American history is filled with the stories of many heroes, as well as more than a few knaves. These days, determining who is a hero and who is a knave depends on whose version of American history is read, as the Marxists now have their own warped view on how the United States became the greatest country in human history. Howard Zinn’s, “A People’s History of the United States,” has been corrupting the public school system for nearly a quarter of a century. Zinn’s version of history is a cog in the wheel of the Marxists’ plan to remake America through mis-education of America’s youth.
It used to be relatively easy to separate heroes from knaves in American history, but that moral clarity has been blurred as the Left has captured America’s cultural institutions in recent decades. It seems that one beneficial side effect during the Age of Trump is the growing recognition that there have been a host of erstwhile Americans who in reality have wrought terrible destruction on the country and its institutions. The list of those perpetrators is a long one.
Over a year ago, there was a GREAT article by Frank Hawkins published at Americanthinker.com in which he discussed his list of the 10 most destructive Americans. While many might disagree with his ranking (and probably would love to add a few to the list!), I believe it to be an excellent summation that segues perfectly into a discussion of a YUUUGE societal/cultural problem that has developed over the decades. But before we get to that, here is his list:
#1 John Kerry
#2 Barack Obama
#3 Lyndon Johnson
#4 Jimmy Carter
#5 Valerie Jarrett
#6 The Clintons
#7 Walter Cronkite
#8 Ted Kennedy
#9 Bill Ayers
#10 Mark Felt
He also provided a list of “dishonorable mentions” to which we could all add names, I’m sure:
- John Brennan
- Jane Fonda
- Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin (!)
- Robert Johnson/BET
- Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr./NYT
- George Soros
- Frank Marshall Davis
For his top ten, he provided an explanatory paragraph for each one; I highly recommend you read them all. Here is the paragraph on “Public Enemy #1,” John “I Served in Vietnam” Kerry:
Some readers will likely say Kerry does not deserve to be number one on this list. I have him here because I regard him as the most despicable American who ever lived. After his three faked Purple Hearts during his cowardly service in Vietnam, he was able to leave the US Navy early. As a reserve naval officer and in clear violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he traveled to Paris and met privately with the NVA and the Viet Cong.
He returned to the United States parroting the Soviet party line about the war and testified before Congress comparing American soldiers to the hordes of Genghis Khan. It was a clear case of treason, giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war.
We got a second bite of the bitter Kerry apple when as Obama’s secretary of state, he fell into bed with the Iranian (“Death to America”) mullahs giving them the ultimate green light to develop nuclear weapons along with billions of dollars that further supported their terrorist activities. Only the heroic Swift Vets saved us from a Manchurian Candidate Kerry presidency. Ultimately, we got Obama.
Read all of the rest of the article, including the details on the other nine, here.
Amen, amen, amen! To pile on, Kerry has been a serial violator of the Logan Act across the decades. The Logan Act is a United States federal law that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. Kerry “negotiated” with the North Vietnamese in the early 1970s, the Sandinistas in the 1980s, and the Iranians in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s! Imagine all that we could have avoided over the years had he been properly dealt with, in the first place.
But it’s not just Kerry. We have a societal and cultural problem in American as it relates to our inability these days to seemingly hold anyone accountable for their actions. While this is particularly true within the political class, the rest of us have become infected over time by watching them get away with actions for which we know we would be hammered, had we done them ourselves.
Once upon a time in America, civic courtesy, behavior in public places, and even everyday language used were commonly scrutinized and corrected, and people were held directly and immediately accountable for their bad actions, including via the legal system if sufficiently egregious. Over time, we have adopted cockamamie slogans like “I’m okay, you’re okay” and “anything goes” and even “affirmative action” as some of the reasons to allow a general coarsening public dialog, lowering standards, and letting people off the hook who exhibit bad behavior and bad actions. This is particularly true within the political class, where corruption, law-breaking and a seeming lack of accountability for ANYTHING no matter how horrible or illegal has become endemic.
Maybe you can help me out here: was ANYONE ever held accountable for misdeeds, scandals, and/or law-breaking within the Obama Administration? Did anyone ever get fired or prosecuted? For Fast and Furious? For the Benghazi debacle? For the illegal domestic surveillance of journalists and even US senators? For unmasking of private US citizens? For FISA abuse? And so forth.
Here is one tiny example of how the lack of accountability within the political class is cynically normalized. Bill Clinton (#6 on that top ten list!) was NOT held accountable for his actions while president with a young intern despite what the Left and Democrat Party would have us all believe. Losing his license to practice law was a slap on the wrist – and those of us who are “normal” who believe in accountability and the rule of law understand that completely. The result? Further cynicism, including among our kids who watched him get off scot-free. Now, the name “Lewinsky” has been added to the urban dictionary, and another use for cigars has been normalized and made acceptable. All because we as a society failed to hold Bill Clinton accountable, which, in his case, should have included a heavy dose of public shaming versus glorification by the Democrat Party and the continuing financial rewards he has received as a result of his shameless grifting.
It gets worse with Clinton. Even now, his 1998 impeachment is being held by the Democrat Party and Democrat operatives in the media to be of lesser importance than the Democrats’ partisan impeachment of President Trump because they claim Clinton was “only impeached for crimes about sex.” Nothing could be further from the truth, as the Clinton articles of impeachment referred to 11 statutory crimes committed while the Trump articles of impeachment do not refer to a single criminal statute violated! Clinton’s corruption of the rule of law and now the Constitutional clause on impeachment continues to plague us 20 years after he left the presidency.
We all hold our progeny accountable (or try to) based on our personal moral views. We also hold colleagues, business partners, clients/customers, hired contractors, and others accountable in our private lives. Why the disconnect with respect to the political class? The reason is that We The People have abrogated our responsibilities to hold them accountable! Far easier to succumb to the “bread and circuses” approach delivered by the political class, don’t get involved in “dirty” politics, leave things to the “experts,” and get on with our lives. We deserve the blame for allowing the political class to evolve into the corrupt “professionals” that they have become. And their corruption seeps into the federal law enforcement agencies and the rest of the bureaucracy, too (think about the IRS, EPA, and other federal overlords).
Thanks to President Trump, we are seeing some of that corruption exposed in spades – and more with each passing day. And what we’ve learned puts many in that American Thinker top ten list in perspective, too. But there is much more to be discovered if we choose to look and demand that the few honest elected representatives who are in Congress move forward with oversight over the intelligence community (Spygate), the FBI and DoJ (FISA abuse), US foreign aid distribution (Ukraine), and helping POTUS drain the damn swamp (virtually all federal agencies)! And that will allow us to add many other names to that top ten list, too.
Some useful actions we should take ourselves are to demand accountability in our private lives, support civic discourse, set examples for others, immediately correct our kids’ misbehavior when observed, publicly shame wrong-doers, investigate all candidates for office and then vote accordingly for trustworthy non-politicians, and hold them accountable once elected. And think about running for dog-catcher or some higher office yourself! We need to restore accountability and strict enforcement of laws for everyone – especially the corrupt crooks who infest the political class (and their many enablers).