One year ago on Constitution Day, and in response to the long, violent summer of 2020, President Trump delivered one of the key speeches of his presidency at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Trump’s speech, which concluded the first ever White House Conference on American History, was a stirring defense of classic American principles. It was hailed at the time as “launching a counterstrike in the war on our nation’s founding”.
As America’s national heritage, history, and way of life continue to come under attack today, the speech is a vital reminder for the millions of Americans who love their country and wish to see it thrive that they are not alone – and that, with an ever growing number of citizens who understand the importance of reaffirming our common, uniting principles, America can and will be a proud nation once again.
In his remarks, Trump hailed the Constitution as “the fulfillment of a thousand years of Western civilization.” He directly refuted the claim that the United States is a racist or evil nation, rebuking liberal politicians, establishment media, and corporations who he said have “warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies.”
Instead of a left-wing vision of American history entirely defined by the country’s shortcomings, Trump asserted that “America’s founding set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism, and built the most fair, equal, and prosperous nation in human history.”
Trump also focused in on the ongoing destruction of statues to American heroes, calling it an effort to “cause Americans to lose confidence in who we are, where we came from, and what we believe.” Specifically, Trump called out then-candidate Joe Biden for failing to say anything about the removal of a statue honoring Caesar Rodney by Democrat politicians in Wilmington, Delaware. Rodney is one of the 56 immortal signers of the Declaration of Independence and one of the greatest figures in the history of Biden’s home state of Delaware.
As Trump shared, Rodney, despite being in very poor health, rode 80 miles through a raging thunderstorm from Delaware to Philadelphia on the night of July 2, 1776 to cast his decisive vote at the Second Continental Congress. Rodney’s vote broke a deadlock within the Delaware delegation and ensured a unanimous vote for American Independence. His brave and dramatic actions secured Rodney’s place in history as one of the most important and consequential figures of the American Revolution.
Despite Rodney’s central role in the founding of America and the fact that the equestrian statue of Rodney had occupied a place of honor for nearly a century in the heart of Rodney Square in Wilmington – Delaware’s most important city – the Democrat mayor ordered Rodney’s statue removed last year, which Trump described as “part of a radical purge of America’s founding generation.”
Finally, Trump announced the creation of the 1776 Commission, which was established to “encourage our educators to teach our children about the miracle of American history and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of our founding.”
In the year that has followed Trump’s National Archives Address, his warning about the urgent need to preserve an honest account of American history and our founding has proven uniquely prescient.
On his first day in office, President Biden unceremoniously cancelled the 1776 Commission, making clear his general lack of interest in protecting the cultural inheritance of the American people. Under Biden’s leadership, the Department of Education also proposed a rule that in effect forces schools to teach Critical Race Theory-inspired lessons in public schools.
Trump also accurately predicted the backlash over Critical Race Theory in communities throughout the United States, saying that “patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country. American parents are not going to accept indoctrination in our schools… Not anymore.”
In Congress, Democrats have introduced initiatives like the “Civics Secures Democracy Act” to spend billions of federal taxpayer dollars to promote CRT and leftist programs like “action civics” in schools throughout the country, and effectively turn classrooms into left-wing indoctrination chambers.
Even the National Archives, the site of Trump’s speech, has come under attack as an example of “structural racism.” According to a “Task Force on Racism” established by the National Archivist, the iconic Rotunda of the National Archives, home to our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights “lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC [“Black, Indigenous, People of Color”], women, and other communities.” There have been subsequent calls to “reimagine” the Rotunda and “contextualize” the Constitution with revisionist history intended to trivialize the founding and undermine the principles upon which the country was built.
In Wilmington, Delaware, the Caesar Rodney pedestal remains empty and the equestrian statue of poor Rodney still lies packed away in storage. President Biden holds the most powerful office in the world and is the unquestioned leader of the Democrat party, but he has so far refused to use his influence in his tiny home state of Delaware to get Rodney back in the square named in his honor.
Despite these disheartening developments, there is still ample reason for hope this Constitution Day. As President Trump predicted, there has been backlash against attempts to rewrite American history, particularly in schools throughout the country. In places like Loudoun County, Virginia, parents of all political stripes have organized to say no to indoctrination in classrooms, demanding that teachers and school administrators teach an honest account of history. Teachers, professors, and administrators have resigned in protest and have bravely spoken out about the dangers of Critical Race Theory and other radical ideologies in classrooms, helping thrust this issue into the national spotlight.
Much like that first generation of patriots who faced the seemingly impossible task of taking on the world’s greatest superpower, the outlook may seem bleak for those today who still have pride in being an American and do not want to forget our history. But, as President Trump conveyed one year ago, and as the founding generation showed, bold, determined action is the only way forward. As long as there are those willing to fight for the truth of our history, and defend the true principles of our founding, government of, by, and for the people will not perish from this land.
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