The battle for the soul of America

Oct 4, 2020 by

by Frank Furedi, spiked:

Historically, US presidential elections were dominated by competing views on economic and social issues. No longer. This approaching election has increasingly been consumed by a cultural conflict, at the heart of which is a war over American history. But this is no mere disagreement over the precise details of what happened three or four centuries ago. It is a battle for the very soul of the United States.

The principal battle is being fought over the founding of the US. As we will see, this is best captured, by, on one side, the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which contends America was founded when African slaves first arrived in Jamestown; and, on the other, President Donald Trump’s mooted 1776 Commission, which reasserts the traditional, would-be inspiring narrative of revolution and independence as America’s founding moment.

All of this raises questions of the utmost importance. Why has America’s founding become such a vital issue in the 21st century? And, more broadly, how should humanity engage with the legacy of its past achievements?

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