Revere the past

Via Andrew Sullivan, a very interesting post by Amanda Marcotte about Sarah Palin’s Paul Revere comments:

“I think it helps to understand that, for right-wing populists, this thing we call “history” is less about real people who did real things in the real world, and more like just the Bible Part II. It’s a myth that can be manipulated to suit their purpose, which is usually to establish themselves as the only Real Americans. When Palin says she got it right, I believe she believes that, because her story wasn’t really about Paul Revere. Her story was a thinly veiled allegory of the Tea Party worldview.”

This is a very astute point, but also slightly misleading, I think. While they do manipulate the myth, it could also be viewed from the perspective that the “myth” is just the product of a Romantic (to use the term in its increasingly archaic sense) mindset. It may not be a propagandistic effort at all, but rather a manifestation of an idealistic Romantic nationalism.

UPDATE: As I thought about it, I realized this issue is sort of related to what I said in the last lines of this post. 

1 Comment

  1. Well, I've been guilty of putting everyone in a big mold, lately, but, it is an interesting observation. Everything must be bright and shiny. Maybe that's why so many history books were lacking in facts.

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