The President's Advisory 1776 Commission produced a report aimed at truthfully "summarizing the principles of the American founding."
A commission formed by President Donald Trump to promote "patriotic education" issued its final report, criticizing how American students are taught about the country's formation, as well as the history of slavery and racial discrimination.
The 1776 Commission released a 45-page report Monday that offered "a definitive chronicle of the American founding," according to the White House.
"States and school districts should reject any curriculum that promotes one-sided partisan opinions, activist propaganda, or factional ideologies that demean America’s heritage, dishonor our heroes, or deny our principles," the report said per the New York Post.
Trump established the commission last year partly in response to a national movement in which statues of slaveholders or colonial figures were removed or defaced. The statues involved Founding Fathers and people long admired for their accomplishments.
In its report, the commission said students should not be taught that slavery is a haunting sin of the founders.
"The most common charge leveled against the founders, and hence against our country itself, is that they were hypocrites who didn't believe in their stated principles, and therefore the country they built rests on a lie," the report said. "This charge is untrue, and has done enormous damage, especially in recent years, with a devastating effect on our civic unity and social fabric."
In fact, the "foundation of our Republic planted the seeds of the death of slavery in America," the report said.
The commission said the creation of the U.S. could not have happened without compromise on the issue of slavery.
"Is it reasonable to believe that slavery could have been abolished sooner had the slave states not been in a union with the free? Perhaps," the report said. "But what is momentous is that a people that included slaveholders founded their nation on the proposition that 'all men are created equal.'"
The report further explained the Founding Fathers did not abolish slavery at the birth of the nation so that the principle of consent would become a basis of "all political legitimacy."
"Patriotic education must have at its center a respect for the rule of law, including the Declaration and the Constitution, so that we have what John Adams called 'a government of laws, and not of men,'" the report said.
The report blamed the education system for adversely affecting society.
"Deliberately destructive scholarship shatters the civic bonds that unite all Americans," the report said. "It silences the discourse essential to a free society by breeding division, distrust, and hatred among citizens.
"And it is the intellectual force behind so much of the violence in our cities, suppression of free speech in our universities, and defamation of our treasured national statues and symbols."
The report notes while modern Americans are deeply divided about their country’s history, they should revisit and find value in America’s founding principles and documents.
“The facts of our founding are not partisan. They are a matter of history,” the commission report reads. “Controversies about the meaning of the founding can begin to be resolved by looking at the facts of our nation’s founding.”
The 41-page report reemphasizes the idea enshrined in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and explores the dangers of modern political movements and identity politics that threaten that concept.
Movements that tackled issues of race, slavery, women’s rights, and the unborn rights, the report notes, have been successful by revisiting America’s founding principles rather than rejecting them in favor of a more subjective progressive value system.
“Indeed, great reforms—like abolition, women’s suffrage, anti-Communism, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Pro-Life Movement—have often come forward that improve our dedication to the principles of the Declaration of Independence under the Constitution,” the report reads.
The report observes how ideological movements that threatened the United States, such as slavery, progressivism, fascism, communism, and the modern focus on racism and identity politics were incompatible with America’s founding principles.
“The arguments, tactics, and names of these movements have changed, and the magnitude of the challenge has varied, yet they are all united by adherence to the same falsehood—that people do not have equal worth and equal rights,” the report notes.
The report observes the modern social justice movement based on identity politics demanding affirmative action to atone for historical is misguided. The report points to the success of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the fight for civil rights and abolitionist Fredrick Douglas in reminding Americans of their founding ideas.
“Identity politics makes it less likely that racial reconciliation and healing can be attained by pursuing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream for America and upholding the highest ideals of our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence,” the report reads.
The document also reaffirms the importance of the rule of law in American society citing warnings from Abraham Lincoln about the dangers of mob rule.
“Whether of the Left or of the Right, both mob rule and tyrannical rule violate the rule of law because both are ruled by the base passions rather than the better angels of our nature,” the report notes. “Both equally threaten our constitutional order.”
The report reaffirms the importance of Americans utilizing their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to keep and bear arms in their own defense.
“Today our country is in danger of throwing this inheritance away,” the report warns. “The choice before us now is clear. Will we choose the truths of the Declaration? Or will we fall prey to the false theories that have led too many nations to tyranny?”
The commission warns the modern education veers away from the deep reverence of America’s founding principles and documents in favor of the pursuit of a changing and manipulating progressive agenda.
“Universities in the United States are often today hotbeds of anti-Americanism, libel, and censorship that combine to generate in students and in the broader culture at the very least disdain and at worst outright hatred for this country,” the report warns.
Modern education, the report notes, focuses too much on the sins of America’s past in order to manipulate groups within the country.
“Historical revisionism that tramples honest scholarship and historical truth, shames Americans by highlighting only the sins of their ancestors, and teaches claims of systemic racism that can only be eliminated by more discrimination, is an ideology intended to manipulate opinions more than educate minds,” the report reads.
The report pointedly criticizes the New York Times “1619 Project” for rejecting the good and the truth found in America’s historical figures and their ideas in favor of a more cynical distortion of history based on victimization and oppression.
“They see only weaknesses and failures, teaching students truth is an illusion, that hypocrisy is everywhere, and that power is all that matters,” the report notes about the “distorted history” of the country presented by many modern historians.
The report urges a national renewal of education to form American citizens for the future of the country.
“To remain a free people, we must have the knowledge, strength, and virtue of a free people,” the report notes. “From families and schools to popular culture and public policy, we must teach our founding principles and the character necessary to live out those principles.”
A “patriotic education” the report notes would teach the truth about America enshrined in its founding values.
“That doesn’t mean ignoring the faults in our past, but rather viewing our history clearly and wholly, with reverence and love,” the report reads. “We must also prioritize personal responsibility and fulfilling the duties we have toward one another as citizens.”
The responsibility to defend America’s values against the modern “tyrants,” the report notes, depends on all Americans.
“Above all, we must stand up to the petty tyrants in every sphere who demand that we speak only of America’s sins while denying her greatness. At home, in school, at the workplace, and in the world, it is the people—and only the people—who have the power to stand up for America and defend our way of life,” it reads.