Bubble Wrapping History: The National Archives Moves To “Reimagine” The Founding

Below is my column in the Hill on the recommendations of the anti-racism task force to “reimagine history” at the National Archives. It appears that the Archives are moving forward with warnings and other reforms.

Here is the column:

We are living in the age of reimagination. We are not reducing police, we are “reimagining policing” … not “packing” the Supreme Court but “reimagining justice” … not embracing media bias but “reimagining journalism” … not embracing censorship but “reimagining free speech.”

Conversely, the lack of such imagination can be a career-ending flaw. As a result, many remain silent rather than question the need for the revisions that come with “reimagination.”

That dilemma was evident as a federal task force recently issued a call to “reimagine history” at the National Archives, including adding warnings to protect unsuspecting visitors before they read our founding documents. We are reimagining ourselves out of the very founding concepts that once defined us. Reimagining the founding documents comes at a time when many are calling to “reimagine the First Amendment” and other constitutional guarantees.

National Archivist David Ferriero created a racism task force for the National Archives after last summer’s protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Such task forces are created with the expectation that they will find problems, and — once recommendations are made — objecting to “anti-racist” reforms can easily be misconstrued as being insensitive or even racist.

Obviously, documents and spaces can be viewed differently from different backgrounds. There is also a need to contextualize our history to deal honestly with our past. However, the “reimagination” line should not divide the woke from the wicked. Yet that is the fear for many academics who do not want to risk their careers after campaigns against dissenting voices on campuses around the country.

For example, for many of us, the National Archives’ Rotunda — containing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights — is a moving, reverential place celebrating common articles of constitutional faith. That is not what the task force members saw.

Instead, they declared that the iconic Rotunda is one of three examples of structural racism: “a Rotunda in our flagship building that lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC, women, and other communities.” They called for “reimagining” the space to be more inclusive, including possible dance and performance art. Even the famous murals in the Rotunda might have to go: The task force noted that some view the murals as “an homage to White America.”

The report objected to the laudatory attention given white Framers and Founders, particularly figures like Thomas Jefferson. It encouraged the placement of “trigger warnings” to “forewarn audiences of content that may cause intense physiological and psychological symptoms.”

The task force report called for “reimagining” the portrayal of founding documents on OurDocuments.gov, the website for America’s “milestone documents.” The task force objected that the “100 milestone documents of American history” included “adulatory and excessive language to document the historical contributions of White, wealthy men.”

The task force called for warnings and revision of racist language but stressed that such language “means not only explicitly harmful terms, such as racial slurs, but also information that implies and reinforces damaging stereotypes of BIPOC individuals and communities while valorizing and protecting White people.” It also called for “the creation of safe spaces” in every facility run by the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA).

A task force subgroup recommended that NARA “retire” the term “charters of freedom” as descriptors for the founding documents because “these documents did not result in freedom for everyone.” In addition, new signage would contain “trigger warnings” to protect tourists from potential trauma in seeing the documents; visitors would now be warned that the documents they are reading may “contain harmful language that reflects attitudes and biases of their time.”

It is not clear how such signage truly ameliorates the harm for some in reading founding documents, as opposed to making a statement about the history itself.

Hopefully, most people visiting the National Archives have some passing knowledge of the age and history of both the documents and the country.

Before we bubble-wrap our history, it is worth discussing other inherent messages not from the documents, but the warning signs themselves.

There is no question that the documents, like many of the Framers, reveal an inherent hypocrisy in speaking of natural rights that were cruelly denied to millions left in slavery. That hypocrisy continued as women and minorities fought for the guarantees of those documents.

However, it is not the documents but our failure to live up to those principles that is the tragedy of our nation.

There were early figures who recognized that hypocrisy — even some like Jefferson, who personally embodied the contradictions of the time. Jefferson originally included a 168-word passage in the Declaration of Independence that condemned slavery as one of the evils foisted upon the colonies by the British crown; it was cut to secure the vote of Southern states. Yet Jefferson himself owned a large number of slaves, as did many of the Founders and Framers. Some other early figures — John Adams, Thomas Paine, Roger Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette and others — were adamant abolitionists. They too are part of our history.

