As we head to Independence Day and a celebration of this nation’s founding, the angry chorus of haters with idle hands and minds gets loud. They prefer we dwell on the nation’s sins and ignore our great progress toward an always more perfect union. No longer just angry academics and activists, the press too has joined the act. It is a reminder that the secular religion that dominates cultural institutions is a religion without grace or forgiveness, perpetually anchored in the grievances of the past.
The New York Times produced its 1619 Project to, in the words of its creator, retell the story of our founding. She claimed it was not to be taken as true fact, but narration.
She recast the United States and its revolution as about the preservation of slavery. Widely criticized by historians across the political perspective, the damage was done and proudly so. Many people who had grievance and needed a story around which to weave their grievance latched on to the false claims.
The fabulists ignored the Northern colonies moving against slavery long before Great Britain did. They ignored the writings of our founders, including Thomas Jefferson, who knew the institution of slavery undermined the words “all men are created equal” and would have to end. They ignored the reparations paid in blood on battlefields across America as white men from the North killed their kin from the South to set slaves free.
Though many people now sing “let us live to make men free” when singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Julia Ward Howe’s original language in 1862 during the Civil War read, “As (Christ) died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.” And so they did. The fabulists of American history would now, to prop up their own revenue from 21st-century grievance, twist those deaths into something else.
Reuters has gotten in on the act. A week before Independence Day, it ran a story tying most living presidents, two Supreme Court Justices, several governors and over 100 legislators to ancestors who owned slaves. Ironically, the only president who did not descend from slave owners is Donald Trump, not Barack Obama.
Undoubtedly, Reuters decided to run this piece in the week before Independence Day, as opposed to during Black History Month or Juneteenth, because its progressive editors want to perpetuate the race-based conversation about America’s founding started by the New York Times’s 1619 Project. In the 1960s, Americans rejected the progressive movement’s “blame America first” ideology, electing Richard Nixon. Then, in 1984, they overwhelmingly reelected Ronald Reagan after witnessing Democrats convene for their presidential convention in San Francisco with a “blame America” chorus that lamented all the world’s ills as our fault.
Sadly, now, some on the Right have taken up the opposite side of the same coin as the progressives. Increasingly, loud voices on the Right ponder the difference between our democratically elected presidents and Vladimir Putin. “How can we say he’s worse?” they wonder. Ironically, many of those on the Right who have lost the ability to distinguish between a monster and an American are the same who saw Jan. 6 as no big deal.
This growing strain of progressive anti-Americanism taken up by the Right solely because they increasingly see America not as a land of opportunity but as a land of “us versus them” will be repudiated by the American voter. 2022 could be a harbinger of worse to come if the Right descends down the progressive Left’s rabbit hole of hating their own country because they do not control the institutions of power.
I say frequently “people are stupid,” but I also never bet against the American public and their wisdom. Progressives and right-wing populists and nationalists intent on rejecting the will of the American voter will be, themselves, rejected. Our Republic rose to defend its ancient freedoms from a monarchy seeking to deny them, then went on to slaughter themselves to end slavery, then rid the world of Nazis. Our American Republic will not suffer fools on the Left or the Right who cannot tell the difference between our always more perfect union and tyrants. Do not bet against America.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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