by C.A. Matthews
"The Great Man" theory of history says that history is made by certain charismatic individuals. They inspire and lead others into creating a better country, world, and/or universe. Or not.
It got me to thinking... Who are the "Great Americans" who have shaped our recent history? Surely they'd be mentioned quite a bit in the media. So I thought I'd take a stab at it by scanning the headlines of my Facebook and Twitter feeds this past week. These are the names of "Great Americans" I came across.
A lot has been written about the late Secretary of Defense--some of it flattering and some of it quite disturbing. Here's a typical summary of this civil servant's life:
Here are some other articles reminiscing about Mr. Rumsfeld:
Donald Rumsfeld just died at the age of eighty-eight. Obituaries at outlets like the New York Times and CNN consistently mention the same memorable but pointless bits of trivia. He was America’s youngest secretary of defense (in the Ford administration) and the oldest (in the George W. Bush administration). He wrote so many memos about so many subjects that they came to be known as “snowflakes.” Arriving at the Pentagon in the 1970s, the Times tells us, he became famous for “his one-handed push-ups and his prowess on a squash court.”
To see the full absurdity of this, imagine an obituary of Slobodan Milosevic that lingered on innocuous details of his office management style and fondness for soccer, or an obituary of Saddam Hussein that focused on how young he was when he formally became president of Iraq in 1979 and his favorite dessert in his Baghdad palace. -- Ben Burgis, from Donald Rumsfeld, Rot in Hell https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/70238-donald-rumsfeld-rot-in-hell
Donald Rumsfeld's Legacy Is Defined by the Disastrous Iraq War and America's Disgraceful Use of Torture https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/70199-donald-rumsfelds-legacy-is-defined-by-the-disastrous-iraq-war-and-americas-disgraceful-use-of-torture
Rumsfeld Was Not “Controversial.” He Played a Leading Role in Mass Murder https://truthout.org/articles/rumsfeld-was-not-controversial-he-played-a-leading-role-in-mass-murder
Rumsfeld's Much-Vaunted 'Courage' Was a Smokescreen for Lies, Crime and Death
What do you think? Is Donald Rumsfeld a "Great American"?
The late senator from Alaska made a name for himself when he boldly read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. Straight-talking and peace-promoting, Gravel's most recent run for the presidency was actually started by his "fans" on Reddit.
There are many stories and videos detailing the life and times of Senator Gravel, and last week's blog featured one of them. Here's another: Courageous Anti-War Truth Teller --Mike Gravel RIP https://youtu.be/nmahus6SSfc
What do you think? Is Mike Gravel a "Great American"?
The next one causes me great personal distress, but it's a name that came up repeatedly.
Mr. Cosby made the news again recently when his sentence for rape was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Apparently openly admitting in a civil case to drugging and sexually assaulting 60+ women can be easily dismissed on a technicality.
I grew up watching Bill Cosby on television most days. I loved his Cosby Kids cartoon series and especially enjoyed his "Fat Albert" character. Later on, he became even more famous as a doctor and family man on another long running TV series. That this "bastion of family values" could get away with rape--not once but dozens of times--makes me furious and sick to my stomach.
Cosby's release is more than a slap in the face to his victims--it sets a dangerous precedence that famous men of wealth can expect to receive a different form of justice.
Bill Cosby's Release Is Exactly Why Rape Survivors Don't Come Forward https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/70200-bill-cosbys-release-is-exactly-why-rape-survivors-dont-come-forward
There's One Man to Blame for Bill Cosby's Release https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/70207-theres-one-man-to-blame-for-bill-cosbys-release
Bill Cosby, Britney, and a Tale of Two American Justice Systems https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/70254-bill-cosby-britney-and-a-tale-of-two-american-justice-systems
What do you think? Is Bill Cosby a "Great American"?
Edward Snowden periodically makes the news with his writings, podcasts and video interviews. Of course he's most famous for spilling the beans on how the US government spies on its own citizens.
Exiled to Russia, if Mr. Snowden ever steps a foot again on American soil they'll lock him up the same as they have other whistleblowers. Our government wants to protect us from nasty truths about itself, after all. It's for our own good that we remain in the dark, don't you know.
Edward Snowden: Why Do Conspiracy Theories Flourish? Because the Truth Is Too Hard to Handle https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/70229-why-do-conspiracy-theories-flourish-because-the-truth-is-too-hard-to-handle
What do you think? Is Edward Snowden a "Great American"?
I realize that those who make the headlines aren't always worthy of the praise--or the slurs--they incur. Americans really need to start thinking hard about how they want our nation to be remembered by future generations of Americans (if there are any). Do we want to be remembered for Rumsfeld or Gravel? Cosby or Snowden?
Or perhaps the real question is, "Will we be remembered at all?"
26th United Nations "Conference of the Parties" (COP) conference -- of
parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change -- is scheduled
to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, November 1-12, 2021.|
Click here to tell participants to stop excluding military pollution from climate agreements.
Here's the text of our petition:
The fate of the open internet is in the hands of two Trump appointees -- unless Joe Biden acts now.
Ajit Pai, who as Federal Communications Commission chair under Donald Trump led the repeal of net neutrality, resigned from the FCC when Joe Biden became president. Nearly half a year later and the fifth FCC seat remains empty.
Meanwhile, two of Trump's appointees are still on the FCC. With a 2-2 deadlock, they can continue to block key priorities until the vacancy is filled. In order to reinstate net neutrality and protect internet users from corporate control, we need President Biden to fill the fifth seat.1
The FCC has a long list of initiatives that can help ensure an open internet for everyone.2
It includes reviving the long-neglected Lifeline program, which helps ensure internet access for low-income customers. As the pandemic made clear, this is a critical priority.3
It also includes guiding federal funds for building broadband infrastructure in an equitable, effective manner.
And it includes restoring net neutrality rules dismantled by the Trump administration.
But the commission can't move any of these efforts forward without a fifth member appointed by the president. Congress has a limited number of days in session left this year, which means the Senate needs to get that member confirmed and the FCC up and running immediately.
Thank you for speaking out,
Tal and the team at Watchdog -- a project of Demand Progress
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