Guest editorial: The Magnificent History of the United States

| January 3, 2012 | 21 Comments

Guest Editorial Graphic Schilling Show BlogThe following is a paper I discovered amongst keepsakes of my parents. It was written for a middle school assignment 35 years ago, in the Albemarle County School System. I was given an A+++ at the time. Given the recent Kid Pan Alley “99%” controversy at Albemarle County’s Woodbrook Elementary School, I can not help but wonder, in today’s scholastic environment, what grade my paper would receive. Once upon a time, before the Department of Education, we knew how to teach history and instill patriotism. Sadly, as today’s headlines too numerously display, we’ve dropped the baton of truth from previous generations to the present one.

The Magnificent History of the The United States
by Hank Martin

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” –Abraham Lincoln

Upon that proposition, this great land of liberty was founded, and to this day, the persecuted and the weary, look upon our shores with eyes of hope. Let us tell then, the story of this great land, the story of America.

In the beginning, when the freedom of man was but a vision in the hearts of a few, the Pilgrims came to our shores, that they might find a land where God could be worshipped according to a man’s own conscience. Where a man might govern himself, and live in peace and understanding with his fellow man. After they had prayed, they rolled up their sleeves and went to work. The building of America had begun. By the year 1630, thousands of immigrants had followed the paths of freedom, to land in Boston Harbor, in Massachusetts. Yes, the colonies were growing. It seemed a fit and proper time to give thanks to Almighty God. The colonists raised their voices in jubilation.

The new settlements prospered, it appeared that everything was going to be all right, until, the hard won personal rights were pierced with a proclamation. Taxes! Taxes! Taxes without representation! A despised and hated tyranny of the old world, reaching out to the new. Protests! Protests! The answer came swiftly. Soldiers of the king, thundered through the streets in the night. They sought after those considered enemies of the crown. But in a meeting at St. Johns Church, Patrick Henry exclaimed, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”  His speech lighted the torch of liberty.  Soon, the angry colonists were burning the very goods upon which the unjust taxes had been levied. Disguised as Indians, they threw bales of tea into Boston Harbor. The die had been cast. The continental congress met in grave session. The result of that meeting?

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.

One of the greatest of human documents was forged in the fire of patriotic fervor. It proclaimed these truths as self-evident. That all men were created equal. That they are endowed by their creator  with certain unalienable rights. That among these are the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In those ringing notes of liberty, as rang out by the liberty bell, a new flag was formed, when Betsy Ross made a new banner of red, white and blue, with thirteen stars, each star a state, and the great battles began.  Under Captain John Paul Jones, the American navy fought on. At Valley Forge, the great strength of George Washington held the army together.  The years of the war were long dark days in the history of our country. Then Washington joined the forces of Lafayette at Yorktown, and a decisive battle was fought. With sudden finality, the war was over. Again the Liberty bell rang out the news. By the grace of God, we had won. We were a nation!

It was decided that this new nation should have laws by which to govern itself.  The constitution of the United States was written. The states agreed. And to certify that these new laws would work for the people, there was added to it, the Bill of Rights.  Freedom of worship. Freeedom of speech, of the press. The right of assembly. James Madison put it this way:

“In approving this Bill of Rights, we have executed the will of the people.”

A mighty lot had been accomplished up to now; we had our freedom, our nation, and our first president, George Washington. In the years that followed, the great era of exploration began. Virginia’s own Thomas Jefferson regarded the maps of the day, and he had an idea about all of that land west of the Mississippi. The French agreed to sell the Louisiana territory to the United States for approximately four cents per acre. With fitting and proper ceremony, the Stars and Stripes were hoisted over the vast and fertile land.

The war of 1812 burst upon our shores with brisk and sudden fury.  A test by fire for so young a nation.   But Andrew Jackson was there, with his homespun men of the backwoods.  In Baltimore Harbor, the guns of Ft. McHenry blazed defiantly.  It was here, that Francis Scott Key, watching the battle through the night, wrote a song which he called, “The Star Spangled Banner.” In two years, the war came to an end, and Francis Scott key was a good prophet, our flag was still there.  We still had our nation, and now we had a song for our people to sing. Our national anthem.

