Tuesday, November 04, 2008
On the eve of the likely ascent of the Obamassiah to the Presidency, it is worth taking a look back in American history to a man who sounds like his total opposite, from his understanding of the value of freedom to his love for America, Samuel Adams.
The following comes from a book review of a biography of the patriot in The Wall Street Journal that I found on a brief visit yesterday to RealClear Politics:
On March 5, 1770, a lone British private guarding the customs house found himself taunted by unruly Bostonians. Several British soldiers came to protect him. The crowd grew larger and started pelting the soldiers with snowballs. One of the soldiers was knocked down, and, as he came up, fired into the crowd. In the confusion, other shots were fired and, by the time the smoke cleared, 11 colonists were shot, five of them fatally.And, much later:
For Samuel Adams the incident demonstrated the tyranny of British rule, and, as importantly, provided an opportunity to galvanize support for the revolutionary cause. The facts surrounding the incident are still in dispute, but, writes Mr. Stoll, "what is certain is that Adams pressed immediately and aggressively to wring every possible bit of political advantage from the bloodshed." He started by giving it a name: the Boston Massacre. [bold added]
If Mr. Stoll's biography lacks the narrative power of books on other Founders, such as David McCullough's "John Adams," the reason may be that the paper trail left by Samuel Adams is frustratingly short. He destroyed much of his correspondence during the revolutionary years, fearful that it could fall into the wrong hands. Some of the letters that remain end with the words "burn this." This Adams wasn't playing for the history books. He was trying to plot a revolution. Mr. Stoll makes a convincing case that Samuel Adams is not just the most underrated of the Founders but also one of the most admirable, down-to-earth and principled (he worked to abolish slavery). [bold added]Read it all! If you're like me, you'll seriously consider buying the book.
Contrast Adams's somewhat obscure, but heroic life to that of the egomaniac: two autobiographies, his track record as a career politician (and very little else), and the grave threat to individual rights he will surely represent.
Sadly, this contrast cannot be used to raise a successful call to oppose Obama by voting today, for his strongest electoral opponent, John McCain, is very much the same in so far as what he wishes to do to America; and at least Obama will prove an easier target for intellectual opposition should he take office. Like the British of Sam Adams' day, and unlike McCain, he is manifestly anti-American and dangerous.
After this election it will be up to the common citizen, once again, to fight for his freedom no matter who wins. At least Obama is an open enemy.