08 September 2008

Celebratory History

Just a follow up thought on my previous post linking to the American Thinker piece about our "2nd Civil War" . . .

Note this quote from Meyer's piece:

"They (the left) were so distressed by our imperfections that they refused to recognize or celebrate our achievements."

One way this attitude manifests itself in academia is the well-entrenched trend of modern historians to denigrate our Nation's heroes--especially those of the conservative South, i.e. Lee, Jackson, Washington. They attempt to insulate themselves by being critical of what they refer to as a "celebratory approach" to history. It is not (in their view) sophisticated to be patriotic--in the traditional sense--these folks are "global citizens." Old-fashioned Americanism is so "passé" don't you know? They very often overplay their hands--without even knowing it.

Of course, this attitude is pervasive not only in historiography, but also in modern politics as expressed by Andrew McCarthy:

"What most frustrates Americans is that we are a happy, optimistic, can-do people ceaselessly harangued by media solons, delusional academics, post-sovereign Eurocrats, and the Democrats who love them. While we free and feed the world, they can’t tell us enough that we’re racist, imperialist, torturing louts. We know it’s a libel, an endless stream of slander. But we also know it’s an absurd libel. We’re tired of hearing it, but taking it too seriously would give it power it doesn’t deserve." (Emphasis mine.)

Fortunately, there are writers, historians--and yes even bloggers--combating their efforts to distort the truth. Moreover, most of these academics write primarily to impress each other and to receive the accolades of their peers. The "anti-intellectual"--code speak for the "common man"--finds their writing style boring, condescending, and offensive so their impact is probably not as great as they would like to think. That is a good thing.

Our Nation needs heroes. And, despite what some may think, we have plenty of them. Don't be afraid to celebrate them in history even while the delusional academics sneer.

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