Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Occupy Wall Street knows revolution history of Founding Fathers better than teabaggers and MSM

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Canadians say they don’t know their own history. Americans say they know their own history, but often get it wrong.

This is an overgeneralization, but that theme came out in the coverage earlier this week on our sister blog, And at least the American part continues to reign through on the impressions of Occupy Wall St. vs. the teabaggers.

The Tea Party had leaders, instant leaders, almost as if someone was pulling the financial and literal strings of the movement. Occupy Wall Street is a bunch of rag-taggers with no leaders.

Again, another overgeneralization, but this comes out in the MSM coverage of Occupy Wall Street.

Those involved with teabaggers and the teabaggers themselves tend to read history as a finished product and make assumptions based on their perception of that finished product. When you dig underneath the surface of history, and not even digging that far, no shovels required, you find that the true history of the American Revolution — once again — differs from the Tea Party beautification.

You get the impression that the teabaggers think Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry sprang up overnight and become mighty, legendary leaders. They don’t take into account the human reality of how the revolution came about.

The teabaggers had it easy. They had instant popular support, lots of money rolling in, prominent politicians on their side sucking up to them, and glowing media coverage that ignored the racism and misspelling that dominated their signs. Jefferson, Adams, et al. would have loved even 1/1000th of that support.

Despite the finished product, those who started the revolution weren’t popular, had to hide their activities so they wouldn’t be ratted out to the British. The cool thing in the early 1770s was to go with the flow and hope the British wouldn’t hassled them too much.

The paintings show well-dressed gentleman in powdered wigs planning the glorious revolution like they were ordering pizza. The reality was not quite like that.

Watching the media make fun of the hand gestures by Occupy Wall Street is funny to watch, when Paul Revere’s “one if by land, two if by sea” was the ultimate code because the revolution had to be secret back then. Do they really not see the irony?

So Occupy Wall Street should be proud that the MSM mocks them and praises the Tea Party as if they were distant cousins.

A few years back on “South Park,” Eric Cartman went back to 1776 and got into the room where the Founding Fathers were debating about whether to go to war with the British. The discussion wasn’t one-sided; disagreements flew around the room. Now you could mock this because South Park is a cartoon show and it’s South Park. However, their take on the moment, while npot historically correct, is closer to reality than anything the teabaggers come up with in their history knowledge.

If you ever needed to see biased media in motion, the contrast in coverage between the Tea Party teabaggers and the Occupy Wall Street people is the best of many examples in recent times. You really get the impression that if CNN, Fox, and to some extent, MSNBC were around in the last half of the 18th century, they wouldn’t be nearly as supportive of that Tea Party as they are of today’s Tea Party.

This contrast isn’t confined to the MSM. While “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” mocked the teabaggers, the show has embraced some of the MSM sentiment toward Occupy Wall Street. Even when the show agrees with the sentiment of what the protesters are doing, they focus way too much of the coverage on the extremes, more than even the MSM does.

True revolutions aren’t neat packages wrapped up in bows. They are messy and not always efficient. They overcome pressure from society and huge odds to try and make a difference. Those who Occupy Wall Street and elsewhere understand this. The MSM do not. The teabaggers don’t even know that they don’t know the history. Short of being transported back to 1776 via a cartoon show, they need to hit the books and learn something about revolution.


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