Ed Driscoll

90 Years of 'Progress'

As Amity Shlaes writes in Coolidge, shortly before Christmas of 1920, which would place the time as being be after Warren G. Harding and Coolidge won the 1920 presidential election, but before they took office the following year, Calvin Coolidge and his wife paid a visit to Plymouth, Massachusetts:

Excavators there had been digging up the original rock where the pilgrims landed, in time for the tercentenary of the year of the landing, 1620. A crowd of hundreds assembled there, among whom were local children and mill hand immigrants, “still faulty in their English,” as the papers reported. The vice president– elect, Mrs. Coolidge, and Senator Lodge stood before the citizens. Coolidge pointed out to the crowd that there was nothing noble about the pilgrims’ blood at the time they voyaged. It was their deeds that distinguished them for later Americans. They had been “oblivious to rank, yet men trace to them their lineage as to a royal house.” It would be futile, Coolidge said, “to search among recorded maps an history for their origin. They sailed up out of the infinite.” The way the pilgrims had lived, by example, provided value for others; in fact, “no like body ever cast so great an influence on human history.” Preserving that tradition, Coolidge was saying, seemed a primary endeavor, if only because it benefited so many others, regardless of background.

Government’s relationship with the pilgrims today? A bit more “nuanced,” as they say: “Confidential, expensive USDA sensitivity training: ‘The Pilgrims were illegal aliens:’”

In another clip, Betances attempted to dispel the stigma of illegal immigrants by calling the Pilgrims illegal aliens.

“I want you to say that America was founded by outsiders – say that – who are today’s insiders, who are very nervous about today’s outsiders,” he said in the clip.

“I want you to say, ‘The Pilgrims were illegal aliens,’” he continued. “Say, ‘The Pilgrims never gave their passports to the Indians.’”

Throughout the session, Betances had the employees shout “Bam!” to reinforce his points.

Actually, I take it back — it hasn’t been 90 years of “Progress.” As late as the 1970s, kids were taught by the TV networks that the Pilgrims were good guys; this is effectively a quarter century of Frankfurt School-style political correctness run amok: