I wondered how long it would the nattering class to mention it. The establishment politicians of course will steer clear of the word. Bernie Sanders has come close by calling his followers and his campaign a “revolution” which to most American ears has a patriotic ring.
The word that hasn’t been uttered even in the midst of the “Occupy Wall Street” and “Black Lives Matter” nastiness is the word “rebellion”. The media never used the word when talking about Ferguson, or Baltimore, but burning down cities and attacking the police and fire fighters certainly have the whiff of rebellion about it. It is interesting that real rebellion can take place in Democrat strongholds and it is called free speech and sacrosanct protest. When a Presidential candidate who is not even elected speaks what the nattering class does not like, finally the “media” class is starting to use the word and find themselves in the strange position of actually teaching history. They may want to be careful here. Actually informing people about the past may have the obverse effect than that which they so obviously seek.
The American Revolution was a complicated affair and the leaders had been apotheosized in the past to the point of absurdity. Certain political factions in this country have tried to knock them down a peg by referring to their racism and ownership of slaves and many of their peccadilloes as a sign that American exceptionalism is a figment. The fact is that they were great men who created a great political innovation that is the envy of the world. They were also the one percenters in todays parlance. A simplistic cynic once said that the American revolution was about a wealthy class of landowners who were in debt and no longer wanted to pay their debt, hence the Declaration of Independence. The average American colonist in those days, if many historians are right, just wanted to be left alone.
There are two lines from movies that in my mind might express what the average American colonist felt, and why the American Revolution was such a close run thing. The first is from the movie “The Patriot” where the protagonist says, “why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man’s rights as easily as a king can”.
The second is in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans”. Natty Bumppo (AKA “Hawkeye) has been reprimanded by a British Officer for not discharging an order. The officer in derision makes a scathing statement – “And you call yourself a loyal subject of the Crown?” to which Hawkeye says, “I have never considered myself to be subject to much of anything”.
It is surpassing strange that the British Army had scarcely returned home when the new nation had to raise an Army to fight other Americans because of rebellion. The “Whiskey Rebellion” was an insurrection against of all things – taxes. The new nation that had just fought a war over taxes kind of went to war with it’s own citizens over taxes. That was however a minor skirmish. Washington led about 13,000 militia to root out the rebels who promptly disappeared. Those caught were charged with treason but only two were found guilty and they were pardoned.
Shay’s Rebellion was more serious. It was about the imprisonment of debtors, and the belief that land should be the “common property of all”. People actually died and it was a major impetus to finally write a constitution and establish a “more perfect union”.
Anyway Joe Scarborough wrote an interesting article in the “failing” Washington Post that is worth your time. There seems to be rebellion in the air for a number of reasons. I want to think about that for a while and bring it all back to mercy, and the churches ordered life together.