Sunday, July 10, 2011

Politics and Revisionism

Michele Bachmann has received some harsh criticism as of late from various sources, including Anderson Cooper and Chris Matthews ("balloon head?"), for her comments on the Founding Fathers and slavery. I am not nor have been a supporter of Bachmann. In fact, I have barely given her any legitimate notice. What little notice I have given often causes me to draw the same conclusions of her as I did of Sarah Palin (though I think some nicer things could be said about Palin). Not surprisingly, Palin had a heavily publicized gaffe about Paul Revere's ride. While some have defended the accuracy of Palin's comments, her account of the details were a bit fuzzy. Bachmann's own whitewashing is also fuzzy on the details, but her critics tend to be equally inept at providing a nuanced view of the subject. While Bachmann's focus on the principles of the Declaration and Constitution tends to lead to downplaying the unsavory aspects of the Founders' history, the agenda of her critics attempts to paint the American founding as nothing more than a racist, pro-slavery movement that must be discarded. From the views of the Founders to the oft-cited 3/5ths compromise, historical revisionism for political gain runs rampant.

I am under no illusions regarding the bleak moments in my country's history (a common trait in every country). Considering my disdain for folk history within my church community, I have little interest in treating my nation's history any differently. However, I would rather hear a fully human historical undertaking than proctological cherry-picking.

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