I think the Spirit of ’76 may be dead

Take a look at this editorial cartoon by Chuck Asay at Creators.com.


I rarely agree with Mr. Asay as he seems merely to be another echo of the Official Word of Republican Orthodoxy. I find this particular cartoon to be repugnant. As an historian, I cringe at the idea that increasing police power to intrude on a person’s private life is in any way comparable to the Spirit of ’76, let alone equating the two. If anything, the Patriot Act is the opposite of the Spirit of ’76.

I am so unable to accept the premise of this cartoon, even for rhetorical purposes, that I can’t even express my own disappointment in the President and his Democratic colleagues in Congress at this extension in terms of the same metaphor (I’ve come to expect this from Republicans, so there isn’t any new disappointment there).

The historical ignorance necessary to believe that this is an appropriate analogy is just too scary for words. It’s bad enough they called it the Patriot Act in the first place, but even that’s no excuse for drawing this particular equivalence. The Founders would be turning in their graves.