The Glory of the Declaration

According to black producer, music executive, and musician Pharrell Williams, July Fourth is canceled.

Because “the only ones that were free were our white brothers”, Juneteenth, instead, should replace the Fourth as the central annual celebration of our history, commemorating the freeing of slaves rather than the founding of America. Though the realization of the lofty ideals held within the Declaration of Independence has yet to be achieved in its totality, campaigns to discredit the document and classify the founding itself as intrinsically racist and bigoted based upon the shortcomings of its creators have begun to tragically take hold on the nation’s psyche. Reverence and respect for the giants whose shoulders we stand on replaced by contempt and malevolence.

Pharrell exemplifies only a single instance of the concerted attacks on the foundations of America, a bubbling campaign of bitterness and spite. Corrosive progressivism’s and unhinged Wokeness’s violent retort against their mortal enemy of America, insidiously validated by the unjust murder of George Floyd over a month ago. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence have never been strangers to disparagement from the progressive left but, as the nation enters July Fourth weekend, the onslaughts on the soul of the nation have only intensified. The deafening accusations of endemic racism and bigotry weaved into our foundations have drowned out the essential unification of celebrating our founding, bringing upon an astonishing culture war to the mainstream, one the patriots must win.

Across the board, the mainstream media and radical progressives have moved into offensives against the Fourth. Poking searing holes into the legacies of the four men who represent the American spirit, the New York Times featured Nick Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and the president of NDN Collective, an Indigenous activist group, in a piece entitled, How Mount Rushmore Became Mount Rushmore. Claiming “Mount Rushmore needs to be closed as a national monument, and the land itself needs to be returned to the Indigenous people,” the piece cannot be described as anything less than a straight hit piece against the national symbol.

Similarly, the DNC itself labeled President Donald Trump’s rally at Mt.Rushmore as “glorifying white supremacy” in a now-deleted Tweet, twisting support for the national monument and pride in the contributions of the memorialized Presidents as support for white supremacy and bigotry.

In August of 2019, the New York Times debuted its Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, an audacious rewrite of American history, brazenly reorientating the foundations of America from the idealistic Declaration of Independence and the true and good principles held within to the bloody sin of the Atlantic slave trade as the sole driver of American exceptionalism. Arguing “nearly everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery”, the project aims to redefine the core of the nation, shifting away from the magnificent Declaration and towards the nation’s darkest atrocities.

Through the toppling of statues and vandalization of monuments, what began as a purification from the Confederacy from modern America has snowballed into blatant destruction of the history of America after protesters defaced a George Washington statue in New York City and a Thomas Jefferson statue fell in Portland. Despite claiming the fight against racial injustice as the motive, tearing down Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant statues undermine these initially noble purposes.

This is the angle against America. Under this guise of racial injustice, the radical progressives, or more commonly the Left, have every intention to dismantle America. Division upon racial lines under centuries-old sins not allowed to be forgiven. Campaigns such as the aforementioned 1619 Project aim for nothing less than the disintegration of a nation and will extrapolate our gravest sins and the invariable shortcomings of our founders to upend the greatest nation in the history of the world. Misconstruing the scars of slavery and of Jim Crow and of the mistreatment of the natives upon countless other evils that have plagued America as the foundations themselves declares war upon the soul of the nation.

If the progressives can shame patriotism into submission by hammering the love of America as sheer racism, the humiliation will yield the end of America, no longer allowing the nation to strive towards the true and just principles at our core and instead of running from them.

The president of Greater New York Black Lives Matter, Hawk Newsome, let the quiet part of radical progressivism’s ultimate objective slip during an interview on “The Story” with Martha MacCallum. “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation,” he threatened.

Threats such as these and movements influenced by revisionist histories of the 1619 Project show we have so dangerously lost sight of ourselves. As we celebrate the Fourth and the signing of the marvelous document of liberty and of natural rights, the Declaration of Independence must return to its rightful position of glory or we lose everything that made America exceptional.

