Glenn Beck seems to believe Manifest Destiny is a liberal invention and exclusive only to liberals, but I believe his understanding of the concept is a little backwards. Here is the Wikipedia entry on Manifest Destiny:
Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. It was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico; the concept was denounced by Whigs, and fell into disuse after the mid 1850s.I highlighted the last paragraph because I thought it was interesting - it references Ronald Reagan. How could Glenn Beck lump Ronald Reagan together with his popular target, Woodrow Wilson, unless of course he plans to make zero mention of any conservative president that may have embraced this philosophy, like Reagan or both president Bushs.
Advocates of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only wise but that it was readily apparent (manifest) and inexorable (destiny).
The term, which first appeared in print in 1839, was used in 1845 by a New York journalist, John L. O'Sullivan, to call for the annexation of Texas. It was primarily used by Democrats to support the expansion plans of the Polk Administration, but opposed by Whigs who wanted to deepen the economy rather than broaden its expanse. It fell out of favor by 1860.
The belief in an American mission to promote and defend democracy throughout the world, as expounded by Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan, continues to have an influence on American political ideology.
Oddly, that short definition of Manifest Destiny seems to contradict everything the right has been claiming Barack Obama is all about - if it was Obama's mission to "promote and defend democracy throughout the world," then why is he constantly bowing, apologizing, withdrawing troops, scrapping the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, or pretty much any other right-wing attack that claims Obama is positioning America as a subservient nation.
Simply put, the answer is that Glenn Beck and his conservative fellows know nothing about history and are misrepresenting the facts and exploiting American ignorance to advance their political agendas.
Post a Comment
Please share your thoughts and experiences in relation to this post. Remember to be respectful in your posting. Comments that that are deemed inappropriate will be deleted.