The Constitution itself is like a codified stratigraphic record of our struggle with own values. Indeed, more than 600,000 Americans were killed during the Civil War to guarantee those rights and ultimately reaffirm them with the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Bill of Rights. The Constitution contained the powers in the first three articles that allowed a free nation to end segregation, realize women’s suffrage, and guarantee equality for insular minorities. These documents were a promise that our nation strived to fulfill, a struggle that continues to this day.

The National Archives’ Rotunda is a reverential place because it represents a leap of faith by a nation composed of different races, religions and values. The documents compose our covenant of faith not with the government or the past but with each other. We have not always lived up to the ideals expressed in the documents — yet our history is not defined by where we began but, instead, by where we strive to be.

Before we bring in the dance groups and post the trigger warnings, perhaps what we need is a reaffirmation rather than a reimagination of who we are.

The National Archives is our collective story. These documents imagined a new country and a set of ideals that no nation had ever realized in history. They are a collective statement of transcendence from where we were to where we hoped to be as a people. Perhaps we are not there yet, but we have come a long way. That is worth understanding — and even celebrating — without the historical bumpers and safety proofing. Just imagine that.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

102 thoughts on “Bubble Wrapping History: The National Archives Moves To “Reimagine” The Founding”

  1. Imagine this:. I was at a cliff overlooking a river. The cliff is fifty feet high and looks down on a gravel shore. Three 60 year or so aged men were out on a tree limb looking down at the rocks below. One said he had covid and that he refused to get the shot. One had lung cancer. One had heart disease. All three were smoking. They all stated their illness. They each said they were going to jump to die. I left before any of them jumped. Suicide is dangerous. Guns are quicker than smoking or covid.

  2. ““a Rotunda in our flagship building that lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC, women, and other communities.””

    I don’t see the problem with lauding wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC, women, and other communities if that’s the way it went down. Who wrote these documents? Blacks? Natives? Women?

    1. Exactly, while proving difficult for BIPOC etc. to swallow, most of the advancements of the western world culture starting with the Greeks, are a product of White men. I know they don’t want to hear that but just what has Africa, pre-Columbian South America etc. really added to the general well being of man? I will not apologize for my European white heritage and why should I?

      1. Alma says,

        “most of the advancements of the western world culture starting with the Greeks, are a product of White men.”

        White *Jewish* men disproportionately advanced scientific achievements than white Christian men. And don’t you forget it.

  3. Welcome to a world run by millennials. We raised them. If humanity survives to see the next century it’ll be a miracle. And it isn’t because of climate change/racism/covid/b*tthurt of a random and imaginary naure. It’ll be because we were raising chuldren for a few generations now to believe our feelings were all that mattered. Anyone that parened ths way over the past 20 years, who wanted to be their kid’s ‘friend’, this is on you. Period. You want to see the earth explode? Pat yourselves on the back, modern parents.

  4. These communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) are the direct and mortal enemies of the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution and the direct and mortal enemies of America.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “We have met the enemy and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.”

    – Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, September 10, 1813
    ____________________________________________

    The direct and mortal, communist enemies of America disingenuously conflate violence with freedom of thought, choice and opinion.

    They deny freedom of assembly and, inversely, segregation – if Americans are free to peacefully assemble, Americans are free to peacefully segregate.

    Racism is freedom of speech, thought, opinion, religion and belief; racism is freedom of discrimination.

    If Americans cannot discriminate, Americans cannot be free.

    That you don’t agree with the opinions, beliefs and aspirations of others, does not nullify the dominion of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) are free to believe religiously in Karl Marx; they are not free to abrogate the U.S. Constitution and deny rights and freedoms to Americans.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776

    1. FULLY CONSTITUTIONAL RACISM

      “You’re always gonna be a Mexican. You’ll never be white. You know that, right?”

  5. “Instead, they declared that the iconic Rotunda is one of three examples of structural racism: “a Rotunda in our flagship building that lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC, women, and other communities.” They called for “reimagining” the space to be more inclusive, including possible dance and performance art. Even the famous murals in the Rotunda might have to go: The task force noted that some view the murals as “an homage to White America.”
    *******************
    Ah … JT they hate the country and white people most especially. What else did you expect? Get it clear … we are governed by people who hate us.

    1. “an homage to White America.”

      And why is this not allowed? Are white people the only group not allowed to be proud of their accomplishments?

