Haskins and Talgo: 3 ways the Left is working to undermine our Constitution

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On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers concluded the Constitutional Convention by signing their names to the U.S. Constitution, which was officially ratified one year later, forever altering the history of the world.

The Constitution is not merely a legal charter, it is the American people’s best attempt, however flawed it might be, to establish a “more perfect Union” of imperfect people who, despite their many differences, share a common commitment to live harmoniously together in freedom and peace.

For most of our nation’s history, the Constitution has been celebrated as a seminal achievement in the march toward liberty — both in the United States and abroad.

However, more recently, many on the left have branded the Constitution a “racist” and “outdated” document that should be shunned by the public. Further, many in government, including President Joe Biden, are now ignoring key constitutional provisions meant to protect Americans’ rights.

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Below are three of the most troubling ways opponents of individual liberty and traditional American values are undermining the Constitution.

1. Woke Activism at America’s National Archives

Some of the most important institutions founded to protect the Constitution are working daily to convince Americans that their country is nothing more than a bigoted, racist, horrible place, and that the Constitution is a product of white supremacy, not a sincere attempt to build a freer world.

An important example occurred at the National Archives, which recently formed a radical Task Force on Racism that is seeking to dramatically rewrite many of the descriptions in its library, purge allegedly “harmful” language, and change materials that “over-describe the records and achievements of White men by using more extensive, superlative, and subjective language.”

The Archives is also planning to redesign its Rotunda — where the Constitution is regularly displayed — along similar lines, a disturbing development considering that the Archives’ Task Force on Racism has concluded that white supremacy culture is the “dominant, unquestioned standards of behavior and ways of functioning embodied by the vast majority of institutions in the United States.”

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Of course, we should celebrate the achievements of the diverse groups of people who have made America the exceptional place it is today, and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the tragic mistakes and actions of the past, but by framing America’s institutions and founding documents as the result of white supremacy and structural racism, the Archives has done great damage to the reputation and influence of the Constitution, despite all of the remarkable achievements that have occurred as a result of its creation.

2. Rewriting History in America’s Schools and Media

One of the most important efforts to undermine America’s national charters is occurring in our nation’s media institutions and public and private schools.

For example, The New York Times’s 1619 Project, which includes numerous factual errors and has been referred to by some historians as “fatally flawed,” has been used to teach countless children that the “real” founding of the United States occurred in 1619, when the first slaves arrived on America’s shores, not in 1776.

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It also perpetuates the myth that the Constitution’s main goal was to uphold slavery, a falsehood that ignores the countless U.S. political and social leaders of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who abhorred slavery and fought feverishly to eliminate it.

The 1619 Project’s lies, like other, similar projects that have rewritten U.S. history, have caused many to call into question whether the Constitution ought to be maintained. By framing the Constitution as one part of a much longer effort to oppress others, opponents of a traditional understanding of the national charter have significantly harmed its credibility.

3. President Joe Biden’s Vaccine Mandates

 In one of the most authoritarian moves we have seen by a president in recent decades, President Joe Biden announced on September 9 that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration would issue new workplace rules requiring employees at private companies with 100 workers or more to be vaccinated or else obtain a weekly COVID-19 test.

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This mandate is totally unprecedented. Never before has a president attempted to impose such a requirement on private businesses or their employees, and the most likely reason why is because the U.S. Constitution nowhere gives Congress nor the president the power to regulate personal health care choices of private citizens operating solely within one state.

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Under the Constitution, nearly all public health issues are the responsibility of states and local governments, or they are reserved to the people generally.

This principle is laid out plainly in the Tenth Amendment, which reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

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If courts do not strike down Biden’s mandate, the Biden administration, as well as countless other presidential administrations in the future, will expand this already overreaching policy to cover even more behaviors, effectively gutting the Constitution of its most important protections of individual rights.

On Constitution Day, Americans everywhere should renew their commitment to this important charter of freedom, as well as demand that their elected representatives do the same.

Chris Talgo is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute.

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