Like many of you, I'm hoping that Trump's Executive Order establishing a 1776 Commission will be rendered moot sometime within the next 12-2,215 hours. But because, like many of you, I need something to distract me from doomscrolling (and the board of directors is napping), I'm going to go ahead and look at this damn fool executive order. The short form is that this is all empty political hooey, but I'm trying to kill time here.
First, it has to be said that somebody at the White House has a real gift for hamfisted baloney writing. Right of the bat we get the purpose of this EO-- "to better enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776, and, through this, form a more perfect Union." Because he's sure he heard that "more perfect union" thingy in some patriotic program once.
Section 1. Purpose.The American founding envisioned a political order in harmony with the design of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” seeing the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as embodied in and sanctioned by natural law and its traditions.
This radicalized view of American history lacks perspective, obscures virtues, twists motives, ignores or distorts facts, and magnifies flaws, resulting in the truth being concealed and history disfigured. Failing to identify, challenge, and correct this distorted perspective could fray and ultimately erase the bonds that knit our country and culture together.
As these heroes demonstrated, the path to a renewed and confident national unity is through a rediscovery of a shared identity rooted in our founding principles. A loss of national confidence in these principles would place rising generations in jeopardy of a crippling self-doubt that could cause them to abandon faith in the common story that binds us to one another across our differences. Without our common faith in the equal right of every individual American to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, authoritarian visions of government and society could become increasingly alluring alternatives to self-government based on the consent of the people.
Vigorous participation in local government has always been America’s laboratory of liberty and a key to what makes us exceptional. The best way to preserve the story of America’s founding principles is to live it in action by local communities reasserting control of how children receive patriotic education in their schools.