      1. America is a society of laws.

        America is white.

        White citizens were legislated by the American Founders.

        Freed slaves must have been deported upon the issuance of the emancipation proclamation.

        Wars shall not have commenced and Amendments shall not have been ratified with a gun to the heads of Americans, or under the tyranny and oppression of brutal post-war military occupation.
        _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

        “…FREE WHITE PERSON…”

        Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802 (four iterations)

        United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” March 26, 1790

        Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof…

  6. Similar topic. Covid. Blaming the Wuhan Chinese and now Delta Airlines. At my airport people are avoiding Delta Airlines due to the covid Delta Variant.

    1. Nobody blamed the Wuhan people. We blamed the lab IN Wuhan where the virus escaped from. Only idiots are blaming Delta Airlines. Now do Corona Beer.

  7. Diversity was widespread but not systemic as it is today. Perhaps they could start with diversity, inequity, and exclusion coded in the progressive constitution of South Africa. They’re returning to their pre-apartheid lynching days a la Hutu/Tutsi conflict, with white and brown collateral damage.

    1. “Imagine all the people

      Sharing all the world”

      – Lennon
      _______

      “But if you want money for people with minds that hate

      All I can tell you is, brother, you have to wait”

      – Lennon
      _______

      “But if you go carryin’ pictures of Chairman Mao

      You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow”

      – Lennon

  8. “[T]he iconic Rotunda is one of three examples of structural racism . . .”

    Those promoting this anti-intellectual, racist swill make the Capitol Hill rioters look like pikers.

  9. All of this – BLM, CRT, grew from active measures of Russia and China. They wished America to be weak. How do you make one of the strongest, most prosperous countries weak? From within, of course.

    You go after its economic prosperity by pushing failed Marxist ideology. Capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system, while Socialism and Communism has impoverished the most people. Socialism cannot exist without human rights abuses, because people tend not to want to give up their labor, ideas, and businesses to the government. Farmers are usually among the first murdered. Before you start, Scandinavia is capitalist, as its prime ministers have repeatedly had to explain to Bernie supporters.

    Now that they’ve accomplished labeling the engine of our success, capitalism, as immoral, then they moved on to divide and conquer. Class warfare wouldn’t work, not in a capitalist country where most millionaires are self made. Instead, they used skin color as the great divider. They pushed the idea that people are born either oppressed or oppressor, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Blacks were cast as hopeless victims, utterly incapable of helping themselves in any way and entirely dependent upon whites for survival in an ironic “reimagining’ of Jim Crow. Whites were cast as eternal villains, incapable of ever casting off racism. Anything they achieved must have been through racism rather than hard work. Antisemitism and anti-Israel rhetoric is now the norm on the Left.

    These active measures have proven very effective. We now have socialists in Congress, the entire Democrat Party has shifted so hard Left that my grandparents would never recognize it, you can be sued forever if you refuse to bake a custom cake that states a man can just decide to be a woman, CRT is in our schools, and just about every kids’ cartoon now features far Left political propaganda. Once the far Left, rife with such anti-American propaganda, infested our schools, from pre-K to grad school, they had a stranglehold on American culture.

    Socialism caused economic failure in the USSR and China. It was capitalism that saved them. They are reversing the favor and destroying us with their own failed ideology. We even have a reverse engineered social credit system, brought to you by the social media giants that convinced you that you couldn’t get by without them. It went next level when you couldn’t access public spaces or go to school without vaccination papers, even if you had acquired natural immunity.

    1. Thank you for the very clear and coherent exegesis as to what is taking place in this country. It should terrify any clear thinking citizen who cares about the fundamental principles of our democracy.

      1. Also heading our way, I fear: the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a massive surveillance state, engineered for “our good”.

    2. So, Karen’s assignment today is to try to feed into the talking point that opposing racism and requiring vaccination equates to socialism. If it were only the Trumpster disciples who refuse vaccination and got sick and died from COVID, it wouldn’t matter as much because they deserve to suffer the consequences of their blind devotion to the Trump/Republican party and the fallout from believing lies, but their spreading COVID viruses around poses a risk to those who DO believe in science, and it is hurting our economy and creating fear about children returning to class. And, she repeats her failed argument that the Democrat Party is “hard left”, complaining about the wedding cake for the gay couple, complainng about transexualism and lying about critical race theory being “in our schools”. She blathers on and on about a “stranglehold on American culture” via “anti American propaganda”, which proves just how unhinged the indoctrinated have become.

