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Inaccurate Tea Party Version Of U.S. History

By The Reverend Published: June 22, 2013

Gonna be hot the next few days. Starting today, Mrs. Reverend and I will be luxuriating next to a pool at an undisclosed location. Won't be back to blogging until Wednesday morning.

For discussion purposes until I get back: Much is said today by libertarians and Teas about the American Founders and what they intended when they were organizing the numerous states into one nation immediately after the Revolutionary War. Did the Framers intend for the federal government to play a strong, centralized role in uniting the states into one powerful indivisible nation.....or did the Framers comprehend the new nation as consisting of numerous individual fiefdom states, each autonomous, and each with power to determine their own laws without any interference from a strong federal government.

It's the old argument over "states rights." If you listen to libertarian commentary, you could be confused into thinking that the Founders plan was to give individual states equal power with the federal government to make laws, raise taxes, determine rights, etc. In many of these libertarian faux history accounts, states, it is said, were actually given more power to determine laws, rights, etc. than the federal government.

Now to the homework part. For your weekend reading assignment, I encourage you to go here and read Robert Parry's illuminating article entitled, "The Tea Party's Legacy of Racism." Yes, the title is provocative....so what?

Parry's premise is as follows: "the Right has cherry-picked “history” regarding the nation’s Founding to mislead Americans."

How so?..... "The Right’s “big lie” about the Constitution has been to misrepresent what the key Framers – the likes of Madison, Washington and Hamilton – were trying to do. They were implementing the nation’s single greatest shift of authority from the states to the federal government.

Rather than enhancing states’ rights – as the Right would like its followers to believe – the Framers were stripping the states of their “independence” and “sovereignty” that had been spelled out in the Articles of Confederation, which governed the United States from 1777 to 1787."

Parry goes on to explain how slavery, and the fear among the slave states of being interfered with by a strong federal government, first led to the failed short term period of governance under the Articles of Confederation, whose dictates gave very little power to the federal government....and instead, made individual states into autonomous fiefdoms, each doing their own thing.

Proving that history, indeed, does repeat itself.....the Articles of Confederation message to citizens was the same message of today's Teas and libertarians......smaller federal government, limited federal government, take power away from the federal government and give it back to the states.

Problem is, as Robert Parry points out,.....the historical truth is just the opposite of what the libertarian Teas have been telling.

The Union tried it the libertarian way during the Articles of Confederation years, as brief and as much of a failure as that experiment with libertarianism was. But 10 years under an obvious failure was enough.....and the Constitutional Convention was convened, and the same Constitution America is still organized around today.....was ratified.

I won't tell you how racism plays into the narrative, both then and now,....you'll have to read the article to find out. But here's a clue: the people of the United States have been divided over slavery, racism and equality from the moment the Declaration of Independence was penned.

And today's Tea Party Patriots, whether intentionally on their part or not, are misleading many Americans with historical inaccuracies about these matters.

Again, here's the link. I'll be checking comments until I get back on Wednesday......tell me what you think.

 

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