Immigrant Blocked by Obama, Praised by Trump Attests to American Greatness

Nick Adams, author and founder of FLAG, the Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness, joined Glenn on radio for an inspiring interview about his new non-profit foundation that is reaching students across America about the greatness of the country they live in.

"I go and tell these kids that the day they were born in the United States of America is the day that they won the lottery of life, and they got a head start on everyone. And I beg them, I beseech them to never, ever bind to this false narrative by the left that America is this bigoted and awful place. This is a country of unlimited opportunities," Adams said.

In addition to the success he's having with FLAG, Adams also experienced a surge in book sales thanks to the president of the United States who tweeted that Green Card Warrior

is a must-read.

The tweet boosted Green Card Warrior into the top 100 books in the world in sales.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: We have Nick Adams, I'm in Austin at South by Southwest, we have Nick who is a green card warrior, which is a book of a days ago, the President of the United States tweeted out Nick Adams' new book green card warrior is a must read. The merit-based system is a way to go. Canada, Australia at Fox and Friends.

So how did that work out for you, Nick?

STU: A little boost in sales?

NICK: Absolutely. The last week or so has been incredible. We cracked the top 100 in the world for book sales.

JEFFY: Wow.

NICK: I was on the front page of every newspaper in the country. I had an opportunity to spar with Pierce Morgan over gun rights on good morning Britain television.

GLENN: So, Nick, you're the guy who tried to get into the United States for a very long time, you were blocked because you were anti-Obama. At least that's what I would take from it, and I think you kind of took that from it as well. You came here, you're very patriotic, for some strange reason you fell in love with America in Australia. And now you have founded something, you're the executive director of FLAG. The foundation for liberty and American greatness.

NICK: Yeah, that's exactly right, Glenn. I've come to America to make sure that America doesn't turn out like the country I had to leave. Doesn't turn out like every other country in the world, that we preserve everything that is special and different and amazing about the United States about the United States of America and almost 5,000 years of history we've never seen. And it's really disturbing to me that for several generations now we have not passed on what it means to be an American. What Americanism is. So I have come over here and set up a 501(c)(3) a nonprofit called the FLAG, and we go into elementary and high schools talking to students about what makes America special, what makes America different. Why is the constitution the best political document ever written. What would the world look like without the United States of America? What would the world be like today, had it not been for American leadership in the 20th century? Why is it an unparalleled force in the world? What has America given the world?

GLENN: I would imagine that you're very popular in Christian schools, some private schools, how are you doing with the public schools with that message?

NICK: Glenn, FLAG has been into 35 school. 31 which have been public schools.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: Out of Texas?

NICK: In California, in Florida.

PAT: He's been all over the place.

NICK: We've already trained more than 4,000 students across eight different states, and we are one of the fastest growing nonprofits right now in America. We are absolutely killing it. In terms of push back, you know, when I first started this, people said to me, Nick, this is a fantastic idea but there's no way in the world that you are ever going to get any public schools to let you in. Well, I'm here to tell you that we are 35-0. The push back has been very limited. We've had a couple of isolated incidents where a teacher has made a remark or a student has pushed back. But we take that in our stride, and I am sure that there's going to be more push back in the future, but we welcome that because that just means that we're being remarkably effective.

GLENN: If you want your school to get involved, I guess you will just go to FlagUSA.org?

NICK: That's exactly right.

GLENN: So tell me how did this tweet from President Obama happen? Or sorry President Trump happen?

NICK: Well, thankfully President Obama never tweeted about me. It wouldn't be too positive. But, no, look, President Trump watched me on television. He had already had a copy of green card warrior that we had furnished for him some time ago, and he saw me on Fox and Friends talking about a merit-based immigration system. And basically saying that we need to bring the best people to America if we're going to make sure that America remains the best country in the world.

GLENN: Does Australia do that?

NICK: We do. We do. Australia does, Canada does, there are a number of countries around the world that employs a particular grading system, which means if you have a proficiency in English, you have certain skills, job prospects, you get a certain amount of weighting for that, and that elevates you.