      1. Natacha,
        Your handlers should know that every time you target Karen you are actually enhancing the effectiveness of her comments in two ways: 1. You are alerting readers to a comment worthy of consideration. 2. You are highlighting her excellent analysis by offsetting it with your redundant and often unhinged blather.

        Your are single-handedly strengthening the conservative movement.

        Thank you for your contribution. 🙂

        1. @Olly: Amen! I consider every point to be confirmed whenever Natacha insipidly tries to refute it with her/his/it’s insipid, hackneyed, unadulterated drivel. At times, I am somewhat amused by how unhinged and divorced from reality her churlish rants are, But any entertainment I get from her buffoonery is quickly outweighed by a profound sense of pity for anyone so outright wretched.

        2. Karen isn’t a conservative and neither are you. None of the pro-Trump, alt-right garbage she blathers on about is acceptable to true conservatives, such as honored and respected published writers like Bill Kristol and George F. Will.. What i find most outrageous about her is that despite being uneducated and having no qualifying background, she tries to contradict the advice of educated physicians, epidemiologists and public health experts have to say: for instance, that if you’ve had a COVID infection, you don’t need the vaccine. Real scientists disagree, based on scientific studies, not devotion to a fat narcissist. Nothing she says is fact-based, either: just opinions.

          1. Natacha,

            Would you please go back to a real school or go take some more of those falsely claimed to be vazzines!

            Bill Kristol and George F. Will have shown themselves to American Hating Commie types. Just ask creepy Bill’s dad.

            SHOCK STUDY! Vaccinated 27 Times More Likely To Catch COVID

            70,111 views

            Sep 13, 2021
            49
            Share
            Download
            Bill Gates Is EVIL
            Bill Gates Is EVIL

            OAN has released a shock study showing you are almost 30 times more likely to catch COVID if you are vaccinated.

            https://banned.video/watch?id=613f9ce113839c20f6a81e1e

            Former War Crimes Prosecutor Lays Out Blueprint to Prosecute Fauci and Co. for Creating COVID-19

            71,104 views

            ·

            Sep 8, 2021
            42
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            The Alex Jones Show
            The Alex Jones Show

            Dr. Francis Boyle joins The Alex Jones Show to break down the details of how Fauci can be prosecuted for engineering COVID-19.

            https://banned.video/watch?id=613f9ce113839c20f6a81e1e

        3. Natacha,

          Keep it up! We have to keep pushing back against the tide of Trumpism. No doubt Turley welcomes us and would encourage our contributions even though the Trumpists don’t and hope to cancel us.

          1. We have to keep pushing back against the tide of Trumpism. No doubt Turley welcomes us and would encourage our contributions even though the Trumpists don’t and hope to cancel us.

            Yes, keep pushing back against whatever you believe Trumpism is. In the meantime, conservatives will continue pushing back against the tide of American Marxism. No doubt Turley would welcome a vigorous policy debate, comparing those of the last administration and the current administration.

            1. Olly,

              Calling me, an unabashed Leftist, an “American Marxist” is NOT what Turley would consider a vigorous POLICY debate. The fact that I understand Turley better than you Trumpists will become unmistakable, undeniable and irrefutable as the Trump lies move from the court of public opinion into the courts of law. In the former venue, Turley can opt to remain silent, in the latter, he can’t.

              Wait for it.

              1. Calling me, an unabashed Leftist, an “American Marxist” is NOT what Turley would consider a vigorous POLICY debate.

                If that’s what I said, then I would agree. However that’s not what I said. What I did say and what you understandably continue to dodge is; No doubt Turley would welcome a vigorous policy debate, comparing those of the last administration and the current administration.

                So demonstrate how well your unabashed Leftist ideology is reflected in the current administration’s policies and how those policies are better for our country than the policies of the previous administration.

                1. Olly asks:

                  “So demonstrate how well your unabashed Leftist ideology is reflected in the current administration’s policies and how those policies are better for our country than the policies of the previous administration.”

