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Barton: American Was Never Colonialist

Sometimes you really have to wonder whether David Barton is breathing the same air the rest of us are. He’s so utterly deluded that one could be forgiven for assuming that he was doing serious drugs. And he is, in a sense — he’s high on Jesus. On his radio show recently he declared that America had never been a colonialist country, unlike those anti-religious countries in Europe:

Barton: One of the things we often see with other militaries is they rule by intimidation, by threats, by terrorism really, they want to scare the dickens out of the enemy and America didn’t do that. From the very beginning when George Washington set this thing up he said, ‘ok we’re having chaplains with everybody and here’s the only kind of war you can fight is you can fight defensive wars not offensive wars, you have to respect the rights of property, you can fight back when attacked,’ so we have a whole different mentality, we’ve never been a colonialist nation, we’ve never gone out to conquer others and make ourselves bigger, we’ve just never had that mentality…

That’s exactly what made America so different, we don’t have that colonial aspect of let’s go conquer somebody else and make our nation bigger and that’s because of the faith element.

I wonder which way the water swirls down the toilets when you flush on his planet. The amusing thing is that he references George Washington, who was president when there were only 13 states. The fact that there are now 50, plus Puerto Rico, easily disproves his claim. On Planet Wingnuttia, manifest destiny never happened, the Native Americans killed themselves off and the Phillipines, Hawaii, California and the entire Southwest of the country applied for membership on the U.S.A. website.

Comments

  1. davidct says

    Has he ever heard of Mexico. For a Texan he is a bit weak on our history. Oh – I forgot – he makes it up as he goes along.

  2. Larry says

    Jesus made ‘murica fully formed. The plan was only revealed a piece at a time, though. God only knows how many states are waitin’ out there.

  3. dingojack says

    Barton knows nothing about history.
    In other news, water discovered to be wet. Film at 11.
    Dingo

  4. says

    And it’s not just the fact that there were millions of square miles of unoccupied (by nation states) land right next door for the taking, the USA was simply not strong enough militarily to compete overseas with the colonial powers until the age of colonialism was close to an end.

  5. jamessweet says

    Jesus made ‘murica fully formed. The plan was only revealed a piece at a time, though. God only knows how many states are waitin’ out there.

    The Moon!

  6. Chiroptera says

    The fact that there are now 50, plus Puerto Rico, easily disproves his claim.

    The parallels between the US and the Russian empire are fascinating. One of the parallels is their respective expansions across the their continents, the US to the west and the Russians to the east.

    They were every bit as colonialist as the other European powers. The difference, I guess, is that the acquired territories were contiguous with the central fatherland and so became indistinguishable.

    The other thing is that the purpose of the Spanish-American War was overtly colonialist. Seriously. The advocates for the war were openly talking about acquiring the Spanish colonies, and for stated purposes that were pretty much the same as the stated purposes of the European powers.

  7. imrryr says

    That’s exactly what made America so different, we don’t have that colonial aspect of let’s go conquer somebody else and make our nation bigger and that’s because of the faith element.

    The idea that a great power like, say, Spain conquered much of the New World because they didn’t have faith seems a little hard to swallow.

  8. Zugswang says

    It really puts things in perspective when you realize Axe Cop has more internal consistency and fewer non sequiturs than David Barton’s take of US history. More than that, “Axe Cop” is written by a 6 year old and is far more entertaining.

  9. gopiballava says

    Barton knows nothing about history.
    In other news, water discovered to be wet. Film at 11.

    Actually, I believe Barton has determined through extensive analysis of the primary historical documents in his library that water is not, in fact, wet.

  10. keithb says

    I am currently reading _Midnight Rising_ about John Brown’s raid. The authour quotes several politicians wanting to annex various parts of central america in order to spread the “peculiar institution.”

    Also, Mr Barton, cf Oklahoma.

  11. Phillip IV says

    I wonder which way the water swirls down the toilets when you flush on his planet.

    It doesn’t swirl down, it swirls up! But only if the water has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as its personal savior. That’s why it’s perfectly moral to tell the most outrageous lies to the water if it brings about that result.

  12. Artor says

    I don’t think Barton is deluded. I think he’s deliberately, consciously lying out his ass, knowing that his intended audience, fungelical Xtians, are too ignorant to understand that he’s a complete & utter fraud. He’s a con man, not a historian. He’s pushing the boundaries of “The Big Lie,” and there are people willing to believe him, because it fits their view of ‘Merika as being God’s Perfect Country, forever & ever, amen.

    Yeah, it makes me sick too.

  13. gopiballava says

    Right.  Put yourselves explicitly on their level.  Go right ahead.  

    That’s not an answer to my question. Are you willing to answer my question?

    My argument is not “on their level”. Rather, your moral axioms consider our arguments equivalent. Your moral axioms consider the differences between my position and theirs to be irrelevant.

