5.0 out of 5 stars How we allowed the rightwing to get Away with falsely Re-writing American History, and thus steal the Nation's narrative, and wi, March 7, 2013
Herbert L Calhoun “paulocal” (Falls Church, VA USA) – See all my reviews
Sam Parry proves here in his book, “America's Stolen Narrative,” that he has his eye on the ball. For he sees that in large measure the decline in American civility, international prestige, much of today's governmental dysfunction, and the alarming and unaccountable shift to the right, has a lot to do with the way we have allowed the rightwing 24/7 media attack machine and the money that backs it, to get away with lying about and thus stealing and murdering our history.
By fiat they have been able to commandeer both the symbols of state and now through Gerrymandering, voter suppression and other such illicit stratagems, have also been able to take over the very machinery of government: Even when they lose elections and are out of power, as they are today, they still win as they are able to control the national narrative, the national agenda and has a newly elected President, with his national voter mandate so stymied that he cannot even make appointments or carry out the normal duties delegated to the presidency?
In this book, Parry takes a giant step towards telling us how this can happen in a greatly weakened and stripped-down democracy. Beginning with allowing them to get away with their revisionist re-writing of the Constitution through selective right-shifted misinterpretations, to Nixon's sabotaging of LBJ's Vietnam Peace Talks, to Watergate, to Reagan's Iran-Contra October Surprise that got Jimmy Carter booted from office, and by caving in to other of the Right's revisionist misrepresentations of history, here Parry attempts to set the historical record straight by using the truth to fight off the “GOP lying machine,” point-by-point. Thus here the author is not so much an ideologue as he is a truth teller.
In Chapter 1, for instance, Parry shows that what the framers really had in mind when they convened the First Constitutional Convention, was not the nonsensical revisionist claim made by the rightwing today (which is that the founders went to Philadelphia to reaffirm States Rights — even as unworkable as States Rights were then in the existing Articles of Confederations). The truth is that they went to Philadelphia precisely to replace these dysfunctional Articles with a Constitution that would unify the nation into a single smoothly functioning government that could replace the existing dysfunction of a bunch of squabbling states.
As well, Madison was not, as the rightwing now claims, the champion of “States Rights,” but in fact was the very leader of the charge to scrap the old Articles of Confederation with its emphasis on “States Rights”, and to replace them with a new Constitution that would put the Federal Government in the Nation's driver's seat. It was Madison who almost single-handedly worked tirelessly to upend the States Rights platform by pushing for most of the federal powers that exist today, namely: giving Federal Courts the power of veto over state assemblies; the power to tax the states; taking control over foreign policy away from the states; taking the the power to print money away from the states; the power to conduct wars; and most of all, the power to regulate interstate commerce.
By any stretch of the imagination this suite of powers, transferred from a set of squabbling states to a new unified federal government, was a stunning victory for Madison and his desire to get rid of states rights altogether — or at least to reduce them to a backwater local affair (where as the Civil War put an exclamation point on this matter), they remain even today. And although it is true that in order to garner recalcitrant state support, Madison did “down play” his new Federal power grab in the Anti-Federalist Papers, make no mistake about it, the U.S. Constitution, was a sweet fait accompli of which Madison was the chief engineer.
It is very sad that even after being trounced in the Civil War over this very matter, it still remains the rallying battle cry for those on the far right to reassert their lost national manhood. Their barely veiled fifth column private war against the Federal Government is but a mean-spirited, seditious almost treasonous continuation of the of the lost Civil War by other demagogic political means. As a nation, we need to have an open national discussion about this matter to put it to rest in the national conscience once and for all, otherwise it is going to be allowed to destroy us as a nation.
This important story of our history has been so bastardized; so turned on its head, and so revised by the right's technique of snatching a few quotes out of context and then relying on the vast rightwing propaganda machine and general ignorance on the part of the public about American history to never set the record straight, that our country has been allowed to drift into a strange new kind of political hyperspace where ignorance of history is allowed to intersect with a deeply unfulfilled sense of male entitlement. When these two inchoate dimensions are backed up by vast sums of unidentifiable rightwing money egging them on, and a 24/7 cycle of political demagoguery that reinforces the lie that the federal government is still their mortal enemy, the nation's collective sanity is seriously at stake.
Some on the Right who should know better like Chief Justice John Roberts, Anton Scalia, and Newt Gingrich, get it wrong on purpose. Others however, such as most of those within the “Tea Party” — as well as others in the GOP who, like Tea Party members, are just plain intellectually lazy or challenged, do not seek to find the truth. And here we mean people like Mitt Romney, who even as a past Governor of Massachusetts, in his book got both the date and the cause of the Revolutionary War wrong, As well as people like Ron Paul, who claims as a matter of course that everything Mr. Obama does is automatically unconstitutional, to the pure unadulterated ignorance of the likes of Michelle Bachmann, who confused Concord, New Hampshire with Concord, Massachusetts, or Rick Perry who failed to even get the century in which the Revolutionary war was fought correct? I would be remiss not to mention as well that this last list are all people who do not believe in Evolution.
When you have intellectually lazy or challenged people who refuse to read, who nevertheless seek to politicize their ignorance, and are backed up by vast amounts of anonymous rightwing money, as a nation we have passed a new strange kind of Rubicon into a potentially explosive domestic political abyss that can only lead to Fascism. Judging by what is happening today, Parry claims that this is precisely where we are headed today in the current dysfunctional government where the end goal seems to have been achieved: A complete lack of accountability of the part of the ruling class. Five Stars.