“We didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy. Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and across this continent by giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans. That was biological warfare. And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever.
“And we grew prosperous. And yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves. So it goes with most great nation-states, which–feeling guilty about their savage pasts–eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry up-and-coming who are not made of sugar candy.”
Full transcript available here.
I understand the point Harvey is trying to make. Taking a hard line with our enemies is important. Heck, its neccessary, but that doesn’t mean we should adopt a “win at any cost” mentality and repeat the mistakes of our past either.
I think its time for the old man to hang it up.
Like I pointed out above, I have no problem with taking a hard line against our enemies. I just don’t like Harvey’s implication that no tactics are taboo. Yes our expansion west was made possible, in part, through terrible treatment of Native Americans. But was that a neccessary tactic? Couldn’t we have treated the Native Americans better and still completed a successful westward expansion?
Yes we rode to the status of global economic powerhouse, partly, on the back of slaves. But was that neccessary? Couldn’t America’s dearly-held capitalistic ideals have brought us here without engaging in the terrible institution of slavery?
I think the answer to these questions and other like them is a resounding “yes.” Which is why Harvey’s comments are over the top.
Rob Port is the owner and operator of Say Anything.