By Jane Hampton Cook
STARRS Board of Advisors Member
This Independence Day, is there hope for convincing those enamored with Critical Race Theory (CRT) that this philosophy is anti-American, neo-Marxist and detrimental to the survival of America as a free country? A quote from the nation’s founding era provides a glimmer. “This ardent love of one’s country is most essential to the preservation of all Republican governments,” wrote a prominent person from the founding generation.
Who wrote this? Was it Thomas Jefferson, who passed along similar advice: “I hope so much from the patriotism of all, that they will make all smaller motives give way to the greater importance of the general welfare?”
Was it John Adams, known for his anti-slavery views and this patriotic statement? “The preservation of liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved.”
Or was it George Washington, who believed that unity was crucial to preserving freedom? “In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other,” Washington said in his 1796 Farewell Address.
Washington understood that patriotism was a choice and that being an American was more important than any other identity, whether immigrant or natural born. “Citizens by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together.”
Jefferson, Adams and Washington could have written the introductory quote of this article, but they didn’t. Their mutual enemy did.
King George III wrote: “This ardent love of one’s country is most essential to the preservation of all Republican governments.” The British monarch defeated by Washington and deemed a tyrant by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence came to understand that patriotism and unity would preserve America.
Where did King George write this? Digitized and released a few years ago by British archivists under the direction of his third great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II, King George III’s private writings included this undated quote in a section where he described different types of governments. The tone of the quote implies that he wrote this sentiment in a more reflective mindset, perhaps after the American Revolution.
King George continued this quote about patriotism’s role in preserving Republican governments by adding that “the inspiring therefore the minds of youth in the first dawn of reason, with this passion ought to be the principle view of education.” In other words, this British monarch understood that the key to America’s survival was to pass on a love of country to each new generation through education.
King George III was America’s first arch enemy. He reacted to the Boston Tea Party by replacing the governor of Massachusetts with a military general and filling Boston with soldiers. He denied Americans the right to a warrant before a search of their home and a jury trial. He ignored the Continental Congress’s Olive Branch Petition and instead declared the colonists to be in rebellion against him.
If this tyrant could develop a healthier perspective and understand the importance of unity and patriotism to America’s future as a secure and independent nation, then surely there is hope to convince those lured by the neo-Marxist and communist philosophies of CRT and the 1619 Project, which have numerous historical fallacies and distortions of truth.
Not only must CRT be eliminated in schools and in the military, but advocates for it need to understand why this philosophy is destructive and results in more racism, not less. The process first requires exposure before those led astray can change. Americans need to be exposed to the dangers of Marxism and communism and the irrational circular logic of CRT, which fails to recognize the improvements made by this nation, such as adopting the 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments, the 1960s Civil Rights Acts and the integration of public schools in 1971.
Ronald Reagan reminded Americans that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
STARRS understands that it is time to fight with words and logic to combat anti-American ideologies raging in the homeland and to inspire a love of country to all.
Jane Hampton Cook is the author of Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War and other books. Her free ebook called First Freedoms is available on janecook.com.