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AHA in the News

AHA executive director Jim Grossman spoke with ABC News about the historical context behind Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s invocation of “1776 ideals” on the campaign trail, as well as previous conservatives candidates’ use of 1776 as a shorthand for certain values. “We have, from the very beginning, had vast disagreements of what the spirit of ‘76 is,” Grossman said, noting that the contradictions around “liberty” in the founding documents have spurred debate to this day. “If you look at the early to mid-19th century, what you will see are vast debates over whether the Constitution was a pro-slavery or anti-slavery document. . . . [The documents] were written by men who grew up in a world where it was considered normal and acceptable to own, buy, and sell other people.”