Trump’s “1776 Commission” issued its report today. There’s only one word to describe it: “YIKES!”
The phrase “You can’t make this up” has been used, perhaps even over-used, during the era of Trump. Today, with my “Countdown to Trump’s Last Day” clock reading 0 days, 23 hours, one minute and 37 seconds, I’ve run into something that actually is made up: the 1776 Commission’s final report.
For those of you unaware of the Commission, according to the New York Times, “the 18-member commission — which includes no professional historians but a number of conservative activists, politicians and intellectuals — was formed by Donald Trump in the heat of his re-election campaign in September, as he cast himself as a defender of traditional American heritage against ‘radical’ liberals. Not previously known for his interest in American history or education, Mr. Trump insisted that the nation’s schools had been infiltrated by anti-American thought and required a new ‘pro-American’ curriculum.”
The White House’s released the Commission’s report, which, the Times reports, “was produced in just four months after it was created and less than a month after Mr. Trump publicly announced its members. By contrast, a commission on race created by President Bill Clinton in June 1997 issued its first report 15 months later.”
The WH release, under the headline,
1776 Commission Takes Historic and Scholarly Step to Restore Understanding of the Greatness of the American Founding,
reads in part:
1776 Commission—comprised of some of America’s most distinguished scholars and historians—has released a report presenting a definitive chronicle of the American founding, a powerful description of the effect the principles of the Declaration of Independence have had on this Nation’s history, and a dispositive rebuttal of reckless “re-education” attempts that seek to reframe American history around the idea that the United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one.
Some of America’s most distinguished scholars and historians on the Commission include:
- Larry P. Arnn, a Trump ally and the president of the conservative Hillsdale College ;
- Carol M. Swain, a prominent Black conservative and former Vanderbilt University law professor;
- Brooke Rollins, who earned a B.S. in agricultural development from Texas A&M and is a former Cotton Bowl Queen;
- Victor Davis Hanson, an expert in classics;
- Phil Bryant, Mississippi’s Republican former governor;
- John Gibbs, who received a computer science degree from Stanford University;
- Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems;
- Ned Ryun, the founder and CEO of American Majority, a conservative organization that identifies and trains candidates and activists who will become involved in local government, school district governance, or state legislatures;
- Charlie Kirk, a Wheeling High School (Illinois) graduate who has taken part-time online classes at The King’s College and was taking classes at Harper College, a community college near Chicago, but dropped out in 2015 to pursue conservative activism;
- Peter Kirsanow, a partner with the law firm of Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, working within its Labor & Employment Practice Group;
- Charles Kesler, the editor of the conservative publication The Claremont Review of Books;
- Thomas Lindsay, a political scientist and member of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank;
- Michael Farris, an attorney and founder of Patrick Henry College a Christian institution with the mission of training students through a classical liberal arts curriculum and apprenticeship methodology to impact the world for Christ and for Liberty; and
- Bob McEwen, a former Ohio Congressman who earned a BA in Business Administration and left THE Ohio State University law school after one year.
Apparently Doris Kearns Goodwin, Joseph Ellis, David McCullough, Michael Beschloss and Jon Meacham weren’t available.
Among the conclusions of this esteemed panel (the full report can be read here: (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/1776-commission-takes-historic-scholarly-step-restore-understanding-greatness-american-founding/)
- American progressives equate with European fascists;
- It is “untrue” that the Founding Fathers were hypocrites for enslaving people while calling for equality in the nation’s founding documents;
- America is ‘the most just and glorious country in all of human history’ but anti-Americans are disregarding this great patriotic truth;
- Fascism first arose in Italy under the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, largely in response to the rise of Bolshevism in Russia. Like the Progressives, Mussolini sought to centralize power under the management of so-called experts;
- Students must learn about our founding principles and the character necessary to live out those principles. This includes restoring patriotic education that teaches the truth about America. That doesn’t mean ignoring the faults in our past, but rather viewing our history clearly and wholly, with reverence and love.
In sum, according to a CNN analysis:
- The 45-page report reads in places like a right-wing manifesto: It makes excuses for slavery and the Three-fifths Compromise that declared slaves counted as less than full humans. It decries socialism and “identity politics,” celebrates the right to bear arms and calls the anti-abortion movement one of the nation’s “great reforms.”
- The report notably defends the country’s Founding Fathers, who owned slaves, arguing that slavery was not “a uniquely American evil” and urging that “the institution be seen in a much broader perspective.”
- It concludes that universities are “hotbeds of anti-Americanism, libel and censorship,” and warns against any teaching that “shames Americans by highlighting only the sins of their ancestors and teaches claims of systemic racism.” It also recommends K-12 schools “reject any curriculum” that demeans “America’s heritage.”
One favor, dear readers. As you read the report, please let me know if you’re hearing (and seeing) this in the background, or if it’s just me. If just me, I need to alert my ENT (or my therapist).