HuffPo, WashPo on the 4th: Founding Fathers 'Blew It,' Revolution 'a Flop'

July 4, 2013 - 9:48 AM
It's the Fourth of July. For most Americans, that's a day when we celebrate our nation, revel in what we've achieved and honor those who sacrificed so much to get us here. For others, it's one more chance to bash America.

In separate opinion pieces on both the liberal Huffington Post and Washington Post, two liberal historians called the United States either a "flop" or a failure. "Former historian" Paul Pirie, summed up the liberal view: "Perhaps it's time for Americans to accept that their revolution was a failure and renounce it."

In The Huffington Post piece, Janus Adams addressed "An Open Letter to the Founding Fathers and Mothers," and complained about "YOUR race problem." Adams' bio describes her as an "award-winning journalist, historian, producer, and publisher." Her "commentaries are regular features of NPR, and her OpEds have appeared on UPI.com and in USA Today."

Adams was critical from the very beginning:

"What were you thinking? On July 2, you had Thomas Jefferson's "original Rough draught" (draft) of the Declaration in hand. You had a chance to set things right. Two more days you took to argue the points and then, you blew it!"

Adams blamed the use of what she called "bargaining chips," "slaves, women, Native Americans." According to Adams, those issues aren't history, they are current events. "Voting rights for Blacks is on the block again. Women's rights are repeatedly challenged by men who want the hands of government out of their lives and all over women's bodies. As for Native Americans, forget about them -- their rights have been infringed upon and marginalized for years."

Pirie's piece was the Post's way of sticking it to Americans on their holiday. Pirie explained, "The U.S. performance should also be assessed against the ideals the new country set for itself - namely, advancing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The Canada-based freelance writer concluded, naturally, that the United States is a failure. "In these senses, the American Revolution was a flop. Perhaps it's time for Americans to accept that their revolution was a failure and renounce it. (For their part, many Russians have.)"

The column was a series of criticisms of the United States, including:

  • "The new republic started advancing life and liberty by keeping a substantial part of its population enslaved."
  • "As for the pursuit of happiness, Americans are free to do just that - provided that they aren't rotting in jail."
  • "Most Americans work longer hours and have fewer paid vacations and benefits - including health care - than their counterparts in most advanced countries."

Pirie criticized American government and held up Canada, Britain and Australia as examples of nations that "can get things done." Of course, he left out how American involvement in World War I, World War II, the Cold War and more has ensured that those nations were able to survive.

Pirie's bio information is unusually scant. The Post described him as "a former historian, is a freelance writer in Ontario." There is a UK-based Paul Pirie who is a stand-up comedian, but it's unclear if they are the same man. LinkedIn lists another possibility, and there may be others.