PAT: How is it, Nick, that it became fashionable to believe that America's the only country on earth that can't do that? Why do we get such vitreal directed towards us when we try to control our borders? That we ask that you at least come here legally, then we're haters, we're races, all of those things when almost every country in the world asks something of the people who emigrate there.

NICK: That's exactly right. There are has been a war on security going back at least 30 years. There's nothing more normal, nothing more logical. Every country has the right to determine who comes into our country.

PAT: It's our home. Do you let any stranger come into our home? I don't know who they are.

GLENN: No. No. They're not just here now. They're family. You're not somebody who broke into the house. You're family.

PAT: I have 68 people down in the basement. It's a new family of ours. It is ridiculous.

NICK: It is. The left is capturing the narrative, all the institutions that shape the culture and the messaging and, unfortunately, the messaging is now that if you just demand that, you know, we make sure that we vet people coming from dangerous countries to the United States, all of a sudden that makes you racist and bigoted and you're defaming the character of those people. So, unfortunately, political correctness is causing there to be a lack of clear mindedness, a lack of right thinking in the culture and in the country, and that's really why we need to fight as hard as we possibly can.

PAT: By the way, we're talking to Nick Adams, the founder and executive director of FLAG. Have you seen any evidence of some students having a realization while you're there? Do you think you're having an impact?

NICK: Absolutely. We were back N St. Louis, Missouri back in December, and this was one of four private schools we spoke at, a Catholic school, and there were six African-American students and I'm here to report to you that race relations in Missouri are at an all-time low of course after eight years of the Obama administration.

PAT: And the Ferguson stuff.

NICK: To break open that chasm. But it was an after school event and these six African-American students came and sat in the second row, and they pushed back hard because I said this is the best country in the world for a black person to live and America is the least most racial country in the world and this is the only place where they're free to color between the lines where they can fall down 5,000 times and get up 5,001 and, unfortunately, they were brain washed thinking because they were black, America was a terrible place. Anyway, I asked them if they knew any black people in their community that had ever left America to go anywhere else? And the answer was no. And then I asked them if they were aware that more black Africans that emigrated voluntarily to the United States became slaves. They again told me no. Anyway, it was some very heated discussion back and forth for the next two hours because this was a.

JEFFY: Good.

NICK: And at the very conclusion, those six African-American students came up to me and said Mr. Adams, we want to say thank you for coming to our school. We're not sure yet whether or not we agree with you, but we want to tell you that you put things in a way that we hadn't previously seen. And, for me, that was a victory. Because I'm going to go back.

PAT: That is a victory.

NICK: I'm going to go back. That's how we win back the future. Transform a generation.

GLENN: What is it like to be an African-American -- what is it like to be an African Australian?

NICK: Look, we don't have too many Africans in Australia. But, look, this is the -- this is the only place where anybody can rise above the circumstances of their birth to go and achieve whatever they want to achieve. And I told those students.

GLENN: People don't believe that, Nick.

NICK: I know.

GLENN: They think that Australia -- it's just like the United States. What is the difference?

NICK: The difference is massive, Glenn. In Australia, success is resented. In Australia, you can't color outside of the lines, you can't blaze a trail, you can't leave a legacy. People are rooting for your failure, rather than your success.

PAT: Sadly, that's starting to take root here.

NICK: I go and tell these kids that the day they were born in the United States of America is the day that they won the lottery of life.

PAT: It's true.

NICK: And they got a Head Start on everyone. And I beg them, I beseech them to never, ever bind to this false narrative by the left that America is this bigoted and awful place. This is a country of unlimited opportunities. You can do anything. And so FLAG is doing this uplifting motivational patriotic talks at these schools. We have the world's first U.S. constitution translated by Scalia interns in plane English that even an 8-year-old can understand.

GLENN: I love that. Is it available online?