     I find laws forbidding, say, gay marriage contemptible, and I would do so even if I thought that gay marriage was an utter abomination – because nothing is so abominable as the spectacle of one human being taking the right to push another around.  

    Can you give me an example of something you hold to be an abomination but still think should be permitted?

    I am reminded of people who are religious, but claim their opposition to gay marriage has secular reasons. The secular reasons are inane rationalizations.

    But on your premises?  Hey, why not ban gay marriage?  Why not close down any secular University?  Hey, outright ban contraception!

    These are things that either are illegal or were recently illegal. I think the opinion polls suggest that they are permitted more based on people believing that they are acceptable rather than believing in the abstract axioms you argue for.

  14. says

    I don’t think Barton is deluded. I think he’s deliberately, consciously lying out his ass, knowing that his intended audience, fungelical Xtians, are too ignorant to understand that he’s a complete & utter fraud. He’s a con man, not a historian.

    I don’t think it’s as clear cut as that. I suspect that he wholeheartedly believes that America and American history are the work of “Divine Providence” and it is that conviction that allows him to cherry pick and interpret (very badly) the evidence in such a way that it superficially confirms his beliefs to others.

    It’s hard to describe, and perhaps it’s easier to describe what he’s not — he’s not completely deluded, but he’s not a totally conscious liar, just in it for the money either — it’s somewhere in between those extremes.

    I liken him to his fellow pseudos — the pseudohistorians, pseudoscientists, etc. — who have found a way to monetize their whacked-out beliefs by tapping into the delusions of their fellow believers. It may seem to the most cynical that they are just doing it for the money (and not doubt a few are) but most are doing it because they believe they are on a mission to educate and inform their fellow-believers.

    Barton is undoubtedly one of those people.

  15. says

    “I don’t think the European colonial powers were very anti-religious.”

    And I’m pretty sure they had chaplains in their armies too.

    This all seems to be a delusion based on Barton’s meta-delusion of our founding fathers being hyper-pious Christians. He loves to make a big deal about the army having chaplains, and from that he somehow derives the conclusion that American military policy must have been non-aggressive, noble, and purely defensive, because gosh, they had chaplains.

  16. D. C. Sessions says

    Can you give me an example of something you hold to be an abomination but still think should be permitted?

    Easy: a woman crawling around after “her man” who treats her worse than a dog and she keeps lapping it up.

    What? You thought that it’d be hard to come up with an example?

  17. Chris from Europe says

    “I don’t think the European colonial powers were very anti-religious.”

    I think that even people who get all their “information” from entertainment wouldn’t necessarily buy the claim. You don’t have to have been awake in school to know that Barton is lying.

    (Of course, there are people who don’t get it even if the information is everywhere around them.)

  18. says

    Wait. Before, it was bad to be “anti-colonialist,” because America was/is colonialist, and now they’re saying America was never colonialist?

  19. fastlane says

    The entire Southwest of the country applied for membership on the America.fuck.yeah website.

    Fixed that for you.

  20. shouldbeworking says

    So gawd gave puerto Rico to the US? Along with Hawaii, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, US Canal Zone (oops, gawd set that one free). Just what was MacArthur doing in the Phillipines prior to December 7, 1941?

    Darn, I thought I knew some American history, guess this gawdless socialist foreigner is wrong.

  21. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    OffTopic, @Zugswang – #10:

    Holy Hypoventilation, Zugswang!

    Pacifist feminist …can’t…stop…laughing @AxeCop! No women …at all, …but ZOMG, …that’s part…of it’s charm!

    Seriously, Axe Cop is exactly the thing to put mainstream comics into perspective…and by which to judge mainstream comics’ actual level of creativity. And the whole time it just repeatedly slams unintentional humor into your head with a 2 by 4.

    “I’m going to need more than an axe – I’m going to need a baby with a horn like a unicorn, but a baby!” *

    It’s all just too perfect.

    *(Second half of this quote occurs off-panel)

  22. 24fps says

    IIRC, there was an attempt to annex what is now Canada during the War of 1812… But then we burned Washington.

  23. Chiroptera says

    24fps, #28: But then we burned Washington.

    And then we hid the scorch marks by painting the President’s mansion white.

    And called it the White House.

    ‘Cause, uh, that’s the way it always was.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    Apart from killing injuns, US colonialism really got going with McKinley ca. 1898.
    The military resistance of the Filipinos was only broken through massacring entire villages where American servicemen had been killed. You know, sorta like the Russkies did in Afghanistan.
    And the annexation of the kingdom of Hawai was blatantly illegal.
    These facts are not obscure, the players of the time were up-front about their ambitions and about their racist agenda. The use of water torture in the Filipines is well documented. It’s all there, on paper.

  25. pacal says

    This is rich coming in the year 2012 which is the 200th aniversary of the war of 1812. One of the aims of the American governement was the conquest of Canada.

    I could also list the various interventions in Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

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