During a stopover in Boston (on her tour of intellectual terror) Sarah Palin shared this pearl of wisdom with a small crowd.
He who warned, uh, the...the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and um by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that uh we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free...and we were gonna be armed.Wow! William Shakespeare himself couldn't have said it better! So poetic, so inspiring are these words that one easily forgets that they come from the same woman who believes in witches.
You just can't make this stuff up...well...actually...Sarah Palin is proof that you can.
Setting all witchcraft and "maverick-y-ness" aside, let's look at the ACTUAL HISTORY shall we:
1.) Of course Paul Revere didn't ride out to "warn the British." He rode out to warn the militia, along with Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were members of the Continental Congress, that the British were coming.
2.) There were no bells ringing. The warning was sent out via lanterns (i.e. "one of by land, two if by sea).
3.) The British were not interested in "takin' away our arms". As historian J.L. Bell appropriately points out:
[Palin's] comment about “takin’ away our arms” connotes that the royal forces were after personal weapons like muskets and pistols. The goal of the British march was artillery which the Massachusetts Provincial Congress had collected using diverted taxes for a military force independent of the royal government. That’s an important distinction, I think.4.)Palin's last comment that "we were gonna be armed" suggests that the American Revolution was in some way fought over our right to keep and bear arms. Well, reality is that this comment is more indicative of a current political issue rather than a historical fact. Nowhere can we find evidence that the British wanted to take away the private man's right to keep and bear arms.
I know it's hard for people like Sarah Palin (and the monumentally stupid Glenn Beck) to get their history right even 50% of the time, but if they really want to lay claim to American patriotism don't they first need to know something of this nation's past?
In an effort to make their fearless leader look less idiotic than she really is, a handful of Sarah Palin disciples have actually taken to rewriting the history of Paul Revere on Wikipedia. That's right, the same supposed lovers of all things relating to the Founding Fathers are attempting to rewrite the history of the Founding Fathers. The irony is staggering.
Who exactly is rewriting history, Glenn Beck?
In the days following her idiotic comment, Sarah Palin has actually tried to defend herself by stating that she "didn't mess up" the Paul Revere history:
I'm publicizing Americana and our foundation and how important it is that we learn about our past and our challenges and victories throughout American history, so that we can successfully proceed forward...Please, Sarah, just leave the teaching of history to those who at least know that Africa isn't a country but a continent!
One can only imagine what Paul Revere would think of Palin's ongoing record of pseudo-history. But if he were here, I bet he would look and feel something like this:
"Nothing is more dangerous to the world than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." ~Martin Luther King.