Mount Rushmore monument with George Washington
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Abolishing 1776 Commission will not erase its principles

Samuel Allegri reports for the Epoch Times on recent comments from the head of the now-disbanded federal 1776 Commission.

Dr. Matthew Spalding, a professor of constitutional government and Dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government at Hillsdale College was interviewed by The Epoch Times’ program American Thought Leaders. He was the executive director of the 1776 Commission, created by executive order by former President Donald Trump. …

… The new Biden administration has abolished the 1776 commission, a history-centered, patriotic education program that calls for remembrance of and upholding the nation’s founding principles.

Spalding spoke about the clashing points that juxtapose the New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” and the United States’ founding history, along with the ideological and theological ramifications.

Spalding noted that current popular educational trends are unfair to students because they don’t reflect the true picture of the founding of America. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are regarded as “dusty old documents” rather than honored documents that hold in them powerful truths that led to the founding of the first nation with the assertion that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with unalienable rights.

He asserted that America has not always lived up to the principles that the founders believed in, but should not be judged due to its deficiencies.

One of the most obvious deficiencies is the subject of slavery.

When questioned about the irony of some of the founders owning slaves and at the same talking about abolishing slavery, he acknowledged the legitimacy of the criticism, but that it’s important to see how overcoming slavery and realization of these flaws were part of history. It shouldn’t invalidate the greatness and nobility of the founding principles, something that he said should still be loved and inspire patriotism. …

… Spalding asserted the necessity to understand something in order to love it, and in contrast to other regimes, the love is not to be imposed on the people.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...