                  I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is no point in having a good faith debate with a liar. Until you concede that Trump was a serial liar and continues to lie about the election being stolen, I have nothing more about which to speak with you. Which side is lying about the last election is a threshold issue which cannot be brushed aside. It has to be resolved in a court of law because the stakes could not be higher, namely, the truth.

                  1. ” no point in having a good faith debate ‘’’

                    This is an obvious response from a person that knows nothing and cannot defend his position. Take note how he calls everyone a liar that doesn’t agree with him. That would be OK if he could name the lie and defend it as one, but this guy has no argument. He knows nothing.

                  2. How embarrassing for you. With the opportunity to make the case for any successful Biden policies, all you can muster is that. It demonstrates how little you know about American Conservatives and even worse, the fact Biden has done nothing you dare publicly support.

                    I’ll repeat for the umpteenth time, we support policies…period. That means Conservatives will be supporting the candidate we believe will advance those policies.

                    So by all means, obsess over Trump. Conservatives will just be laughing at you.

                    1. You are not a Conservative, Olly. Don’t flatter yourself. Liz Cheney and George Will are Conservatives. You are a hard-core Trumpist because you will lie for Trump. Turley is not a Trumpist because he has acknowledged Trump’s lies.

                      Leftists will have the last laugh. You wanna bet?

                    2. “You are not a Conservative, Olly. Don’t flatter yourself.”

                      TDS Jeff is reading tea leaves again, but with his sparse knowledge of the world around him he misses the mark by miles. He doesn’t know that today’s ‘liberal democrats’ under Biden hate women, and oppress minorities. Just look at Afghanistan and the NYC school system, The Bidenistas have screwed up the exist from Afghanistan. The southern border remains open so more women can be raped. More killers and rapists let into the country while spreading Covid and killing our young with drugs. The left and democrats have failed and now they are pushing to destroy the economy.

                      TDS Jeff has no answers for any of this. His only thoughts revolve around TDS and Turley TDS.

          2. Jeff, very surprised that you would attach yourself to the obviously unhinged Natacha. Celebrating the DEATHS of Trumpists? Are you subscribing to the ” enemy of my enemy is my friend ” credo?
            The highest unvaccinated group in this country are Blacks. Not Trump voters. And after Tuskegee. not the Airmen, as Dementia Joe stated, one could understand the reluctance.
            Why is that statistic never referred to by the Left?

            1. Paul,

              I confess that I don’t read through Natacha’s entire lengthy posts much like I skim over Karen’s. They seem to be well-matched but on starkly different sides! I’d like to see them face-to-face in a caged fight! If Natacha celebrated deaths of Trumpists, I deplore it, of course. I was sticking up for her *in principle* in light of all the name calling leveled against her. I do not agree with all her comments naturally.

              Ok, so what that Blacks are the highest unvaccinated group. I don’t know why that statistic is more important than the percentage of white trash who remain unvaccinated. That’s right, I said it, “white trash,” because all the elite whites have had the good sense to get what the Trumpists disparage as “the jab.”

              Dementia Joe is suffering, but, thankfully, dementia does not cause dishonesty. One needs a clear head and a depraved heart to be as dishonest as Lyin’ Trump.

              1. TDS Jeff can easily be considered white trash as he continuously lies about the number of lies Joe Biden has made. Those lies haven’t stopped. They weren’t opinions rather they were statements of what Joe intended to do. Joe is reversing the most important statements he previously made, and is turning this nation from a free one into an authoritarian one.

                TDS Jeff obviously doesn’t know what is going on.

          3. Thank you, Jeff. I’ve always respected people like Rick Wilson, George F. Will and Bill Kristol, even when I didn’t agree necessarily with their political stance on everything, and that’s because I had a different philosophy on some issues. Traditional conservatives believe in many things that most people cannot find fault with, like individual responsibility, honesty, personal integrity, the value of education, home and family, and respect for individual rights. Then, along comes a flashy TV host who mesmerizes the racist/ White Supremacist element of our country, and who has always had a bad reputation for womanizing, cheating in business, cheating on wives, arrogance, lying, fundamental dishonesty, racism and xenophobia, just to name a few. Trump leveraged resentment of non college educated whites over the success of Obama as President and fears about brown people, educated people and educated women into a political movement, and then cheated his way into office with the help of a hostile foreign power.. True conservatives are patriotic, too, something foreign to Trump, who disrespected John McCain, a war hero, because he thwarted Trump’s effort to overturn Obamacare, and referred to members of our military as “suckers”. Now, he’s trying to leverage the tragic deaths of American soldiers and grief of their loved ones into political capitol. Trump refuses to concede, and keeps promoting the Big Lie, goes around pretending to still be President, and won’t respect the will of the majority of the American people. Refusal to abide by the will of the majority of Americans in a free and fair election, despite multiple recounts, despite certification by all secretaries of state and despite rejection by dozens of courts, even to the extent of organizing an insurrection to prevent the true winner from taking office, is the antithesis of being a conservative. That is the definition of a would-be dictator, and as un-American as it gets.