It then seemed expedient to consider all those people who lived with us as our good neighbors in this hemisphere. And to give warning to foreign powers and foreign aggressors, for that time, and ever after. James Monroe read the text to John Quincy Adams:

We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers, to declare, that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere, as dangerous to our peace and safety.

The Monroe Doctrine was a bulwark to further protect the principles upon which this country was founded. Thus ensued the great era of expansion.

In the Mexican campaign, Texas was won. Then we acquired the vast territories of California and Oregon. From California, the cry of GOLD! Was heard around the world. From every way the wind blows, adventurers raced to the prosperous bonanza.  But again, storm clouds were gathering over our republic, as the northern and southern states of our union, took issue with the direction our government was heading. Cries of Secession were heralded, as unjust northern tariffs were placed southern businesses, and other attempts to subvert individual states rights were promoted. The union was no longer united. Southern forces were manipulated into firing upon Ft. Sumter. This was no war of foreign aggression. Both Northern and Southern Forces believed their cause to be just.  Ultimately, the N

Northern forces would win, but there was little celebration by either side, just a sigh of relief that the struggle had come to an end.

Now began the great era of reconstruction and development. Lumbering prairie schooners rolled over the plains. Lusty bustling western towns sprang up in hundreds of places.  A huffing puffing symbol of technological progress marked a new trail with timbers and black smoke.  Long, spike settled rails now spanned the continent.  The iron horse had now brought together, the east and the west.  The conquest of the mountains, and the deserts and the prairies was concluded. But the age of hatreds of the old world were again reaching out, to embroil us in conflict.

The U.S.S. Maine was sunk in a Cuban Harbor. Teddy Roosevelt and his rough riders charged up San Juan Hill.  In one of the shortest wars in American history, Teddy said goodbye to his men and, fulfilling his destiny, became President of the United States. He never ceased fighting for what he believed to be right.

The twentieth century was growing up when Woodrow Wilson became president, but his years in office were overshadowed by that great human sacrifice known as World War One.  Soon after his second term commenced, the policy of “hands off” could no longer be tolerated. The war message was read in congress on April 2, 1917. Two million American men crossed the ocean, to invade the invader. Many battlefields and many townsfolk knew of their courage. And finally, when the strange hush of peace sprouted forth, they went home.  Some were laid forever in Flanders Field.  And we believed that war was a war to end war.

So we started to build. Bigger than ever before. AMERICA! Rising in miraculous monuments of stone and steel.  The tallest buildings in the world. Bridges expanding to cross whatever body of water we anted to cross. Mighty dams bringing new life to arid waste lands, and electric power to the rural countryside. Millions of miles of roads and highways. Oil derricks crowning the arteries of black flowing gold. Farmers plowing with tractors. Cities a symphony of automobiles.  Yet, in all of our prosperity, we failed to heed the venomous voice that was slithering across Europe. We watched again, as Hitler and Tojo ignited another conflagration amongst  the nations of the old world. Thus we had conscription, a peace time draft. But no one really believed it would happen again. That belief was rudely shattered on a Sunday morning in Pearl Harbor. Under Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s admimistration, the minds and hearts were quickly united against the tyrannical forces of the axis powers, and to work together as one, until that moment when the despots of tyranny were destroyed.

Such industry as the world has never seen sprang to life. Shoulder to shoulder, the workers of America banned together on the home front. Twenty four hours everyday, the factories filled the sky with the smoke and fire of defiance. Ringing steel and grinding wheels. Hammers and anvils, welding machines, made up the war time sounds of freedom at home.

