If they weren’t endangering my Republic, I’d find these people silly. Sadly, they are a force I must reckon with, due to how many people seem to have an 1830’s vision of America that they want to force on the rest of us.
In 2005, I was working for a woman who heard the phrase “Our founding fathers were deeply religious men” and agreed completely. In that moment when John made his claim, I couldn’t reply, “That’s a load — you’re just sucking up to my boss” for obvious reasons. But he wasn’t just trying to charm my boss. He was actually believed it himself.
These folks aren’t just putting “spin” on the facts. They aren’t just ignoring history. They are actively attempting to re-write history. To wit:
“There Are No Liberals on Mt. Rushmore”
This pejorative meaning of “liberal” didn’t exist until the 1990’s when the Gingrich crowd redefined the word. But let’s take a look at the evidence.
George Washington staunchly refused, during the Constitutional Convention, to allow any language establishing Christianity as the official religion of the USA or claiming that religious principles informed the creation of this nation. His first major act as President was using federal troops to quash the Whiskey Rebellion, an insurrection of backwater tax-evaders.
Thomas Jefferson hugely increased the power of the federal government via the Louisiana Purchase, which brought the US Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota (and most of North Dakota), Montana, Wyoming, and most of Colorado. If you’re a tea-person born in any of those states, you owe your US citizenship to Thomas Jefferson. We all know how much you folks hate France, right? Yum, freedom fries!
Jefferson, though a supporter of the philosophy of Jesus, was so distrustful of organized Christianity that he said “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man” and wrote a version of the New Testament based solely around the teachings of Jesus, while eliminating Paul, Revelations, etc. How many Tea-Party folk identify themselves as Christian? 91%. No wonder the Texas Board of Education (elected positions, not composed of experts in the field of education) wants to write Jefferson out of history books in Texas. Tit for tat.
Abraham Lincoln is next on the mountain. He opposed the principle of “States’ Rights” beloved by these Tea-baggers enough to send federal troops into a four-year war against the secessionists, increasing the power of the federal government at the expense of the states. He also managed to end the southern system of human slavery, in the process.
Texas Governor Rick Perry wants to talk secession? Abe Lincoln would strongly suggest you rethink your position, Rick.
Teddy Roosevelt is the last dude on the monument. Teddy Roosevelt was calling for nationalized healthcare to cover all Americans over a hundred years ago. Teddy rejected the usage of “In God We Trust” on American currency because he felt religion had no place in government. Teddy was a big-time environmentalist who expanded the power of the federal government to create and maintain the National Park Service. Teddy was so distrusted an unfettered free market that he is acclaimed for his trust-busting and his belief that the poor are to not be exploited by big business.
So that’s who’s on Mount Rushmore. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt.
No liberals? Sorry, Tea Party, seems like all liberals by your own definitions.
Please post your complaints about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt in the comments section.