Someone posted a film clip on Facebook recently of John Belushi's inspirational speech to his Animal House brothers about never giving up. After all, he argues, did America give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
I'm not sure why, but the clip made me think about presidential candidates.
Having a good grasp of history is a useful thing in a presidential candidate, but they have to be careful. Smartasses in the media will be looking for mistakes. They don't know these things either, but they have Google.
First let's deal with some supposed errors on the part of potential candidates.
I'm sure you learned in school that Lexington and Concord are in Massachusetts. But really, the battles that started the revolution were actually in New Hampshire, home of the first primary. But tourists didn't want to drive all the way to New Hampshire, so the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce took a couple of little hamlets and renamed them and scattered around historical markers. Michelle Bachmann is one of the few people who know that.
It has also been suggested that the Founding Fathers condoned slavery, just because they owned slaves and mentioned them in the Constitution. Sarah Palin has been derided for suggesting the Founding Fathers worked to end slavery. People forget Thomas Jefferson, the slave-owning author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson just didn't live long enough. He worked tirelessly to produce children on his plantation who could move seamlessly from slavery into society.
Then there was Paul Revere. He rode around Massachusetts one night warning the British they couldn't take our guns because one day we would have something called the Second Amendment. The British were sleeping soundly, but the colonists were so mad about being awakened they got up and ambushed British troops the next day.
Candidates have to be careful of their sources for historical facts. As Abraham Lincoln said "the trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." I know he said that because you can Google it.
Some candidates may discuss some of the theories popular in conservative circles. They will be derided for these ideas because history has been slanted by liberal college professors.
The globalist trilateral one-world Rockefeller and Rothschild families really run the country. They got us into World War I so they could put us in the League of Nations. When that failed they started World War II and delivered us into the control of the United Nations. Proof? How come they called the first one World War I, if they didn't plan on having a World War II?
It's like the proof of Christ's divinity. Just look at the calendar. How come they were counting years backwards and calling them B.C.? The ancient Greeks were smart, what did they know when they started at 400 B.C. and started counting down the years to 1 A.D.?
Did you know there's no gold in Fort Knox? Have you ever seen it?
National defense may also be an issue in the campaign. We may have reason to be concerned about our ability to defend ourselves. After all, how good can our defenses be if it took the CIA three years to forge President Obama's long-form birth certificate? In the old days, they could have whipped it out in an afternoon.
Of course, then-candidate Barack Obama told an Oregon audience that he had campaigned in 57 states. You'd think they would add some stars to the flag, wouldn't you?
Some final advice for candidates. Don't ever joke about anything. Remember how George Bush was ridiculed in the British press and in some quarters here. He said the problem with the French is they don't have a word for entrepreneur. That is one of my favorite good-ole-boy redneck jokes, but editorial pages everywhere excoriated Bush for not knowing the word's origin.
I think it might help unemployment among liberal arts graduates if all the presidential candidates hired a historian for their staffs. The historian's job would be to explain to the press what the candidate really meant when they took that trip through America's past.