The Collected Thoughts and Musings of an Aspiring Political Philosopher

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Palin's Comic Book View of History: Paul Revere's Ride

Apologists for Palin immediately struck against the "lame-stream media" laughing at their darling for getting the history wrong (again) about one of our iconic First Patriots.

There is a tiny bit of merit in their arguments, particularly the chuckles that Revere warned the British. In a sense, he actually did at one point, though it was never his intention to tell the British anything. He was captured (along with his two fellow riders, William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott, who are often forgotten in retellings of the famous Midnight Ride story) by a British patrol and informed them that he had been raising the alarm and they would be met by "five hundred Americans" ready to fight.

So that part of the account Palin gave had a grain of truth to it. But her word pudding, as incoherent as it was, didn't exactly give us any indication that she was talking about that incident at all (or was even aware of it). To hear her tell it, Revere might as well have been standing on a rooftop waving his fist at the British defiantly, a patriotic glow emanating from his body, as he warned the cowering British army that they were already defeated and might as well slink back to their ships and sail away.

Beyond the comic-book glorification Palin (and so many others who adore her) have of American history, the other details of her brief blizzard of nonsense lack historical basis as well.

She seems to think Revere shot his gun and rang bells. He was both unarmed and had no bells, at least as far as the historical account goes (although some pictorial depictions of him do show him ringing what looks like a teacher's school-bell, so it's hard to tell for sure). But by all written accounts, it was the people he warned from house to house that shot the guns and range the bells, not himself.

While Revere did in fact "warn" the British (while being detained and under threat of having his brains blown out) that's a little different than Palin's embellishing it with him telling the British that "we're going to be free" and "they weren't going to be taking away our arms".

Although he was either a member of or sympathetic to the Sons of Liberty, a group of Americans who (sometimes violently) fought depredations of the British against Americans, few of them wanted independence from Britain; most of them simply wanted fairness and self-determination under British rule. So while I'm no expert on Revere, there's a good chance Revere no more wanted independence from the Crown than most of the rest of the colonists did in 1775. Up until this time, in fact, they were sending delegation after delegation to Britain petitioning to allow the colonies representation in Parliament, hardly the actions of people who hated the Crown so much they wanted complete freedom.

It wasn't until AFTER the battle at Lexington and Concord that most colonists realized that the Brits were going to ruthlessly put their foot on the Americans and thus the first serious discussion of real independence rather than self-determination took shape, leading to the Declaration of Independence a year later.

The best resource for Revere comes of course from his own accounts as well as those of his companions. The website for the Paul Revere House is here:

It might do for Sarah Palin, as she visits all of these historic sites, to brush up a little better before spouting more word coleslaw in front of the cameras. While entertaining, we must remember that a good number of Americans consider her a leading light of Patriotic All-Americanness, and the more we encourage her by putting her ridiculous clown-show on the air and Internet the more her fans believe she's the model for their children and their children's-children. Do we really want to embolden future generations of historical know-nothings?

(Hat tip to Douglas Redecopp for pointing me to the apologist's article)


Anonymous said...

She doesn't have to brush up on her history. She never suffers any real loss from it, she has no ability to feel embarrassed or she'd have slunk away long ago, her fan club wouldn't be dissuaded no matter what she does.

She's the perfect modern-day Republican, anti-education, anti-intelligence, anti-science, anti-knowledge, rich, white and always a victim.

It's pathetic. What's more pathetic is that there is a segment of US population that thinks she belongs in office - any office.

John S. Cline said...

The self-assurance of the completely and proudly ignorant is truly astounding. What is more astounding, to me at least, is that there are any Americans at all that admire this kind of brazen self-satisfied idiocy.

The very ones who claim to be so proud of our history and heritage don't seem to understand that the people that built this country and made it what it is cherished education and "book-larnin" because they knew that was the key to progress for the nation as a whole.

There have always been proudly ignorant people, but I dare say they weren't the ones who had anything to do with making American a great country. Most likely the opposite.

Mark81150 said...