            People who support Trump do so blindly, even when he attacks respected scientists because they him look foolish when he made up lies about the pandemic and Hydroxychloroquine, when he insults anyone he can’t bully, when he lies about the risk of COVID, when he calls brown people “murderers, rapists and criminals”, when he refers to predominantly black countries as “sh#thole”, and when he constantly seeks attention, praise and adulation. Because of his verbal abuse of scientists who wouldn’t be bullied into turning COVID into a political issue to benefit him, he has enabled his followers to disbelieve respected scientists and scientific advice, and believing that they are equally qualified to opine on scientific matters, like Karen S. It is absolutely obscene to call this person and his followers “conservatives”, which alt-right media do because it elevates a cult of personality to an undeserved position of respect in our political discourse. Trump has none of the personal qualities or values of traditional conservatism, which is why his followers are NOT conservatives.

    3. Karen S says:

      “BLM, CRT, grew from active measures of Russia and China. They wished America to be weak.”

      Can you tell me where you get this? I’d like to read this material myself. Seriously, I’m not ridiculing you. I really want to know your source for this information.

  10. Sure, we’re reimagining policing, if by “reimagining” they mean anarchy ruled by criminals. It’s the law of the club. Oh, excuse me, it’s a reimagining of blunt force tools.

  11. This is what happens when government creates a privileged race. If you look and see who’s behind this, you’ll find that they’re nearly all black and are products of “black studies” and “African-American studies” in American universities that started at Berkley in the 60s.

  12. Kant…self-incurred tutelage. Look it up. Leave it up to the anti-enlightenists to “protect” the ignorant class from our enlightenment-inspired founding history.

  13. Indeed, more than 600,000 Americans were killed during the Civil War to guarantee those rights and ultimately reaffirm them with the 14th, 15th and 16th Amendments to the Bill of Rights.

    I am fairly certain the 16th wasn’t what 600,000 men died for.

    1. Olly,

      The Civil War was not fought by the North to free the slaves anymore than the the Southern fighters fought to retain them for the 1/3 who owned them. The men fought on both sides for the same reason Trumpists and Leftists would fight each other today- they despised each other’s culture and values and resentful of being disrespected by the other.

      1. JS Your historical understanding of this part of our history and the personalities involved leaves a lot to be desired. One would expect more from someone who received a reasonable education. Each half of the nation represented a lot of different ideas and cultures. Your simpleness and coarse rationalization makes one wonder what planet you come from.

      2. they despised each other’s culture and values and resentful of being disrespected by the other.

        LOL! So basically it was the Bloods vs the Crips, 19th century style? Alrighty then, thanks for trying.

        1. More or less. Is there any ONE particular issue which divides the Left from Trumpists? Abortion? CRT? Immigration? Climate change? Voting? It’s EVERY issue large and small- even vaccinations! We cannot agree on anything because neither side will concede that the other is EVER correct!
          We despise one another on a personal level.

          I suspect the men who went to war in the North and South did so as a matter of personal pride and a point of honor, not because of the dispute over the extension of slavery into the western territories.

          1. Jeff: “I suspect the men who went to war in the North and South did so as a matter of personal pride and a point of honor, ”

            ***
            I think you are right on that to a large degree. I have thought the same for years. That combined with loyalty to their states. Robert E. Lee could have been overall commander of the Union armies but he declined because he wanted to see which way ‘his country’, by which he meant Virginia, would go.

            As for your main question: “Is there any ONE particular issue which divides the Left from Trumpists?”

