Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Wrong, Just Wrong

Historical revisionism seems to be quite popular these days, particularly among the Tea Party crowd and the candidates seeking Tea Party support. Some of it is nothing more than sloppy and lazy ignorance (see Palin, Sarah and Bachman, Michele), but most of it is deliberately wrong. That's why I was gratified this weekend to find some people willing to rebut this practice.

First off was E.J. Dionne's excellent column prepared for the Fourth of July. In that column he carefully explicated the Declaration of Independence to show how badly the Tea Party and others on the right were interpreting that seminal document for their own political purposes. Our founders were neither anti-tax nor anti-government, just anti-tyranny. The column is worth reading in its entirety and I urge you to do so.

The second attempt to correct the current misinformation comes in a blog post to which I was directed by Prior Aelred. The subject is the arguments used by the right to justify the legal attack on the mandate for insurance in the Obamacare legislation.

Many people who oppose the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, also known as ‘Obamacare’, say the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have wanted the Government to make health insurance mandatory for private employees.

This is simply not true. In 1798, under 2nd President and Founding Father John Adams, the United States passed a law requiring mandatory health insurance for any private employees working on Maritime vessels. The bill was called “An Act for The Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen”

It’s safe to assume that John Adams, who was the first Vice President of this country, the 2nd President of this Country, one of the Founding Fathers, and was a key negotiator in the peace treaty between the United States and Britain, had a pretty clear idea of what the Founding Fathers would have been alright with.

Handy bit of factual information, that.

I don't imagine either effort will put any kind of damper on the forces more interested in pushing a political agenda than in truth-telling, but both might come in real handy in those dinner table and over-the-fence conversations with the yahoos suckered by the revisionism being spewed.



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