Well you c meet my expectations of a bigoted fountain of ignorance about anything conservative, I mean why engage in an active debate,

When you can just pronounce half the country stupid and move on,

If I adopted your attitude about the left, and oh God it's tempting, why should any of us talk to you, since you've already concluded we're enemy combatants.

your own words..

"Those who perpetuate income inequality within society, including most economic and movement conservatives, Social Darwinists, and all believers in utilitarianism in general are antisocial and pathological. "

So... believing in a particular theory on economics, makes us pathological? antisocial?...

I've never written off half my own country without even knowing them as villains in a self constructed straw man play, to be burned on cue while the enlightened progressives strip down and dance around the flames in joyous celebration..

which you kinda do.. I read your entirely self serving piece about Sarah, and the ignorance which glows isn't hers. You greatly embellish her words, then distort them to arrive at a preconceived conclusion.

Your entire line of reasoning is beyond offensive, you assume way too much about people who love this country and do know it well,.

You admitted to not being a Revere scholar at legal insurection, so if you were all knowing about Revere and had to look it up..

Does that make you anti-knowledge and anti-education too doc?

or just stupid, as you claim she is?

I mean if you're so all wise and all knowing,.. why didn't you already have that knowledge?


That's the standard you set for her, but it doesn't bother you at all does it, to have a different set of standards for your own, and another for political enemies?

and as for your friends moronic statement,...

"She's the perfect modern-day Republican, anti-education, anti-intelligence, anti-science, anti-knowledge, rich, white and always a victim."

Would the enlightened progessive dirtbag who accused Sarah of wanting to murder or convert all Jews, then call the Professor a bad disloyal Jew for supporting her,.. is this him too... "anti-education, anti-intelligence, anti-science, anti-knowledge"?

or just a antiChristian bigot, spewing religious hate against one of the few political leaders to be unrestrained in her love and admiration for Israel.. an affection that they openly returned by the way..

so are the Israeli's anti-education, anti-intelligence, anti-science, anti-knowledge" as well?

or maybe,

You're irrational in your hatred for a solid conservative..

either way,.. it makes you less worthy for having been so forth coming in your hate for the only viable female politician.. or is misogyny now an official democratic party stance?

Seems to be to my moderate democrat wife. Your kind of Palin hate has driven her to my party, something 15 years of marriage never did, your sides hate for Sarah accomplished for me..

Thank You..

But that's the real fear isn't it?

We conservatives have much more common ground with the democrat conservatives than you do, after your sides repeated attempts to purge any dissent to the right from your party, you've managed to swell our ranks, again.

You think 2010 was bad, you have no idea how bad the tidal wave of revulsion for progressives has become.

and really, if you think Sarah is dim,.. brother,

Take a look at Debbie Wasserman Shultz, that woman is dumb as dirt.

sauerkraut said...

YOu do a nice job, mark, of addressing everything but the topic at hand.

Well done, sir. Well done.

John S. Cline said...

Thanks for the vitriolic, Palin-apologistic, Schultz-bashing and completely fact-less comment Mark. Kinda makes my point for me, actually. Much appreciated. Thanks for adding to the growing evidence (I know, "evidence" is something you don't believe is valid, but it's there anyway) proving that those who appreciate the "contribution" Palin brings to American politics are essentially lacking in any concept of history, economics, political sensibility or common sense.

John S. Cline said...

"Those who perpetuate income inequality within society, including most economic and movement conservatives, Social Darwinists, and all believers in utilitarianism in general are antisocial and pathological. "

Mark, you stated that those who "perpetuate inequality" are not to be considered "antisocial and pathological".

Give me another defintion.

If you believe that people that have zero chance of achieving success in this wildly inefficient and unequal system we have today can achieve "success" then please provide data to support your allegations. Otherwise, it comes to nothing more than wide-eyed rhetorical "my side is better" propagandizing that doesn't help one iota in fixing the problems our country, and the world, faces.

Hit me with facts and data, or you might as well shut up and meaninglessly wave a flag on a streetcorner, Mark.