Over vast areas of far away waters, our armed forces challenged the enemy.  One by one, we moved through the islands of the pacific. The pace was heartbreaking. Never before had a series of invasions been made so far from home. As landing craft chugged forth to deposit their cargos of brave and determined men, our planes blasted the enemy from their secret hideouts, and shot their planes from the sky. The great battles at sea held a proud and honored place in our history.  Admiral Nimitz was there, with his ships and men. It was an all American team, made up of the Navy, the Army, the Air Force and the Marines.

In distant Africa, our men were fighting side by side with the British and the French. In Italy, we were battling the hated hordes of Mussolini.  In Germany, the spirits of the captive Jew’s in the concentration camps heard the ever increasing roars of our bombers. The war was coming back to the enemy now.  Hitler had said “No Bomb will ever drop on German soil!” But they were falling like rain and like thunder. Then, one early morning on the English Channel, a great secret was made know to all. Invasion. The landing on Omaha beach was a masterpiece of coordination and precision, taking us into fortress Europe on that stretch of sand.

In the months that followed, the irresistible might of our armed forces grew more evident each day.  They swept across France, driving the enemy before them.  Our planes, like avenging eagles, blasted the Luftwaffe out of the sky, or shattered enemy planes on the airfields, far within the German border. Everything within the evil Reich that moved was halted.  Day by day, the land forces drove steadily to the Rhine. General Patton reached the river with his Third Army, and moved on. Our great military leaders, Marshall, Arnold, Eisenhower, pushed our troops forward to the final phase of the conflict.  In a narrow corner of West Berlin, what was left of a once arrogant German army was put to rout. When we entered Berlin, it was a shambles of broken walls. More than eighty percent of the once great city lay in ruins. A monument to the egotistical ravings of a madman.

With the surrender of Germany, we turned  our unified attention and might to the pacific, where the lines of battle were now close to the shores of Japan. Not long after, the B-29 bomber “Enola Gay” took off from the sands of Okinawa, carrying within it a bomb, the likes of which, man had never before conceived.  As the widening circle of death extended out over Hiroshima, the atomic age was written into the history books of man.  A second atomic bomb was dropped, and within a week, the Japanese surrendered. General Douglas MacArthur accepted the surrender from the Japanese emissaries, on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri, in Tokyo Bay.  And so ended the Second World War. As before, the soldiers and sailors came home, or slept forever in a foreign land.

The question now, what should be done, what could be done, to protect ourselves from man’s inhumanity to man?  The United Nations charter was signed in San Francisco. But in the months and years to follow, we came to understand the meaning of a new kind of war. The cold war. We were forced to recognize that in some parts of the world, hate and oppression are still malignant. Therefore, the Atlantic pact was signed by President Truman. And the representatives of twelve nations. A pledge of mutual defense against any aggressor who would break the peace.

Today in America, we still hold to the principles upon which our nation was founded. We have numerous altars of all religions. We are still governed by the same constitution our founding fathers created for us. The Bill of Rights is still working for the people. We think, we speak, we act, freely. However, we are ever mindful that our rights must never be misused as a mask for treason. We are a bigger, a stronger, a greater America, than ever before.  We have been victorious in six bitter wars in defense of our birthright. Let those who would destroy us, read our history well and take warning.  It is written in the blood of our heroes that freedom shall not perish from the earth.

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21 Comments on "Guest editorial: The Magnificent History of the United States"

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  1. Jeff Smith says:

    Again, another great piece of writing. How sad it is, that today, I seriously doubt a high school senior could produce as good a narrative of American history, as this middle-school text from more than three decades ago. Indeed, perhaps not even at the college level. As long as we continue to, at public expense, fund the hating of America. The decay of integrity and morals in America, and allow anti-American teachers to keep their jobs in the school systems, then we will continue to see our grand Republic pulled down from the greatness described here, and plunged into the abyss. Martin is right, today, he would have probably received a low D, for such an accurate understanding of America’s past. It is sad and tragic, and I’m glad that I’ve not many more days left to see this decline.

