In my early teen years, I loved Ben Kinchlow. I would watch the 700 Club and thought he was just so smart and charming. In fact, the man is staggeringly ignorant and a poster child for the Dunning-Kruger effect. His latest Worldnetdaily column is so inane that it made me literally laugh out loud when I read this:
It is only when one looks objectively at history that the truly remarkable nature of the republic of the United States of America is shown in its true context. America is the first example in human history of a nation where people were given the right to vote, elect representatives and determine their own political fate.
This will come as a big surprise to the founding fathers themselves, many of whom wrote at considerable length about the examples of democracy in Pericles’ Athens, the Roman Republic and other democratic societies. The word “democracy” comes from ancient Greece, for crying out loud, and this is not a coincidence. One could also point to the Tynwald, the world’s oldest parliament, which has been in operation on the Isle of Man for more than a thousand years. Sometimes I think that “American exceptionalism” really means that we can be exceptionally stupid about pretending that we were the first and only great society. It’s ego-stroking idiocy at its finest.
There is a French movie (filmed in 1989, six hours long, with English subtitles) that chronicles the French Revolution from beginning to end. The horror and brutality encompassed in striving for liberté, égalité, fraternité by the French, in their drive for freedom, is unimaginable to Americans, of almost every group, who strove for liberty and equality in America.
The definitive differences between these two struggles for liberty are contained in the founding principles of the United States. The framers of the Constitution were putting into practice that which was stated in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” (emphasis added).
It is the phrase, “endowed by their Creator” that provides the “indispensable supports” articulated by George Washington. These foundational concepts have been proven true beyond a shadow of a doubt. America has produced a society of free, sovereign, self-directed individuals who, with their inherent abilities, have created a veritable paradise compared to most of the world.
I always laugh when I see something like this from conservatives. It always reminds me of this bit by David Cross:
We have, on the whole, tended to be a moral and devout people. At home, we made a choice to end slavery, even at the cost of a bloody Civil War.
Well that’s certainly interesting framing, don’t you think? We’re a moral people and we proved that by having to kill half a million people just to get rid of the unbelievably immoral institution of slavery, which was justified by reference to the Bible that Kinchlow thinks is the inerrant word of God because it endorses slavery repeatedly.
Abroad, again and again, we have chosen to side with less powerful nations when they have been attacked by aggressors. Americans have reached out at home and abroad with the hand of charity to people who are hurting.
Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick. Seriously? Reached out with the hand of charity? Tell that to the people of Iran being tortured under the Shah. Or the victims of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Manuel Noriega, Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko, King Abdullah, Fulgencio Batista, François and Jean-Baptiste Duvalier, Rios Montt, the Somoza family and many more. The United States has, since the late 1800s, supported one brutal dictator after another around the world. Even in World War 2, we watched as Hitler, Mussolini and the emperor of Japan ran over country after country, only getting involved when we were attacked directly. This goes way beyond rose-colored thinking, this is utter delusion.
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