Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Liberal Myths vs. The Truth

In America, the post 1968 liberal movement has tried (and largely succeeded) to hijack the public discourse and re-write American history in the best Stalinist tradition. Here are three popular liberal myths with an acompanying short historical summary exploding each one.

Liberal Myth No.1
The United States was founded by liberals seeking a change from the status quo.

The Truth
The United States was founded (if you discount the failed Jamestown settlement) by the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Puritans were the most conservative sect of the conservative Calvanist movement of Protestant Europe. These were the religious right of their day. They left their homes in Europe to be free of overbearing government intrusion in their lives. The foremost being religious persecution. They sought to build a place where they could worship their God as they saw fit. A place where the government would be relatively weak. Over time the Puritan model was used by those who wrote our founding documents as a template for the new republic. Those who preferred the European way of doing things (large powerful central governments, state run labor “guilds”, a governing “elite” class) were called “Loyalists” and we call their descendants “Canadians” today. Even then the New York colony was known to be the most liberal of the original 13. And they were the last colony to sign the Declaration of Independence. And it was touch and go as to whether or not they would. As Casey Stengel once said, “you can look it up.”

Liberal Myth No.2
It was liberals who formed the anti-slavery movement which led to the Civil War.

The Truth
The anti-slavery movement, the “abolitionists” was founded in the evangelical Protestant churches of what would become the Union states. It’s leaders from John Brown on down were conservative, evangelical Christian ministers and church leaders. These men and women, informed by their faith, were the first ones to sacrifice their lives to put an end to institutionalized slavery in the United States. And they stirred the entire nation. It was the southern states, dominated by Democrats, that tried to destroy the Union to hold onto their slaves. And once war broke out, in liberal New York, there were the “draft riots” to protest “Mr. Lincoln’s war to free the slaves.”

Liberal Myth No.3
Liberals were the prime movers in America’s effort to defeat Hitler.

The Truth
Before Dec. 7, 1941 opposition to entering “another European War” was widespread and pervaded both sides of the political aisle. FDR believed he had to keep his meetings with Churchill clandestine even after having swept into his 3rd term in 1940, because the entire country did not want send American boys to die in Europe. This opposition was led primarily by World War vets who knew what war in Europe was like and did not want to send there sons to die in another one. And as for those in America who held Nazi sympathies, can you guess which American this author was writing about?

“ Writing at the time, Joe applauded Hitler's insight in realizing the German people's "need of a common enemy, someone of whom to make the goat. Someone, by whose riddance the Germans would feel they had cast out the cause of their predicament. It was excellent psychology, and it was too bad that it had to be done to the Jews. The dislike of the Jews, however, was well-founded. They were at the heads of all big business, in law etc. It is all to their credit for them to get so far, but their methods had been quite unscrupulous ... the lawyers and prominent judges were Jews, and if you had a case against a Jew, you were nearly always sure to lose it. ... As far as the brutality is concerned, it must have been necessary to use some.” The paragraph is from a biography of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. by Edward Renahan Jr. At the time Kennedy was FDR’s ambassador to Great Britain.

FDR himself, in his mis-guided ego regarding his own powers of persuasion, felt that he could negotiate with Hitler if the need to do so ever surfaced. He believed that Hitler would not lie to him as he had to Chamberlain (another liberal). Sound like anyone we just inaugurated? As the war in Europe approached final allied victory, FDR also believed, and told Churchill, that he and he alone knew how to handle “Uncle Joe” (FDR’s condescending name for Stalin). So he believed Stalin’s promise that at the war’s conclusion, Soviet troops would withdraw from the countries they had driven the Nazis out of, and that free elections would be held in these nations. FDR thereby consigned millions of people to Communist, totalitarian, dictatorships for the next 40 years, and gave birth to the Cold War.

Had it not been for Pearl Harbor, FDR was quite prepared to see Europe fall, relying on the Atlantic Ocean to give America enough time to build up the forces necessary to defend the homeland and make Hitler think twice about a trans-oceanic invasion.

A small historical footnote. It is an old tradition (probably going back to the Continental Army) that the officer corps of our military keep their political affiliations and leanings private until their terms of service were finished. In modern American history, only 5 men have had 5 stars on their shoulders, and they were all WWII commanders: Generals George Marshall, FDR’s Chief of Staff, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Forces, Omar Bradley, Commander US Ground Forces European Theater of Operations, Douglas MacArthur, Commander US Ground Forces Pacific, and Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander Central Command Pacific. These 5 men developed the strategies, employed the tactics, and led the troops that secured our victories that won WWII. Conservatives or Republicans, all.


Santayana said...

I am constantly amazed by how little history young Americans know of their own country. The NEA and AFT have done their jobs well.

AnotherBrother said...

How about the lies the always tell regarding the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

Individualist said...

Very goog post Auguste

Had FDR not been such a fan of the Chiang Kai-shek government and so interested in helping China or the Japanese empire had put off its militaristic plans to take over the Orient. Hitler may have won the war and developed the A Bomb (eventally). Fate is a funny thing!

Individualist said...

Sorry - Good Post

my keyboard sometimes has a mind of its own

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