  2. Ken says:

    “The Magnificent History of the United States” is a perfect title, because you’ve left out all the history that isn’t magnificent. Perhaps teachers today would praise your writing skills but ask you to redo the paper and acknowledge some of the ways we’ve failed to live up to our own principles, for example the shameful way we’ve treated Native Americans, African-Americans, and Japanese-Americans. Perhaps they would also ask you to note the economically exploitative way we’ve treated a lot of Third World countries. Etc. You didn’t write a history, you wrote a piece of propaganda. You wrote a lie.

    This is one thing I can never understand about you right-wing Christians, why it is that you’re always railing at the Left’s sin but you can never admit your own. Take the log out of . . .

  3. Paul says:

    Mr. Martin:
    If you wrote this in today school system. You would be nail for not being warm and fuzzy. You would be nailed for giving a view of history that very few people in this country would ever admit happen. Instead someone feel you wrote a lie. My grandmother was American Indian, she loved this country — I can see her face telling me that no matter what we live in greatest country in world. There will be individuals who will and try to tell you different.
    My other grandparent who were born in 1890′s. Both told me the same thing, we live in greatest country in world. I am tired of individuals who try and tell me we are not…
    If we forget where we come from than where are we going?
    Jeff, I understand, I still got a few yrs to go but I am ready to move on!

  4. Ken says:

    If we forget where we come from than where are we going?

    That’s right. In this case, if we sweep our faults under the rug, how will we ever overcome them? It’s always easier to put words in a man’s mouth than to address the discomfiting things he says. I didn’t say we aren’t the greatest country in the world. I agree that we are the greatest country in the world, but that’s because of our high principles, and it dishonors those principles to pretend we haven’t often fallen short of them. I invite you, or Hank, to have the courage to reply to what I said, not what you wish I’d said.

  5. Written in a government school 35 years ago. Would the same still be allowed? Is patriotism dead in America?

  6. Jamie Dyer says:

    Was this written in between Pledges of Allegiance to a flag, a pledge written by the Socialist Francis Bellamy?

    I trust you know what the original salute to the flag was?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute

  7. Ken says:

    There is a difference between patriotism and jingoism, Rob, just as there is a difference between history and propaganda. I think I’ve previously compared criticism of country to criticism of friends and loved ones. Blunt criticism is not be definition hatred or disloyalty or any such thing. Criticism can be a form of love. True love of country is love of the actual country and its actual history. Hank’s fantasy is phony patriotism, a refusal to love his country with all its blemishes.

  8. The_BlueSpade says:

    Had to smile while reading this. I probably wouldn’t be considered for hiring as a teacher (even were I one) today, cause I’d have given the same grade as Hank’s teacher from years back. In the vernacular of now, the “homespun men of the backwoods” with Andrew Jackon would be the diametrical “AJ down with the neighborhood hommies.”

    So Ken, you justify your right to say what you say, by passing judgement freely upon the offered and spoken thoughts of others. With unrestrained verge, you express this opinion or that attitude. In just another relative view, you follow in the prescient footsteps of such historic notables as John Brown of Kansas, Jack L. Ruby and Benedict Arnold. Three guesses what any student today initially notes about these figures and it is probably as far removed from Reading, Arithmetic and Writing as anybody can get.

    “because you’ve left out all the history that isn’t magnificent………”

    Why “Judge not lest ye be Judged,” Ken?

    …… acknowledge some of the ways we’ve failed to live up to our own principles.”

    I’m sure that was the short list that followed with hypenated americans in your tirade. Only enlightened people as yourself have a rightful monopoly on deversity and its singular definition. The long list of shamelessly hypenated blatantly victimized and progressively stereotyped americans is quite revealing I’m sure. Maybe you missed your calling conducting surveys?

    “You didn’t write a history, you wrote a piece of propaganda.”

    Oh, so you also perhaps have a corner on the “for being positive” market as well? If US History is so negative and maligned Ken, then I suppose the following words (below) have even less relevancy today then when originally delivered.

