John Eastman’s comments on my essay make a great deal of sense. Let me respond: I didn’t draw the black guy for my narrator-- there are several different ones, an administrator told me. I don’t dissent from John’s description of the opening show. He’s right-- it dealt soberly with topics that are often demagogued. But there was, to speak academically, too much Gordon Wood (head of the Center’s Academic Advisory Board) in it, with all the lamentable political consequences. In one sense the narration posed the people (the Declaration) versus the Constitution (the document the people need to redefine, ceaselessly).
And John may be right in his "Vatican II" defense of the people vs. the educational elite. Would that such a defense were the case! If the hierarchy of the Catholic Church deserved a cleansing.... I prefer the political views of people at a baseball stadium to those at the APSA.
The statues of the founders are "life size"--they may have appeared as giants to John, who (like me) is short in stature, but I appreciate this point as well.
But do people who leave feel like cutting these giants down to size and moving beyond them-- or do they shock the historicism and progressivism we inherit from the middle exhibit out of us?
To reiterate: we have seen worse at the Smithsonian, in DC. And to hear the introductory film at Independence Hall praise that place for the recognition by the United Nations was beyond disgust.