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Pompeo drew ire from across the political spectrum after tweeting Monday that it was “dangerous” to teach that the foundation of the United States was flawed.
“If we teach that the founding of the United States of America was somehow flawed. It was corrupt. It was racist. That’s really dangerous. It strikes at the very foundations of our country,” wrote the potential 2024 GOP presidential contender.
If we teach that the founding of the United States of America was somehow flawed. It was corrupt. It was racist. That's really dangerous. It strikes at the very foundations of our country. https://t.co/WWwqs1VAo6
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) July 5, 2021
Critics were quick to explain the folly of Pompeo’s post:
"if we teach the truth, then kids will grow up knowing the truth. and that's not cool to people who don't want their kids knowing that kinda stuff ..." https://t.co/vfCtpqCC0k
— Don" 't ask me google questions" Cheadle (@DonCheadle) July 7, 2021
I’m open to correction, but I’m pretty sure that literally every single one of the founding fathers thought the founding had flaws in one way or another. The Constitution was full of compromises. The articles of confederation were a hot mess. Be a grown up. https://t.co/JBa0MkZllg
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) July 7, 2021
These guys are gonna read Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and have their minds blown harder than Anthony Soprano Jr. https://t.co/e6yyaLIdn6
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) July 7, 2021
LOL. But also somebody please teach this man how to write a sentence. https://t.co/eisWTLu5k4
— Jillian C. York 🏳️🌈 (@jilliancyork) July 7, 2021
As your former colleague, I KNOW you know better than this. Let’s teach the TRUTH about our founding. America’s founding IS one of history’s greatest advances of freedom, but it WAS flawed. It WAS racist. I mean, blacks were counted as 3/5’s of a person. Don’t be so afraid Mike. https://t.co/Yvt6lJ2NeT
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 7, 2021
This guy worked four years for a politician who admired Adolph Hitler and inspired a fascist coup attempt. Maybe he should go off on a mountain and reconsider all his life decisions instead of popping off about the meaning of America https://t.co/6FxO5QZcSg
— Borzou Daragahi 🖊🗒 (@borzou) July 7, 2021
Yes the founding of our nation via mass genocide and continued enslavement was flawless. No notes. https://t.co/SBKKkQVwkh
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 7, 2021
The inability of conservatives to hold two ideas in their brain - the founding of America was good, the founding of America involved massive injustice- is a key dysfunction of that entire movement
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 7, 2021
should hear what christianity teaches about the first human beings https://t.co/yJDneiyc84
— elizabeth bruenig (@ebruenig) July 7, 2021
Apparently the founding of a nation that enslaved a portion of its population and counted them as 3/5 of a person with no rights in its founding document was not “somehow flawed.” https://t.co/gAVg8E951p
— Ian Bassin (@ianbassin) July 7, 2021
I don’t know a conservative who believes our founding was perfect, or our founders above scrutiny. This is lazy drivel, and proof winning the culture wars has replaced winning on ideas. https://t.co/CKW4lPABXR
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) July 7, 2021
If we avoid teaching America’s flaws—that's dangerous.
We can hold 2 thoughts simultaneously: America has done great & terrible things.
We're at our best when we reckon with our past & right our wrongs. If we ignore past injustices & how they reverberate today, we repeat them. https://t.co/TLFXaKAcMZ
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) July 7, 2021
The founding was flawed. It was racist and it was sexist. That's our history. What's dangerous is failing to teach our kids the truth.
We can and should strive to honor and be proud of our best American principles, while still acknowledging the flaws of the past and today. https://t.co/NUXpJUgjH8
— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) July 7, 2021
Of course it’s flawed. That’s why it’s been amended many times as we seek to create a “more perfect union.” Being humble enough to change is what makes Democracy the best imperfect form of government — if we can keep it. https://t.co/thjV0nU60R
— Juli Briskman (@julibriskman) July 7, 2021
Former Secretary of State argues that slavery was not flawed, corrupt or racist. https://t.co/NTlbJFuVzh
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 7, 2021
The Founders themselves thought—and said!—that their founding was in some ways flawed. They argued after 1789 as before. They worried, even agonized, about compromises they’d had to make facing circumstances they hadn’t chosen. The founders were serious people. Trumpists aren’t. https://t.co/fYNnc4MiBS
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 7, 2021
Obviously, the Constitution was perfect and never needed to be amended in any way. https://t.co/Br65C9JqV3
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 7, 2021
FFS. Even the strongest, most “patriotic” historians concede that the existence of slavery at the founding represented an “original sin” America has strived to overcome. To suggest that DOESN’T reflect a true “flaw” is the truly dangerous notion. https://t.co/LKvbVPc6jU
— Robert A George 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇹🇹 (@RobGeorge) July 7, 2021
Dear @mikepompeo: We both served on active duty because we love America. At the founding, women couldn’t vote and a Black slave was counted as 3/5ths of a person. The U.S. is great because we recognize our failings and overcome them, instead of dangerously whitewashing the truth. https://t.co/EodEOhbYvA
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 7, 2021
Nope it was perfect. Flawless. Can’t think of anything I would change. Not a thing. Not a single thing. https://t.co/6Ai9bymEjn
— John Legend (@johnlegend) July 7, 2021
I honestly never met a serious conservative who wouldn't admit that there were flaws at our founding. I mean, come on. That doesn't detract from the revolutionary importance of our founding and the ideals it was based upon. https://t.co/HoMRvjRCkU
— Jamie Weinstein (@Jamie_Weinstein) July 7, 2021
We DO teach punctuation, and yet you’ve managed to fuck that up in the most spectacular own-goal I’ve ever seen https://t.co/ZtfcCJV3Tv
— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) July 7, 2021
CORRECTION: This article originally said Pompeo’s tweet was from Wednesday. It was posted Monday.
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.