I’m still on blog break, however there are some items which need to be seen.
One such example is an op-ed by Lt. Governor Dan Forest on the Founding Principles and why opposition of the new AP US History framework is crucial.
With permission from his office, here is the column in its entirety.
Founding principles of U.S. make it exceptional
By North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest
As the debate rages on about new changes to the AP US History (APUSH) framework, the concept of American Exceptionalism has risen to the top of the discussion. Much of the rhetoric surrounding American Exceptionalism is misguided at best.
Those of us who oppose the new proposed APUSH framework do so because of the absence of many of the documents related to our nation’s founding. The previous framework of APUSH was roughly 20 pages, which allowed our teachers the autonomy of what content to cover. The new framework, with over 140 pages, is much more detailed. However, such documents as the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, and the Bill of Rights, and concepts like capitalism are conspicuously missing. Likewise, we also see a conscious decision by the authors of the framework to overly emphasize the wrongdoings of the founders and western civilization in general.
This has led to the discussion of whether or not America is an exceptional nation.
While I firmly believe that true history is not biased and the facts of history must be taught – the good, the bad and the ugly – I also believe that America is an exceptional nation. America is not exceptional because we have done no wrong, or because we have no blemishes in our history. America is exceptional because of a few ordinary words in a rather extraordinary document, the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
No words like these had ever been penned in the formation of government. Words that espoused equality for all, that unalienable and non-negotiable rights are given to us by God, not government, that our government was to derive its power from the people, not the king. These were radical words with radical consequences for the world.
It is these principles, upon which our country was founded, that make America exceptional. While our nation began with the warts of slavery, these principles eventually abolished slavery.
While blacks and women did not have the right to vote for many years in America, it is these principles that forced that change.
While the era of the civil rights movement was a challenging time in America, it is these principles that allowed it to happen and has led to the most diverse nation in the world.
America is not perfect. Our founding fathers were not perfect. We are not perfect. And we are not done yet. The Great American Experiment is still underway.
But we can rest assured that we can continue to be a beacon of hope for the rest of the world if we are guided by the principles that make America an exceptional nation.