NICK: Not yet. We're about six weeks away. But I want to come back on the show and tell you about it. But I can tell you this is the worlds first kid friendly constitution. We respond. The kids were saying we love the constitution but we're turned off by it because it's hard to understand.

GLENN: Can you do the decoration of independence as well?

NICK: Yes, sir. We have. That's right up next.

GLENN: Great.

NICK: And we want to get that in the hands of as many kids in America.

STU: You have it for 8-year-old levels. If you can get it to 4-year-olds --

NICK: That's right. We want to make it relatable. So we have images, we have graphic designs, we have cartoons, and we're going to do it in a nice, big format, not the usual size of the constitution. It's going to be for kids all the way from 8 years old up until 18. And because we want our kids tethered to the values and the virtues that emanate from the constitution, that catapulted America to the pinnacle nation of this earth.

JEFFY: Any way they get it is great. Instead of telling them we know it's difficult. Butch up, dummy, read it anyway.

NICK: That's right and it's not going to be a substitute for the real thing. There are indispensable phrases in the constitution that we want them to know. But small things like saying to form a more perfect union, to form a more perfect country. It's just small things like that that will hopefully make sure that kids will be really drawn and magnetized to the constitution because that's the greatest political document ever written, and we want kids, we want the next generation of Americans to understand the centrality of that document to America's continued prosperity and success.

GLENN: Nick Adams, so glad that you're here. Glad that you're a friend of ours and god bless you on all of the work that you're doing. Founder and executive director of FLAG. The foundation for liberty and American greatness. Nick Adams. You can find more information, and I would imagine make a donation to help his 501C3 out.

NICK: We would love that.

GLENN: FlagUSA.org. If it's something you want to be involved with, go to FlagUSA.org. Thanks, Nick, we'll talk to you again later.

By July 9, 1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, where British naval ships occupied New York Harbor. Revolutionary spirit and tension were running high. George Washington, commander of the Continental forces in New York, read the Declaration aloud in front of City Hall. The crowd cheered wildly, and later that day tore down a statue of King George III. They melted down the statue to make 42,000 musket balls for the ragtag American army.

America's separation from Great Britain was officially in writing. Now came the hard part.

The Declaration of Independence defines who we are, what we believe, and what we aspire to be. It is a mission statement. But no one said it would be easy to implement.

The Declaration was not simply an official announcement of our split from Great Britain. If it was just that, it could've been a lot shorter. It was also an announcement that we're starting a new company, and here's what we're basing it on. It didn't just declare independence — it declared principles. It declared how we were going to organize ourselves once we were out on our own, and it set up guardrails to help ensure we didn't end up like the country we were leaving in the first place.

The Founders set us up for success, but America is now fumbling it away, largely thanks to our dangerous drift from the original blueprints.

In our national discourse, it's hard to find agreement even on fundamentals like the Declaration of Independence anymore. There's no time for old-fashioned things like the Declaration when social media can fuel our outrage around the clock.

We have lost touch with our national DNA.

How often do we jump to outrage before we have any kind of perspective on a matter? In 2017, President Trump had only been in office for one month before over 100 activists rewrote a version of the Declaration of Independence, rewording it with Trump in the King George III role. Trump had been in office for a single month. The focus has shifted from unity to partisan winning at all costs. We have lost touch with our national DNA.

Our basic knowledge of the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights is so weak that we don't have a clue how they relate to each other. As of late 2017, 37 percent of Americans could not name any of our First Amendment rights. And 33 percent of Americans could not name any branch of our government.

Here's another example of our painful misunderstanding. In a Psychology Today article written before the 2016 presidential election, Dr. Mark Goulston was trying to figure out a way to understand Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This is what he came up with:

Trump represents the Declaration of Independence. Clinton represents the U.S. Constitution.

He tries to explain that Trump supporters are eager to declare their independence from the political swamp system. For the Constitution side of things, he wrote:

It [the Constitution] may have stood the test of time for so long because it was drafted following a long, costly and awful war that the founding fathers wanted to prevent from happening again. That intention possibly enabled them to create a document that was relatively free from special interests and personal agendas. [Hillary] Clinton is more like the Constitution than the Declaration of Independence and appears to be more about getting things done than declaratively taking a stand.