Thomas Jefferson defined the Declaration in a letter to Henry Lee as “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject; [. . .] terms so plain and firm, as to command their assent.” As a pure “expression of the American mind”, the Framers delivered the Declaration directly to the people, through horseback and newspapers, read directly to the Continental army and mobilized a war effort mighty enough to slay the British. The Declaration distilled the spirit of revolution by the people and set the precedent for the lofty ideals for the American experiment and built the bedrock for the brilliant pragmatic application of the ideals, the Constitution.

Few other nations understand their origins as thoroughly and as deeply as the United States and none should rival our pride in our history. America cannot be limited to a physical nation but a powerful egalitarian philosophy built on equality, liberty, and precious natural rights discernable by reason and pre-existing government, protected by a system of governance designed only to secure such rights, arranging a Constitution for the freest and most just society in human history as a product of an explosive philosophical revolution. A people with an insatiable desire to become the masters of their destiny. That the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. And the Declaration boldly asserted these beautiful principles into the American spirit.

Even the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, a freed slave who suffered far greater than nearly every woke progressive alive today, recognized this, stating, “The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration,” in a speech entitled “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”

In fact, this entire speech saw Douglass praising the Declaration, only wishing for “great principles of political freedom and of natural justice” to be extended to African-Americans, as they so shamefully were not when they were written, and once America eradicated the institutions of racism such as slavery, and eventually Jim Crow, then the wondrous freedoms held within the Declaration could be achieved, quite contrary to modern black activists who simply reduce America to its darkest sins and wish to renounce our founding principles. These sentiments have led modern progressivism to tangle equal rights with equal outcome and capacity. Vapid measures of success like money or fame determine the fulfillment of rights and thus decided disparities in outcome indicate inequities in the system, allowing for the total debasement of American ideals.

The result of this being the targetted death of the American Dream, a horribly demonized aspiration and criticized to no end for its misinterpreted limitations of access. Never has success, money, or fame ever indicated the achievement of the ideal. No, the endowment of natural rights and the writing of an individual’s destiny and definition of happiness represents the true American Dream. Yet the failures of its practitioners have allowed radical progressivism to deem the principle itself as evil. Therefore, the American Dream must end.

American exceptionalism falls into the same category. Though accepted as truth for centuries, President Barack Obama believed “that American exceptionalism is no more exceptional than the exceptionalism of any other country,” triggering the justifications for the degradation of American history. But above all else, American exceptionalism cannot be lost.

In the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington D.C. hangs one of the most famous paintings in American history, The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull. Despite being the most recognizable scenes in our history, almost nothing of the painting is accurate. Trumbull painted the chairs wrong, misplaced the doors, and the military flags and the banners hanging in the back came strictly from his imagination. But what he did ensure to be accurate was the faces. Each and every one of the 47 men in the painting can be identified. As individuals. Unlike nearly every other nation in the history of the world, we know and understand our foundations deeply. No faceless beauracrats or elites wrote our nation in the shadows, tucked away from the people for them to never understand their country. Our history is more personal and more tangible than every other country because of our founding principles, ideals the world cannot afford to lose.

In Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises, the character of Mike explains bankruptcy occurs in “Two ways, gradually, then suddenly.” Cultural revolutions follow the same pattern. To say we stand at a crossroads as a nation would be gravely understating the stakes. The battle for the soul of the nation began decades ago but now has entered a critical state. And this July Fourth, we must return to unity and patriotism with an unshakeable reverence for our founding.

In his speech commemorating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration, President Calvin Coolidge asserted “If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress” As we enjoy the grilling out and the fireworks during the holiday, we must hold this enduring truth in our hearts.

We must vigilantly remind ourselves of the high ideals of the Declaration and, despite our constant failures, must never cease striving for them. Truly the Declaration represents the spirit of America and adherence to a patriotic love of our nation must be the sole unifier, not our race. Without it, we stare into the void of disintegration, risking the extinction of our great nation at the hands of a radical progressive wing. The soul of America depends upon the revitalization of patriotism and the unity bred from a common love of our nation. Without this, the world could lose the greatest civilization in history.

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