Trump’s 1776 Commission: A Fable from the Future

It’s the worst, most bonkers history lesson no one asked for: The former president’s pushback on The 1619 Project. A legal scholar’s imaginative look back.

A NOTE FROM THE FUTURE—Not since the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria has human learning suffered such a grave setback as occurred on Inauguration Day 2021. On that bleak day, “President” Joseph Biden cleansed the White House website of  The 1776 Report, which historians believe to have been a masterwork of historiography and citizenship commissioned by the Trump Administration and published in its final days.

The Report was formed to repudiate the New York Times’s sinister (perhaps foreign-inspired?) “1619 Project” (which honestly went on and on and on about this whole slavery thing until you could just about scream). Available sources indicate that the authors of the 1776 document represented a wide range of views, ranging from the hard right to sort of more or less the center right; bipartisan affiliations from country-club Republican to full MAGA; academic institutions from Claremont McKenna College to Patrick Henry College; professional backgrounds from full-time conservative activist to full-time right-wing think-tank fellow; and credentials as historians from none all the way to nil. In the recent literature, you see people writing that they did a terrific job and are being more and more recognized every day. Some are writing that these members were the most distinguished and diverse scholars ever assembled at the White House since Calvin Coolidge dined alone.

Period.

So, the loss to history by the vandalism of the Biden “Administration” is incalculable. But just as fragments of medieval manuscripts survive, scholars have unearthed one document that was in fact not on the website and was thus spared the Biden purge of “politically incorrect” scholarship. This “Executive Summary” was apparently still in the rigorous editing process when the full report went up and is being made available here for the very first time. We are revealing it here complete with the editor’s notes we found in it. The names of the editors are unknown, though scholars variously suggest that one was former strategist Stephen Bannon later the founder of the Institute for Advanced Nationalist Studies, and another, perhaps, Judge Jeanine Pirro. (One curious notation in the sources mentions a pillow-maker, but this is likely some kind of scrivener’s error.). “Ed 2” seems to have been a civil-service employee. Further references to this person in the file bear the ambiguous notation TERMINATED.

 The 1776 Report: The President’s Advisory 1776 Commission—Executive Summary

 (not available to mainstream media)

  1. INTRODUCTION.

In recent years, sinister forces have begun to criticize America and to suggest that some episodes in its history embody discrimination, violence, and hate. Those who suggest this should die. [Ed 2: Tone Down? Ed 1: Are you a RINO?] In all of American history, mistakes were made but mostly America is the best. USA! USA! [Ed 2: Do we need the chanting? Ed 1: I can’t hear you, the chanting is too loud!]

  1. THE MEANING OF THE DECLARATION.

On July 4, 1776, there were two and a half million people living in America. Most were English, Protestant, and Christian. [Ed 2: Suggest mentioning Native people, some of whom fought in the revolution. They aren’t mentioned at all Ed 1: No, that’s wrong. We quote Jefferson on “merciless savages.” Ed 2: There were millions of Native people back then. Ed. 1: Where? I don’t see them anywhere in the re-enactments of Plymouth Rock. Ed 2: Jews were here too. The report never mentions them either. Ed 1: Are you accusing me of bigotry? I am socially acquainted with many Jewish persons.,] They declared Independence and said, “all men are created equal.” The idea flows directly and exclusively from Christianity. [Ed 2: Mention Enlightenment? Ed 1: No. Turns out that whole thing was a big mistake.] Putting it in the Declaration was a stroke of genius because it bought the nation at least a century before Americans had to actually do anything about that idea, which turned out to upset a lot of people.

  1. A CONSTITUTION OF PRINCIPLES

In 1787, the people sent the wisest men in the nation to Philadelphia to write a new Constitution. [Ed. 2: Mention that Philadelphia Convention was not called to write new constitution and did so in secret? Ed 1:  Who told you that, Howard Zinn?] It guarantees important stuff. First, Article Nowhere provides that the federal government can’t do anything except the military. Second, “religious liberty” means the government protects religion, enforces its tenets and requires citizens to worship in the Christian church of his choice because freedom. [Ed 2: Ahem, Jews. Ed 1: Ahem, shut up.] Third, it means that people have a right to have guns. There’s some other stuff in the Constitution (it’s long and TBH BO-ring) but these are the things that matter. [Ed 2: Mention provisions that protected slavery? Ed 1: Did you say something? Tell me you didn’t! Ed 2: ________________]

  1. CHALLENGES TO AMERICA’S PRINCIPLES

SLAVERY. Slavery was bad. But remember everybody was doing it back then. [Ed 2: If everybody was jumping off a cliff, would we do that too? Ed 1: Do you know nothing about American exceptionalism?] And there was a bunch of slavery in ancient times, like read about Aristotle, etc. [Ed 2: Do we want to go back to Aristotle? That was a long time ago. Ed 1: He was a really smart guy and he married Jackie Kennedy.] America had to have it because if we hadn’t, slaveowners would have been very unhappy, and the Declaration guarantees happiness. And remember, the movement to abolish slavery started in the United States! [Ed 2: Just called reference desk at Library of Congress and they said the movement started in England. Ed 1: Give me the name of whoever you talked to. We may need to clean house.] There was a Civil War and cool uniforms and then slavery went away, so that’s all right, then.

PROGRESSIVISM. Much worse than slavery was the threat of Progressivism, led by anti-American traitors like Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson. [Ed 2: Roosevelt and Taft were Republicans. Ed 1: Right, strike them and leave Wilson. Good pickup.] Progressives believed America should change. That was bad enough, but then they created administrative agencies and we all know how much they suck. [Ed 2: Explain what they are? Ed 1: Why? They will be abolished in Trump’s second term. Ed 2: People will need reminding then. E: Actually, I am not sure what they do. I just know they are bad, like the deep state or public employee unions.]

FASCISM. Fascism was Progressivism with uniforms. America single-handedly conquered it all over the world, and everybody thanked us. [Ed 2: Mention European allies and USSR? Ed 1: See below about Communism and Socialism.] But do they remember now and sell us Greenland? Noooo-ooo! [Ed 2: Tone? Ed 1: Can’t handle the truth?]

COMMUNISM. Communism is also Progressivism but in ill-fitted suits and boxy hats. Socialism ditto but some of them speak English, which makes them worse. [Ed 2: Whatevs.]

RACISM AND IDENTITY POLITICS. After an enlightened Congress brought about civil rights, ungrateful racial minorities broke Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s heart by asking for employment and educational opportunities. They are still at it, doing damage to real Americans. Everybody is saying so. [Ed 2: Mention racial segregation? Ed 1: Okay, if you can find a place that doesn’t break up the flow but don’t make some kind of big deal about it, we all know that in hindsight, it was regrettable, like slavery.]

  1. THE TASK OF NATIONAL RENEWAL. Freedom must flourish. But there are some in this country who do not agree. They teach something called “critical race theory” in schools and colleges [Ed 2: Define? Ed 1: How would I know? Call your friend at Library of Congress if they’re so smart.] and publish things in the media that criticize America. They claim that America is not what Founding Father Ronald Reagan called “a shining city on a hill.” [Ed 2: RR born 1911. Ed 1: Your point?]. These disloyal haters are a danger to freedom. Readers of this report are advised to find anyone who teaches unapproved views and ensure that they are canceled.

Don’t call the FBI; we all know they’re Deep State.  [Ed 2: Why are you looking at me that way? Ed 1: No reason.]

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Garrett Epps

Garrett Epps is legal affairs editor of the Washington Monthly. He has taught constitutional law at American University, the University of Baltimore, Boston College, Duke, and the University of Oregon. He is the author of American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution.