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Lewis Morris / Feb. 4, 2021

1776 vs. 1619

The two projects pit an honest look at history against a revisionist race-based narrative.

When President Joe Biden terminated the 1776 Commission by executive order, it was assumed that was the sad end of a brief experiment in true historical reflection on America’s founding. The commission and its January 18, 2021, report were unceremoniously scrubbed from the White House website barely an hour after “Mr. Unity” took office.

The 1776 Commission isn’t dead yet, though — not if people continue to spread the word. The commission’s final report is still available around the Internet, including on the Trump White House archives site and at other sites associated with commission members.

Several major media players and their leftist allies in academia assailed the 1776 Report as pseudo-history. Even the Wikipedia page on the commission reads like a hit job, repeating the erroneous and deceitful leftist talking points about the report without challenge.

The New York Times’s reporting is particularly laughable. The paper accuses the 1776 Commission and its subsequent report of being devoid of scholarly merit with no qualified historical experts. It’s almost as if the Times were writing about its own 1619 Project, that Pulitzer Prize-winning leftist screed that sought to recast the founding of America as a slaveocracy.

The 1619 Project took a lot of heat from the academic community for its fast and loose portrayal of history as written by a group of political writers and polemicists with an obvious ax to grind with the American Republic. This public drubbing forced project leader Nikole Hannah-Jones and company to quietly retool some essays behind the scenes, though not enough to remake the project into a respectable work of scholarship. Just the same, the Times received accolades from its pals in media and academia, and its work was ushered into classrooms around the country to indoctrinate our children.

Sadly, it’s to be expected that this country’s top-heavy, bureaucratic, union-controlled, left-leaning public education system would choose the 1619 worldview over the 1776 Report. It would seem as if the 1619 Project has defeated the 1776 Report, leaving our children wide open to propaganda that preaches identity politics over social cohesion and seeks to besmirch the memory and work of America’s Founders.

There is more at stake here than just two competing schools of thought about America’s founding. The 1619 Project relies on an interpretation of history that is conjured up in the imagination of people who believe in the power of the state over the individual. It’s not the work of scholarship, but a propaganda narrative that rejects the basis for America as a nation of laws in which the power of the government rests with the consent of the governed. It magnifies sins and flaws to the point of false caricature.

Unlike the 1619 Project, the 1776 Report is not an attempt to rewrite history, and it does not pretend to be the last word on the subject. Instead, it recognizes that America’s founding was unique in world history at the time, and not all that common today. The report also examines the current divide in our country with regard to how we view our past and how we see our future. It warns against the forces that endanger our Republic like progressivism, radicalism, and identity politics — forces that happen to be at work in the 1619 Project.

The 1776 Report should not be allowed to drift into obscurity. People should read it and share it. At only 20 pages, with another 20 for appendices, it’s a relatively brief read. And unlike the 1619 Project, it doesn’t push lies to steer your thinking a certain way. But it does ask you to keep an open mind, which is not something the Left likes people to do.

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