Is Obama Dismissive of the Official Narrative of US History?
I have heard multiple conservatives on multiple occasions accuse Obama of being insufficiently proud of American history -- most specifically, the history of the US warfare state as the great liberator on earth.
In actuality, the mainstream conservatives and mainstream liberals tend to have a very similar view of American history: The history of progress, largely carried out by the central state. Lincoln and FDR, the New Deal and the World Wars, the Civil Rights era and even Cold War and proudly championed by both the center left and center right.
In his inaugural address, for example, Obama talked up the soldiers who"fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn." While it is true that he says"that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions," he seems to believe those missiles and tanks are important, which would explain why he's increasing"defense" spending and expanding the war.
Obama is proud of the statist version of American history, as are most conservatives and mainstream liberals. The antidote is in thoughtful revisionism. A good introduction to looking at American history differently is Ivan Eland's new book, Recarving Rushmore.
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William Marina - 4/20/2009
As I commented at Ivan Eland's presentation in Oakland, I very much like his book. It was also generous of him to acknowledge, Anthony, that you played an important role in researching the work.
I did disagree, as I said there, with his rating George Washington so highly (7th best). Washington's disdain for the Militia system, his imperial desire for Canada, his early undercutting of the Second Amendment in that regard, are all indicative that the imperial wing of the so-called "Founding Fathers," predated the Revolution itself and continues long afterward, into the present, to undercut the structures of a Republic.
Ron Paul has linked Washington with a non-interventionist foreign policy. That is just plain nonsense! In 1792, Washington, perhaps our wealthiest and biggest slaveholder, through his wife's slaves, gave $726,000, when that was a considerable sum, in foreign aid to attempt to keep the French Creoles in power in Haiti, in the face of the Black Revolution there.
No "Entangling Alliances," need not mean non-intervention, it can just as easily mean, and did, a policy of "unilateral Intervention," which has always been the best description of America's increasingly Counter-revolutionary foreign policies. What is most important, however, is to understand that these are not new, but go back to the Founding, "Big Daddy," himself, long before he was President.!