Besides being a completely bogus way to interpret Hillary Clinton, this comparison makes your brain hurt because it so fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between the Declaration and the Constitution. They are not rival documents.

He says the Constitution has stood the test of time because the founders wrote it to prevent another long, costly war. What? No. It stands the test of time because it was designed to protect the “unalienable rights" of the Declaration.

He goes on to say that we need a new Constitutional Convention because, “We may just need to retrofit it to fit modern times."

This is the primarily leftist idea that America is up against today — that the founding documents worked well for their time, but that they now need an overhaul. Progressives seem to live by the motto, if it ain't broke, fix it anyway. Rather than “fixing" things, however, when we understand the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights as they already are, we discover that they still work because they're tied to universal principles, not a specific point in time.

Here's one way to think about the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. The Declaration is our thesis, or mission statement. The Constitution is the blueprint to implement that mission statement. And the Bill of Rights is our insurance policy.

Aside from the practical business of separating from Great Britain, the gist of the Declaration is that humans have natural rights granted us by God, and that those rights cannot be compromised by man. The Constitution, then, is the practical working out of how do we design a government that best protects our natural rights?

The creation of the Constitution did not give us rights. The existence of our rights created the Constitution. The Constitution just recognizes and codifies those rights, clarifying that the government does not have authority to deprive us of those rights.

The Founders were extremely paranoid about corruption and abuse of power. They designed a system to avoid as much of that as possible.

The Progressive and postmodern idea that rich white guys founded America as an exclusive country club for enriching themselves doesn't hold water. If that had been their true intent, they seriously handicapped themselves with the emphasis on rights and the checks on power that they included in these three documents. Any honest reading of the Constitution, and of the massive ratification debates that dragged on in individual state legislatures, makes one thing very clear — the Founders were extremely paranoid about corruption and abuse of power. They designed a system to avoid as much of that as possible.

Still, this Declaration-Constitution-Bill of Rights-trifecta thing is just a conservative line, right? It's just something we say because we're stuck in the past and we're in denial about the new and improved, diverse, post-gender, postmodern America, right?

As the Declaration puts it, “let facts be submitted to a candid world."

In 1839, on the 50th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration as the nation's first president, the New York Historical Society invited former president John Quincy Adams to deliver a speech. As the son of John Adams, John Quincy wrote a speech about something near and dear to his — the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He said:

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, are parts of one consistent whole, founded upon one and the same theory of government… it had been working itself into the mind of man for many ages… but had never before been adopted by a great nation in practice…

Even in our own country, there are still philosophers who deny the principles asserted in the Declaration, as self-evident truths — who deny the natural equality and inalienable rights of man — who deny that the people are the only legitimate source of power – who deny that all just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed… I speak to matters of fact. There is the Declaration of Independence, and there is the Constitution of the United States — let them speak for themselves.

They can, and they do. They don't require any interpretation or updates because our inalienable rights have not changed.

Progressives and Democratic Socialists believe our rights come from the government, but the Declaration emphasizes that our rights are inalienable and are granted to mankind by God. By the way, we usually only use the word “inalienable" now when we're talking about the Declaration of Independence, so we often don't even understand the word. It means something that is not transferable, something incapable of being taken away or denied.

We don't know our founding documents anymore and we're witnessing the disastrous results of this deficiency. We've lost sight of what made the American Revolution so unique. It was the first time subjects who had colonized new lands, rebelled against the country they came from. Government by the people and for the people is a principle that changed the world. Most countries fall apart after their revolutions. We thrived because of the firm principles of the Declaration, and the protection of those principles in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It's a unique system with a remarkable track record, in spite of our human frailty. But this system is not inevitable — for it to continue to work, we must understand and protect it.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

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's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).