Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
On America’s Founding Principles
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

 
I have spoken many times about the importance of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
 
It should go without saying that these documents are foundational to our nation.
 
They were revolutionary texts for the time that laid out our timeless founding ideals that we continue to strive towards as Americans.
 
Unfortunately, it seems this fact can’t be taken for granted.
 
On the Fourth of July, NPR continued its tradition of sharing the text of the Declaration.
 
But this year, it began with what they call in colleges now a “trigger warning,” telling its audience that the Declaration is “a document with flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies.”
 
Instead of highlighting the American ideals it laid out, NPR decided that the most important thing to note was that it contained outdated language about Native Americans and that its ideals were not yet fully realized when it was written.
 
I can think of many ways to introduce a reader to this document. But, it fundamentally misses the point to focus on the flaws of the authors and signers rather than the ideals it lays out of natural rights endowed to all by our creator.
 
The people who wrote the Declaration were not perfect, but the principles they espoused remain true to this day and have changed the course of human history for the better.
 
We need not ignore the fact that the Founders did not live up to the lofty goals they set.
 
But it does a disservice to focus on those flaws while glossing over the fact that our founding principles were truly exceptional in human history.
 
They set us on a path to abolish slavery, provided the justification for woman’s suffrage, and formed the basis of the Civil Rights Movement.
 
On July 4th, we celebrate our nation, “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” as Lincoln said.
 
It is imperative that we do not lose sight of our founding principles, which unite all Americans and have been the driving force helping us achieve a more perfect union.