits on free speech is not limited to university campuses, which is why TFAS programs impact both college students and young professionals alike. Ream shared how TFAS’s programs have a strong emphasis on free speech, challenging conversations and learning how to respond respectfully to contrasting opinions.
Dan Proft will continue to host more special TFAS guests in the coming weeks, so tune in each Tuesday to learn more about how TFAS is teaching freedom. Check back here weekly as new segments are released.