    “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”

    This is out you context you’ll readily charge. Yes, concern yourself with your own promoted sense of properness against precieved attempts of ring-wing revisionist history. Smear it as aggrandizement. That still neither detracts nor deminishes the temperance in which the above words were delivered or meant. In fact too, the manner there might be intended to extend beyond the original boundaries and classifications.

    “It’s always easier to put words in a man’s mouth than to address the discomfiting things he says.”

    Your words Ken belie you. Could it be sometimes (and could it ever be again)that moral is as simply moral does?

    “…..but that’s because of our high principles, and it dishonors those principles to pretend we haven’t often fallen short of them.”

    (And) You know that, what you deem “pretend,” isn’t trying to “aspire” to do otherwise (nay, even oppositely) how? How detestible that someone can nonchalantly berate others such as Jeff into lamenting, “I’ve not many more days left to see this decline.”

    An inclusive country with patriots like Ken has no need to manufacture outside enemies. Rob asked ” Is patriotism dead in America? ” No, but it sure currently is suffering from being immensely zombified.

  9. Paul says:

    Ken:
    You asked me to answer reply, I had to think about it.
    35 yrs ago, Hank was a teenage, who wrote a report in middle school where he received an “A”. This report was a homework assignment based on what was being taught at that time. This was based on education standards of 1976/77, not to today current educations standards. As I learned over the yrs, I cannot judge something that happen in past based on today standards. If I was to judge this piece of work would be based on standatds for 1976/77. Only person at that time who was qualified to answer the question did he lie is the teacher who read the report. Based on him receiving an “A”, don’t think the teacher believed he lied.
    For me it been 42 yrs since I was in junior high school in another state. Odd are Hank would have received an “A” at this conservative public school in Kansas. Hank report remind me of how my grandparents, parents felt about this great nation of our with all it fault, short coming. Remeember Hank wrote a paper based on knowledge of middle schooler 35 yrs ago. the question was asked would this fly into world of politically corrects, in today world of needing to be warm fuzzy, into world of needing to fix the wrongs of past. No it would not.
    Personal I have been aware of the injustices in world since early age, growing up in a military family. Traveling througout the U.S. and living in couple of foreign country. I also learned that world is not fair, that you need to earn one’s way. I share the same feeling as Hank does, we have dropped the baton of truth from previous generations to the present one, as if we are ashame of our past. In closing I am not a right-wing Christian, you might have that impression, I am a very long way from being one. I am just an average slightly overweight blad headed, bushy eyebrow American Male.
    Remember Ken, we are lucky we live in a country we can write our opinions on internet or if lucky enough to express it on airway, or in local paper. Do we really want to lose this ability, or do we want to live in a state of being politically correct, or do we want to be told what to do each day or given the freedom to come and go….

  10. Ken says:

    Paul, thank you for your reply: Hank and I are about the same age. He learned about slavery. He learned that we drove Native Americans off their land. And he’s also learned more since, yet he still presents his paper as “truth.” It obviously isn’t.

    we are lucky we live in a country we can write our opinions on internet or if lucky enough to express it on airway, or in local paper. Do we really want to lose this ability, or do we want to live in a state of being politically correct, or do we want to be told what to do each day or given the freedom to come and go

    First of all, if it’s now “politically correct” to tell unpleasant truths, God help us. Secondly, don’t you see the irony in what you’re saying? Yes, actual political correctness forbids us to acknowledge America’s greatness. And guys like Hank forbid us to acknowledge her faults! Where is freedom of thought??

