America is slowly committing suicide. Contrary to popular wisdom, the most serious threat to America does not spring from overseas adversaries, but from within. Let there be no mistake — we may be fighting a hot war against militant Islamic terrorists today, but there is also a cold war raging, here and now, for the hearts and minds of our citizens — and we are losing.

There is overwhelming evidence of our ignorance and disdain of American history, civics and First Principles. This crisis faces the K-12 system, higher education, the general public, media and political class. Many studies reveal that our K-12 students, college students and the general public lack a basic understanding of our system of free government.

In Michigan, history and civics has taken a back seat in education. An increased emphasis on math and science (which is needed) has come at the expense of the social studies. There are efforts to eliminate civics and history testing in high school and time on task is being reduced. Too many of our educators are ill equipped to teach history and civics.

Yet, as a free people, we are fools to think that our free society will survive if we are ignorant of, or attack, what preserves our liberties. As a republic, the people are the ultimate guardians of their own freedom — and we are abdicating that responsibility. And these are self-inflicted wounds — the very definition of suicide.

We are a nation that was founded on the self-evident truths that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; and that governments are instituted by the people to protect those unalienable rights. These First Principles are the basis of our freedom.

As our founding history reveals, these First Principles were the underlying cause of the American Revolution and became the foundation for the Federal Constitution. These First Principles also formed the basis of the struggle for racial and gender equality.

To face this crisis Michigan should adopt an American Freedom Curriculum, in which American history and civics are taught every year in K-12 (as opposed to skipping several grades at a time). Our teacher preparation institutions should be reformed, so that all teachers are well versed in our history and First Principles. By implementing these reforms, we can stop ourselves from drinking collective hemlock.

Please join me in fighting to preserve the greatest beacon of liberty the world has ever known.

Michael Warren has served as an Oakland County circuit court judge since 2002. He served as a member of the Michigan State Board of Education from 1999-2002, is a member of the Michigan Center for Civic Education and author of "America’s Survival Guide, How to Stop America’s Impending Suicide by Reclaiming our First Principles and History," available at www.americassurvivalguide.com.