            I think there is an answer. The Left Hates the opposition and Trump supporters do not…though they are working up to it in the face of provocation. The Left has embraced Hate as its ruling obsession and they will not let Law stand in its way.

            1. Young,

              Needless to say, but just to be clear, I think Trumpists hate the Left every bit as much. I, for one, don’t hate Trumpists; I pity them for their benighted conspiracy theories. They were suckered by a consummate conman and serial liar and those who enabled him. Trumpists are fighting a losing cultural Cold War. In the long run, the urban North will defeat the rural South; the coastal elites will prevail over flyover country. I hope you live long enough to witness the inevitable. No hard feelings.

          2. I thought lawyers were supposed to make black and white into gray. You can’t.

            Many issues find common agreement from both sides. It is the left that wants complete conformity to its agenda that is creating the divide. Many of the most divisive seem to know the least and you are one of them.

            SM

          3. We cannot agree on anything because neither side will concede that the other is EVER correct!
            We despise one another on a personal level.

            What Conservatives despise is bad policy, specifically policy that does not secure the rights of our citizens equally. Specifically policy that weakens our national security.

            So are you ready yet to discuss policies that you support, as opposed to people you despise?

            1. I don’t despise you Olly. How could I? I don’t know you. You could be a swell guy for all I know. Certainly, your education and intelligence is a cut above the typical Trumpist on this blog for which I am appreciative.

              I suspect you refuse to acknowledge that Trump is a flawed man in many respects (and certainly not a man to which Conservatives would want their children to aspire) because, not unlike most of us, we hate to admit we were wrong.

              Trump was the same man AFTER he won election that he was BEFORE- just as all his Republican presidential candidates accurately described him. I need not refresh your recollection of what they said. It is burned in all our memories.

  14. These people are dangerous to freedom and democracy. They are bent on destroying our history and the constitution which is the only stopgap we have protecting us from them. Kill our history and they get their “new beginning” and complete power. We better hope the next election is not a repeat of the last!!

    1. Margot: Republicans are the ones “dangerous to freedom and democracy”. They refused remove Trump from office even though he lost the popular vote, cheated to get into office, tried to leverage aid to Ukraine by demanding that its president gin up a false claim about the Bidens, and then, to frost the cake, went on a “Stop the Steal” campaign that culminated in an attempt to overthrow the American government. That wasn’t enough for Republicans to act to remove the dictator wannabe. Plus, they won’t speak out against the Big Lie, despite multiple re counts, despite dozens of court challenges, despite certification by all 50 Secretaries of State, most of whom were Republican, and despite Bill Barr and Chris Krebs all confirming there was NO widespread voter fraud. Because Republicans continue to lose the support of the American people, they are doing everything possible to hang onto power, including gerrymandering and making it harder to vote. They won’t cooperate in negotiating for voter rights protections, infrastructure or much else, and still won’t speak out against Trump for trying to leverage the deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan for political points. Trump was repulsively arrogant before, but trading on the grief of a bereaving mother for political reaons is as un-American and narcissistic as it gets. Where are the leaders of the Republican party when it comes to abusing the grief of a mother for political reasons by standing mute when the mother repeats the Big Lie? Trump praised one of these mothers because she accused Biden of not validly holding office, and blamed him because terrorists sent a suicide bomber to an airport thousands of miles away, ignoring, of course, the role he played in setting the stage for the suicide bomb attack by cutting a deal with the Taliban to draw down troops from 14,000 to 2,500 and releasing 5,000 Taliban prisoners before everyone got out. Republicans ignore hose significant facts.

      The point of the “reimagining” is that people who weren’t white, Christian, male, or wealthy got left out of credit for any contribution to the history of the founding of this country. That’s all. They are upset that the Constitution says “all men are created equal”, but still allowed slavery, leading to the logical conclusion that slaves aren’t humans, much less equal to whites, reinforced by the fact that several of the founding fathers themselves owned slaves and even had children with them. How you morph these facts into “killing our history” and some kind of power grab is a mystery, as is your fear of the next election being a repeat of the last. What are you referring to? Trump stirring up the faithful when he loses again, which he would, Republicans losing control of the House and Senate because Americans rejected them, or are you referring to the Big Lie?

      1. “The point of the ‘reimagining'” is to wipe out the concept of “individualism” (and its corollary, individual rights), and to replace them with tribalism. And to do so deceptively — by using the euphemism “reimagining.”

