On November 2, President Donald Trump issused an executive order establishing the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission.
Originally announced on September 17 at the White House Conference on American History at the National Archives, the 1776 Commission is a direct response to the New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project, which declares that American history began 400 years ago with the introduction of slaves rather than with the Declaration of Independence, and was founded upon the principles of racism and conquest instead of freedom and opportunity.
President Trump remarked that the Commission would “defend the legacy of America’s founding, the virtue of America’s heroes, and the nobility of the American character.” And it could not come at a better time, as mobs of people in America’s cities are destroying historic monuments and statues and children in classrooms across America are being taught to be ashamed rather than proud of their country’s history.
This didn’t happen overnight.
Over decades, liberals assumed positions of power and influence within our cultural institutions –- academia, publishing, the arts, journalism and entertainment. More recently, this influence has crept into corporations and professional sports. But it’s most onerous effect has been in education. It has produced a generation of young people who know little to nothing about civics and American history except through a negative lens. For example, the accomplishments of Founding Fathers such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are discounted because they were slave owners during a time when slavery was a widely accepted custom. The story about how the pioneers settled the Western United States emphasizes theft of land from Indians rather than balancing it with how pioneers struggled to settle land and build America into the economic powerhouse.
There is a very real threat among the states to abolish the Electoral College. And so many supporters of this extreme threat to our republic, due to lack of proper civics instruction, understand why it exists in the first place.
History is both fascinating and instructive. In the case of America, it reveals the rich complexities and characters who succeed in building our nation despite the odds - and their all-too-human frailties. Now dominated by woke culture, the study of history has become a very dull subject with scolding overtones. Its application of today’s standards to historic customs, and its emphasis on grievances rather than facts, does a disservice to students of history and their ability to apply its lessons. No wonder history majors are so few and far between these days.
The 1776 Commission aims to encourage schools to teach history and civics from a balanced perspective in which America, for all its faults, is still seen as a remarkable nation that has produced true heroes among its statesmen, military leaders, businessmen, scientists, artists, athletes, and innovators.
While the federal government cannot legally determine what can and cannot be taught in schools, it can use its fiscal discretion when it comes to educational funding. With that in mind, legislation introduced by Representatives Ken Buck (R-CO) and Rich Allen (R-GA) and by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) take this a step further by denying any schools federal funding if it uses the 1619 Project’s materials.
If we want to preserve our freedom, our republic, and the unique story that it is America, we must reclaim the culture. President Trump’s creation of the 1776 Commission is a big step in the right direction.
Read President Trump's Executive Order >>