Just a few days before leaving office, President Trump released his much-anticipated 1776 Commission Report. The report promised to counter Cultural Marxist indoctrination in our schools and offer a serious alternative to the poison of the 1619 Project. Instead, it amounted to nothing more than typical Conservative Inc. tripe.
Robert Hampton at Counter-Currents offers a solid analysis of this failed challenge to leftist historiography [Trump’s Cornball American History, by Robert Hampton, Counter-Currents, January 22, 2021]. Here are some of the major errors he finds with the report:
The 1776 Report denies an ethnic or cultural basis to America’s founders.
“They were neither wholly English nor wholly Protestant nor wholly Christian,” the report claims. “Some other basis would have to be found and asserted to bind the new people together and to which they would remain attached if they were to remain a people. That basis was the assertion of universal and eternal principles of justice and political legitimacy.”
Yes, the 1776 Report’s grand proposal is that America was founded on “ideas” — something conservatives and liberals have repeated ad nauseam since World War II. According to the report, our key founding principle is equality. The 1619 Project makes the same claim, except the New York Times’ series acknowledges the racialism of the founders. The 1776 Report pretends the Founders were colorblind conservatives.
The report blames minority identity politics on pro-white Democrats from the past. Stephen A. Douglas and John C. Calhoun, in particular, are excoriated because they acknowledged America was built by white men and race is real. The report says of Calhoun:
Rejecting America’s common political identity that follows from the Declaration’s principles, he argued that the American polity was not an actual community at all but was reducible only to diverse majority and minority groups. Calhoun saw these groups as more or less permanent, slowly evolving products of their race and particular historical circumstances.
The report also celebrates the philandering plagiarist Martin Luther King as an equivalent to the Founders and falsely argues he did not support minority identity politics.
This goofiness did not save the 1776 report from being savaged in the media [Trump administration issues racist school curriculum report on MLK day, by Maegan Vazquez, CNN, January 18, 2021].
The 1776 commission was typical Con Inc. nonsense because it was written by Con Inc. apparatchiks from Hillsdale College, Heritage Foundation, and the Claremont Institute.
Hampton rightly concludes: “Conservatives would do much better to emphasize the founding people rather than supposed founding principles. They were white men, primarily British, fighting for their independence from a foreign power.”
When will Con Inc. learn to acknowledge the historic American nation and stop pretending our nation arose out of thin air?