        All of these “reimaginings” are designed to turn America into a collectivist, docile tyranny.

  15. Turley asks:

    “Before we bring in the dance groups and post the trigger warnings, perhaps what we need is a reaffirmation rather than a reimagination of who we are.”

    Maybe we can do a little of both in the spirit of comity? It seems that only Conservatives and allowed to recognize and deplore our Founder’s racial hypocrisy as Turley acknowledges. When they do it, they are real Americans ; when Liberals do it, we are Marxists.

    1. jeffsilberman … When Turley discusses the past he doesn’t stop at slavery and Jim Crow. He doesn’t conveniently forget the Civil War, the anti-slavery amendments, the Civil Rights & Voting Rights acts, affirmative action, etc. The problem with the “left” is not that they attack the past, but that they ignore the past. They have substituted their “imagined” version of history that obsesses on one era and doesn’t acknowledge any attempts since then to rectify past injustices. Their version is not “history,” it’s propaganda.

      1. Giocon1,

        I disagree with everything you have stated. You and I could not be see the world more differently. Our beliefs are irreconcilable. We just have to hope that your kind and mine don’t run into each other in this big county.

        1. Comrade Commie Jeff,

          Apparently even the FBI can’t stand to having American Hating Wife Beaters/Rapist/ Assulters like your friends in their ranks. I’m thinking.

          Good on the FBI for at least trying to clean their own house.

          ****

          FBI Special Agent Richard Trask: Instagram

          The FBI fired its lead agent in the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping case amid wife beating allegations.

          Special Agent Richard Trask, one of the lead agents in the so-called plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was arrested for a ‘domestic incident’ with his wife in July – then released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

          https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/09/fbi-fires-lead-agent-gretchen-whitmer-kidnapping-case-amid-wife-beating-allegations/

    2. @ jeffsilberman: Perhaps the difference is that, generally speaking, conservatives “recognize and deplore our Founder’s racial hypocrisy” but recognize the progress we have collectively made toward attaining the expressed ideals, while liberals recognize the hypocrisy and deplore the nation (or at least approximately half, cf.: Mrs. Clinton), In order to deplore the nation, leftists confer the hypocrisy of our original sin upon the present while, seemingly, implying that the country is still in the exact same state as at our founding and has not made any progress whatsoever.

      While the conclusion (e.g.: zero progress towards our founding confers) is certainly deplorable, the premise that leads to it is false because it discounts, ignores, or outright denies and distorts the most basic founding principle of the American Experiment: That your and my job is to make the nation a better place for future generations. We cannot alter our starting point — hypocrisy and failures of the past — but can, should, and must accept and dispassionately examine them and strive to correct them and address their consequences going forward.

      However, *that* would require the resolve to continue the good work in the absence of comity — all the while fostering an environment that invites comity and unity (“Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you know more than others. Make friends with ordinary people. Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, and do your best to live at peace with everyone..” Romans 12:16-18, CEV). Deploring the present for the conditions of the past s anathema to growth, and marks one as being an adversary to progress. ($0.02)

    3. Wrong.

      When the right does it, it assures to never repeat the mistakes, when the left does it, they double down in the name of ‘equity.’

      Equity is simply another way of saying what the left always says, gimme. F’ing parasites.

      1. Bobthere,

        You call Leftists “parasites” because you intend to exterminate us. You dehumanize us just like the Nazis called Jews “vermin.”

        I’m sure Turley would be so proud he has you as a contributor to his blog.

        1. JS When you are tagged with being called an American Nazi or an American Marxist, take note, the shoe fits, so wear it.

  16. Snowflakes, snowflaking hard.

    What the snowflakes can’t seem to get through their thick brainwashed cultish skulls is that without those founding documents slaves wouldn’t have likely been freed for many more years and the right to vote for women and freed slaves would not likely to have happened at all. Also, the snowflakes individual right to spew their stupid cultish drivel would likely not be protected.

    The founding documents are what our society built upon, and these ignorant snowflakes are intentionally undermining our core guiding principles that made the USA what it is. Snowflakes are totalitarian minded fools.

  17. I can’t imagine where these nitwits came from.
    History is what was said, what was done. It was what truly happened. If you don’t like our constitution then move to China.

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