  11. Jack says:

    What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang

    Do not… regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo? ~Adlai Stevenson

    Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own. ~Seneca

    Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles. ~George Jean
    Nathan

    Patriotism is easy to understand in America – it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country. ~Calvin Coolidge

    Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them. ~Albert Einstein

    Patriotism in its simplest, clearest, and most indubitable meaning is nothing but an instrument for the attainment of the government’s ambitious and mercenary aims, and a renunciation of human dignity, common sense, and conscience by the governed, and a slavish submission to those who hold power. That is what is really preached wherever patriotism is championed. Patriotism is slavery. – Leo Tolstoy

    Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. – Hermann Goering (Nuremberg Trial)

    Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. ~James Bryce

    Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. ~Mark Twain

    Patriotism, the virtue of the vicious. ~Oscar Wilde

    Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. ~Bertrand Russel

    I am not an Athenian or a Greek, I am a citizen of the world. ~Socrates

    I couldn’t help but say to [Mr. Gorbachev], just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. [We'd] find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together. ~Ronald Reagan, 1985

    To him in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family. ~Buddha

  12. The_BlueSpade says:

    “Hank and I are about the same age. He learned about slavery. He learned that we drove Native Americans off their land. And he’s also learned more since,……”

    Ken, there is a difference between what’s learned and what is/isn’t tolerated. As you’ve made it a crusade here to point out for how long, one would hope that some of that comes from one’s teacher(s) or experience (or in new age lingo – life lessons.) Sometimes, some of us don’t know when we’ve learned too much (you might say – you can never learn enough) and some of us might possibly not ever learn at all.

    “…..yet he still presents his paper as ‘truth’.”

    (And) You sir, still had chance to broach what you termed “history that isn’t magnificent”

    “And guys like Hank forbid us to acknowledge her faults!”

    Forbid?!! Oh snap. Don’t look that way from this side of my monitor. Maybe you should go pull a plank.

    “Where is freedom of thought??”

    It goes where access and dissemination freely seek, want and accept it . God Bless American and long may it be a home for the free and the brave! Go ahead and be convinced of (and post) what you do accept or not, either rightly or wrongly.

  13. Ken says:

    Spade, if you can stop frothing at the mouth long enough to make an actual argument, I’ll respond to it. I’m not going to waste time on badly written fantasy.

  14. The_BlueSpade says:

    @ Ken

    You don’t need an actual argument from me or anybody here, not that such would really seep into the recess of your mental darkness. Obviously, you get by upon you own superiority and intellect to your own selfish satisfaction. Enjoy it and the life your paving for all the participation trophies to be bestow to posterity come.

    The qoutes Jack has thoughtful provided (above) have said more than you would ever be capable of getting across. Yes Ken, please don’t waste your time on us, with more of your stagnant idealism toward perfecting government.

  15. Ken says:

    Jack, thanks for that great collection of quotes. I missed it before.

    Spade, I never presume I’m superior to someone because of what they write on an Internet discussion board. This is just a tiny part of life. I’m not into thinking I’m superior anyhow. I think that kind of judgment is unwise.

  16. Hank Martin says:

    You accuse my work of thirty-five years ago as being both propaganda and a lie. There was a time when students were encouraged to practice the original three “R’s” of learning. Research, Recording and Reasoning. My discovery was offered as an opportunity to practice the lost art of comparison and contrasting, the decaying system of historical education in today’s school system. The one characteristic I do not lack, is the courage of my convictions. Invitation accepted. I will stand ready to defend this work next week on Rob’s show.

  17. Ken says:

    Hank, just to be clear, I accuse you not of lying when you wrote this as a kid, although even then I’m sure you had the education to know you weren’t telling the whole story. No, what I accuse you of is lying to yourself as an adult by posting it now as true history and strongly implying, as hard right conservatives always do, that to criticize the country is unpatriotic, that to have liberal views is even treasonous. ( Once upon a time, before the Department of Education, we knew how to teach history and instill patriotism. Sadly, as today’s headlines too numerously display, we’ve dropped the baton of truth from previous generations to the present one. ) See the Adlai Stevenson quote posted above.

    I look forward to hearing you defend your work – if you really do. Because let’s be clear again – my accusation is not that your examples of American greatness are themselves untrue. It’s that you present a partial and therefore distorted and untrue picture, leaving out all the ways our history has not been magnificent, and accusing people who do acknowledge our faults of being unpatriotic. Have the courage to rebut that, or else you’re not really defending your work at all.

