Against Tea Parties

Ah, in just after Mad Hatter day as well, Jill LePore on The Tea Party Phenomenon

Dangerous anti-pluralism--intriguing concept.

A taste:

Well, that comes, and it goes. I wrote a piece for the magazine about Jared Sparks’ bowdlerizing of the writings of George Washington in the eighteen-twenties and -thirties. Sparks, an old-style New England Federalist, wanted to venerate Washington; the Jacksonian Democrats who took him to task for his editorial presumption wanted to cut Washington down to size. Along comes the Civil War, and Washington looks different: Northerners don’t adore him because he was a slave-owner; Southerners can’t quite embrace him because, after all, the man freed his slaves. Fast forward: Washington is debunked in the nineteen-twenties, kitschy in the fifties, and heroic in the eighties. This isn’t sinister or even suspicious; mostly, it’s just interesting. All history works that way; it's just that all history doesn’t track political change, so no one notices, or much minds.


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