In light of Michele Bachmann's announcement of her candidacy for president yesterday, perhaps now would be a good time to take a refresher quiz on some facts about American History and our founding fathers. Judging by the way Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and other right-wingers have been challenged by history lately, who knows when we'll need to weed truth from fiction in a political environment overheated more by rhetoric than reason.
1. How much debt did the colonies incur fighting the Revolutionary War?
a - Debt? What debt? The colonists were pure and undefiled!
b - The only debt was gratitude
c - Approximately $75,463,476.52
2. To whom was this debt owed?
a - Our intrepid founding fathers
b - Don't be a Communist - there was no debt
c - The government of France, plus banks in France and Holland (most of the wealthy people in the colonies were loyal to the British)
3. What was the Biblical justification for the Revolutionary War?
a - Taxation without representation
b - Separation of church and state
c - Since the Revolutionary War was fought for economic and political purposes, there was no Biblical justification for it
4. What was Shay's Rebellion?
a - Some liberal democrat refusing to bow down to George Washington
b - One of our founding fathers who refused to pay taxes to England
c - A protest by Revolutionary War veterans upset because George Washington had enacted high taxation to pay off the country's war debt.
5. When did England completely withdraw their troops from territories in and around the United States?
a - After losing the Revolutionary War
b - After ratification of the U.S. Constitution
c - In 1794, 7 years after the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and 11 years after the Revolutionary War ended in 1783
6. When was the term "to form a more perfect union" coined?
a - When colonists wanted to celebrate states' rights
b - When the first liberal Democrat encouraged gays to marry
c - After George Washington realized the loose association of powerful states was compromising the country's ability to function on a global stage
7. Who said: "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
a - Al Gore
b - Some Commie pinko at CNN
c - John Adams, second president of the US, in 1814
8. Who were idealized during the early years of the Republican Party?
a - Wealthy industrialists
b - Wealthy bankers and investors
c - Farmers
9. Who was Paul Revere?
a - A British guy who warned the British that the British weren't coming
b - A guy who shot at church bells in Lexington and Concord, New Hampshire
c - A courier sent to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming to arrest them
10. Who did not support the Boston Tea Party?
a - Al Gore
b - All those patsy British loyalists
c - Benjamin Franklin, who called it an "injustice" and offered to re-pay the British out of his own money
So - are you smarter than a modern-day Tea-Partier?
Funny how history isn't all neat and simple, isn't it? How what gets rehashed and regurgitated in the illusory world of talk radio gets farther and farther removed from the way things really were?
It's been said that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. Sometimes I wonder if there's anyone more eager to prove that saying true than some of America's right-wingers.