  18. The_BlueSpade says:

    Ken’s insistence is a sign of his own distrust in others outside himself. This local version of a Howard Stern will probably have his way yet, to get the last word (again). So before such happenstance likely materializes, thank you Mr. Martin. I look forward to your segment on Rob’s Show also. Because let’s be clear here too, the side affects (healthy or adversely) of distrust are also contagious to others.

    Mind you, I do not see conspriracy theories around every corner. I figure there’s enough rumors, signs and false prophesies going on. Afterall, what else is a conspiracy theory but short of and next to prophesy? No, really it is Ken. So, it was unsettling after one of your typical disturbed prior posts here said, “See the Adlai Stevenson quote posted above.” Would you perchance – know Jack – or is it possible (not that it even matters in the slightest bit) that’s another screename you could operate under? No, not you honest to goodness Ken.

    “It’s that you present a partial and therefore distorted and untrue picture, leaving out all the ways our history has not been magnificent…..”

    I accuse you of being partial and ignoring the progresses of history. Yeah, I sense your glowering low opinion and (to save you the unnecessary breath) your predictably truthful (and equally partial) defense of how unshakeably tolerant and open you are. Oh but I suppose, THAT type of one sidedness and committment to ONLY what part of history IS NOT MAGNIFICENT is totally impartial and undistorted!!! Ken’s brand of partiality is rooted in fact and can’t be contrary, bias or discriminating. It’s accuracy is irrefutable and unassailable.

    Go ahead and find something else bullying to verbally retaliate with among your other comments. You sir should be also on the same program for a comparable accounting.

  19. Paul says:

    Hank:
    You don’t need to go air to defense yourself, you did that already when you wrote your paper and teacher gave you an “A”. It is easy in today world to keep digging up ___________ and throwing it around. In one of many book I have read over yrs is written — Writing of hx, in fact or any subject can be broekn down into 2 differnet approaches
    1. Enlightment ideas about a positivist historiography based on objective data or
    2. Conception of hx as a form of rhetoric, whose main function is teaching moral philosphy by example & reinforcing traditional sources of power.
    Ken need to be setting across the desk from you on that day next weeek. Rob can be the ref. It would be nice but odd are, it will be just you and Rob and rest of us who understanding that will be listening.

  20. Ken says:

    Rob, what if I wrote a blog post entitled “The Awful History of the Schilling Show” and only said that you never mention facts that cast doubt on your positions unless someone else does? And then when people replied that I hadn’t mentioned all the good you do the community by giving conservatives a voice and spotlighting important local issues and even letting liberals like me have my say, what if I said “hey, every time I tune in Rob himself talks about how great the show is, and I’m just providing balance. So my post is accurately titled.” Would you buy that?

    So let’s not play dumb. “The Magnificent History of the United States” means that the history of the United States is magnificent, not that the essay will only treat the magnificent parts. That’s what those words mean in that order in the English language. But Hank himself acknowledged that his actual purpose in writing the essay was to highlight those magnificent parts because the Left leaves them out. His inability, given space constraints, to include everything (and how would that explain why he left off _all_ the bad stuff anyhow?) is not the reason he only wrote about the good stuff.

    Hank, I fully agree that we need a balance. I don’t trash the country and I’ve debated and taken a lot of flak from people who do. The leftist rhetoric you oppose isn’t balanced, no. But neither is your piece, and that was my only point. If a piece just talking about our faults isn’t balanced, why is yours? The Left says the exact thing you do, that they are only talking about what the other side won’t. Much better for everyone, I think, would be for each side to acknowledge the other side’s favorite facts up front, but make a case for why their own are more important. In the same way, I don’t agree that Obama apologizes for America. He just strikes a proper balance. But I enjoyed hearing you on the show, and I respect you for being a gentleman and defending your post without attacking me or mischaracterizing my criticism. Thank you.

  21. Jack says:

    @ The Blue_Spade

    I can assure you I am not Ken, and I have never met Ken.

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