The Politically Incorrect Show - 23/11/2000
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Thursday November 23, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
Thanksgiving Day is coming up in America. It commemorates the arrival in 1620 of a group of religious dissenters fleeing persecution in Holland & England. Thanksgiving embodies quite a different legacy from that celebrated on Independence Day, July 4 - the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The contrast was acerbically captured by American freedom-lover J. D. Tuccille in an article written in 1997, now updated & posted on Tucille's web site, civilliberty.about.com. Here's part of it:
Thanksgiving is the American holiday in a way that not even the Fourth of July can beat.
Oh sure, the Fourth of July is supposed to be the national holiday. It commemorates the day on which prominent businessmen, politicians, clergymen and others very publicly linked their personal fates and that of the 13 American colonies to the fight for freedom. The founders risked death to stop the pesky Brits from telling them what to do.
But Thanksgiving remembers the Puritans. They were a small religious minority who suffered terribly from persecution in England - they were fined, jailed and treated as second-class citizens. They sailed off in search of a new home where they could worship as they chose, and finally found it in a wilderness where they carved out a refuge while battling starvation and disease. And they did it all so they could give Indians and heretics the persecution treatment on this side of the Atlantic. Now thatıs America! Algonquins and Quakers roasting over an open fire.
The Puritan ethic lives on in American culture. Itıs not a pure strain, of course, or else yours truly would spend an inordinate amount of time being pressed between rocks or having red-hot pokers shov-
But the Fourth-of-July ethic, the ideal of personal liberty, is a Johnny-come-lately to these shores. It has always battled against a legacy of ferocious, cold-water ascetics with a burning desire to work for the greater glory of God and an unyielding willingness to help their dissenting neighbors reach heaven just a bit sooner than expected.
That Puritan ethic has been tempered by the contributions of more easygoing colonists, an Enlightenment-fueled love of liberty and waves of immigrants with no connection to Cromwell's brethren in America. But whenever you think the strain is getting weak, it erupts once again. The United States has been wracked by wave after wave of puritanical religious revivalism since its founding...
More recently, the Puritan legacy of self-denial has found its outlet in bizarre quasi-secular crusades. Prohibition, of course. And what else, after all, is the dementia that leads anti-tobacco zealots to pass laws barring smoking from privately owned bars, open streets and even (in extreme cases) front porches and lawns? To turn anybody with a pack of Luckies into a pariah? The constipated ghosts of the Mayflower passengers hover over the whole matter...
Oh, yes. The Puritans waded ashore a very long time ago, but their tight-sphinctered legacy lives with us at least as strongly as does that of the founders, whose memory is aptly celebrated in the warm and sunny month of July. Benjamin Franklin had his women and Thomas Jefferson had his wine, but the Puritans have cold showers for us all. So as we eat our Thanksgiving meals and crack open a beer in front of the tube, let us remember what we have to be truly thankful for.
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