Wednesday, October 05, 2005

American Myths – for the Thinking Person

In keeping with the theme of this blog – “hostility toward every form of tyranny over the mind of man,” I would like to correct what, in my opinion, are three American myths. Let’s work backwards.

Myth # 1: George W. Bush is a conservative.
Don’t get me wrong. I like George Bush. Sure, he’s an evangelical Christian, and he has an “R” next to his name, but conservative? By what definition of conservative? Radical leftists and socialists call him conservative, but this only serves to demonstrate that anyone can be “conservative” or “liberal,” depending on what they believe in relation to you. So what non-conservative things is “W” guilty of?
Cozying up to the Clintons.
Support for moderate rather than conservative Republicans in state primaries.
Allowing Ted Kennedy to write the education bill.
Throwing obscene amounts of money at education – something the imperial federal government has no business in.
The Medicare prescription drug benefit – an unnecessary and bloated entitlement.
Too few tax cuts.
Micromanaging an armchair war in Iraq – and making a mess of it.
Throwing Israel under the bus with the “road map” to peace, including pressuring the Gaza pullout.
Throwing vast amounts of money at Katrina relief.
Being the biggest spender in all of U.S. history – he has not vetoed a single spending bill, including the pork-laden highway bill.
Being AWOL on border security.
Signing the Campaign Finance Reform bill – a brutal assault on the 1st Amendment.

Myth # 2: Republicans are racist while Democrats care for blacks.
Going way back, the Republicans (Lincoln) freed the slaves, and 100 years later Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act despite severe Democratic opposition in the Senate. The Democratic Party had a stranglehold on the south during the 50’s and 60’s – they (Gov. Wallace) were the ones blocking the school door, while Republicans (Eisenhower) forced integration. Today, Democrats still keep blacks on the plantation of dependency, and the results are disastrous – see recent events in New Orleans. Affirmative action, likewise, smacks of the bigotry of low expectations.

I could go on, but due to all the banter about Bush’s Supreme Court nominees, the next myth is the real issue I want to get to.

Myth # 3: The Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857 prolonged slavery and declared the intrinsic worth of blacks to be less than that of whites by way of the infamous two-fifths clause.

Please, I beg you, continue to read! Why? Because George W. Bush has already appointed 2 justices to the Supreme Court – people who will profoundly affect our lives for decades. Bush said, in one of the 2004 presidential debates, that he would never appoint someone who would rule the same as the Dred Scott decision. I understand that was code language to pro-life evangelicals, but Dred Scott was a GOOD decision. “How?” you ask. “How, by declaring a black person to be the equivalent of only two-fifths of a white person, was that a good decision?” This does not mean, as modern school textbooks assert, that a black person, as an individual, was thought to be intrinsically worth less than a white person. It had to do with a fight between the northern and the southern states over the issue of political representation in Congress. The south wanted to count its blacks as whole persons to increase its power because representation in Congress is apportioned on the basis of population. The northern states wanted blacks to count for nothing - not for the purpose of rejecting their humanity, but to maintain an anti-slavery northern majority in the Congress. It was a Pennsylvania abolitionist, James Wilson, who proposed the three-fifths compromise. The effect was to limit the south’s political representation and its ability to protect the institution of slavery. Even Frederick Douglass called the three-fifths clause “a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding states which deprived them of two-fifths of their natural basis for representation.”

Just remember, you really have to ask hard questions and dig a little deeper to understand history.

1 comment:

Ray said...

Excellent post -- Again, there are so few who know the history of this country anymore, or history in general. It is reflected in many things, from the foolishness of today's political rhetoric, to the trends in modern 'evangelicalism'.