Thursday, January 27, 2011

Father or Son?

This is going to be a little bit of a nitpick, I know, but I'm going to do it anyway. It has to do with Michele Bachmann's bizarre rant on the subject of the founding fathers and the issue of slavery. In case you live in some place that the Internet does not reach, I'll quote it for you here. She said,

"We know there was slavery that was still tolerated when the nation began. We know that was evil. And it was a scourge, and a blot and a stain upon our history. But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. And I think that it's high time that we recognize the contributions of our forebears who worked tirelessly - men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country."

Plenty has been said about her lack of knowledge regarding the cause of the Civil War, about the fact that no few of the founding fathers were slave owners, and that the constitution they finalized enshrined slavery as a national institution by declaring slaves to be three-fifths of a person.

What hasn't been mentioned, other than very briefly in passing by Chris Matthews, is that she had the wrong John Adams. John Quincy Adams was the son of the man who was one of the founding fathers. It may have been mere incoherence on her part, though; John Quincey Adams did advocate against slavery, but he was not one of the founding fathers, was not among those who "wrote those documents," and his advocacy against slavery was not until about 30 years before the Civil War.

1 comment:

Bartender Cabbie said...

Interesting and informative.

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