Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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A Largely Forgotten Man

A hero to many contemporary conservatives and libertarians, William Graham Sumner (who penned the phrase "the forgotten man," which was then misappropriated by FDR), takes a beating from Steve Hayward. Sumner joined the attack on Progressive Darwinists who, along with this Social Darwinist, renounced the Declaration of Independence.

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Discussions - 11 Comments

Sumner's forgotten man has sounded to me more like a Tea Party guy than someone unemployed or a candidate for unionization.

Kate, here's another forgotten man that sounds quite like a Tea Party guy - Andrew Kehoe:

"Kehoe was regarded by his neighbors as an intelligent man who grew impatient with those who disagreed with him. Neighbors also recounted how Kehoe was cruel to his farm animals, having once beaten a horse to death. With a reputation for thriftiness, Kehoe was elected treasurer of the Bath Consolidated School board in 1924. While on the board, Kehoe fought endlessly for lower taxes. He had blamed the previous property tax levy for his family's poor financial condition, and repeatedly accused superintendent Emory Huyck of financial mismanagement.[6]

Nellie Kehoe had become chronically ill with tuberculosis at the time of the bombing, and her frequent hospital stays may have played a role in putting the family into debt. Kehoe had ceased making mortgage and homeowner's insurance payments and the mortgage lender had begun foreclosure proceedings against the farm."

So, then, naturally enough...

"The Bath School disaster is the name given to three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, on May 18, 1927, which killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults and the bomber himself; at least 58 people were injured. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–14 years of age [1]) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history.

The bomber was school board treasurer Andrew Kehoe, 55, who was ostensibly enraged about a property tax levied to fund the construction of the school building. He blamed the additional tax for financial hardships which led to foreclosure proceedings against his farm. These events apparently provoked Kehoe to plan his attack. He died in a car bomb he set off after he drove up to the school as the crowd gathered to rescue survivors from the burning school.

On the morning of May 18, Kehoe murdered his wife by beating her to death, then set his farm buildings afire. As fire fighters arrived at the farm, an explosion devastated the north wing of the school building, killing many schoolchildren. He used a detonator to ignite dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers started gathering at the school, Kehoe drove up, stopped, and detonated a bomb inside his shrapnel-filled vehicle with his Winchester rifle, killing himself and the school superintendent, and killing and injuring several others. During rescue efforts searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol planted throughout the basement of the school's south wing. Kehoe apparently had intended to blow up and destroy the whole school."

Terrorists and mass killings in small town American schools...

I knew you had a fundamental misunderstanding of the Tea Party, but this is ridiculous.

I apologize to readers of NLT for (maybe endlessly) inciting Craig Scanlon to comment.

What, Kate? How does that demonstrate a "fundamental misunderstanding of the Tea Party"?

Kehoe was obsessed with cutting taxes of all kinds, much like the Tea ("Taxed Enough Already") Party (-ies) of today.

Various Tea Parties right in your backyard have opposed school levies, and won't be satisfied until the "fat cat" teachers (haha) are living in vans down by the river - then they'll be poor enough to be called poor in their eyes.

But I know, there's truly No True Scotsman when it comes to the tea partiers. They're as slippery as Paul Ryan in this regard:

No problem Kate.

It just validates the Liberalism is Mental Illness fact.

Craig, you only validate cowgirl's assessment of you.

"Assessment" ?

That's what name-calling employed as repetitive mantras is known as now - assessments?

If you really think that bringing up some nut who blew up a school in 1927 counts as an argument against the Tea Party, then name-calling is the only "assessment" you deserve. In fact, you're not even worth of that much attention.

"If you really think that bringing up some nut who blew up a school in 1927 counts as an argument against the Tea Party..."

I guess I should simply consider it good fortune that you would assume it was an argument AGAINST the Tea Party. It wasn't meant as such (merely a few similarities noted, nothing thorough); if I wanted that, there's always today's international tea party fan-boy, Anders Breivik.

Kate referred to a hypothetical person described in a work written in 1918 as "more like a Tea Party guy than someone unemployed or a candidate for unionization."

I just brought up an actual man from 7 years after the hypothetical character which Kate drew a comparison to - a man who had the same kind of personality and political obsessions as many in today's tea party gang.

Now I'll return to waiting for an NLT blogger to address (most likely defend) Ted Nugent, with the old - and utterly absurd - condemnations of Dixie Chicks conveniently swept aside:

Dixie Chicks are "punk rock" - classic NLT unintentional comedy!

"What the Forgotten Man really wants is true liberty. Most of his wrongs and woes come from the fact that there are yet mixed together in our institutions the old mediaeval theories of protection and personal dependence and the modern theories of independence and individual liberty. The consequence is that the people who are clever enough to get into positions of control, measure their own rights by the paternal theory and their own duties by the theory of independent liberty. It follows that the Forgotten Man, who is hard at work at home, has to pay both ways. His rights are measured by the theory of liberty, that is, he has only such as he can conquer. His duties are measured by the paternal theory, that is, he must discharge all which are laid upon him, as is always the fortune of parents. People talk about the paternal theory of government as if it were a very simple thing. Analyze it, however, and you see that in every paternal relation there must be two parties, a parent and a child, and when you speak metaphorically, it makes all the difference in the world who is parent and who is child."

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