A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding. Any observations, questions, or comments relating to the blog's theme are welcomed.
.I like the way Rodda holds Barton's feet to the fire..This might go down in history as the age of liars, there is so much of it going on..
Phil Johnson writes, "This might go down in history as the age of liars, there is so much of it going on."A great thesis would entail empirically measuring the volume of dishonesty for given eras relative to others. Another would be analyze the characteristics of each era's dishonesty that had an effect in the public square. So I'm not ready to agree with your observation while conceding it would great to know the answer.The level of dishonesty by American republican media sources in the 1790s was also astonishingly high. I have no idea if it was worse then, certainly there was more mundane ignorance which can be more easily exploited by demagogues, but my reading of history suggests far less determined ignorance. But it would nice to sysetmically compare eras, where I wonder if there ever was an era of relative honesty. One feature of this era's dishonesty comes from the consolidation of RWAs across political ideologies and the two parties into a relatively recent religious-political movement condensed within the Republican party. This consolidation into a singular partisan entity has led to a tribal culture which celebrates its liars, in fact demands they prove their fealty by overtly lying for the tribe. They need to do more, hence the failure of a Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin, but even Mitt Romney knees at the altar of purposeful dishonesty. David Barton exploits this new phenomena with classic demagoguery but with a twist, observations of his lies strongly suggests he's not merely pandering to the sheep, he's one of them whose often oblivious to what bits he advocates is actual misinformation.In fact RWA David Barton demonstrates all the distinguishing psychological defects of a RWA, which makes it difficult to parse out that which is dishonest, which is always present given his falsely posing as a historian who knows something, but also some elements of delusion at levels far higher than observed in some other eras and therefore results in a new form of demagoguery. The afore-mentioned late-18th century republicans certainly believed in some false premises, as did the federalists and all the rest, but those republicans certainly weren't monolithically of the same defective mindset. In fact some of our most brilliant and insightful framers were republicans. In fact we can't observe an defining mindset for republicans or federalists like we can now for the voting base of today 's Republicans. Partisans groups were instead driven by other factors, which benefited federalists and republicans by providing continually sound arguments within their movements, which is not something we see much of within today's GOP, which tolerates no dissent on the issues or ideology.
Please try to at least pretend you're saying something germane to religion and the Founding, fellas.
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