Ignoring history's monsters
The end of the year brings with it a number of "best and worst" articles. Some of them are entertaining, many of them exist just to fill space in an otherwise slow news cycle. But one list, published in The Atlantic, caught our eye for the blistering stupidity of a couple of the reponses.
Asked to name the "worst leader of all time," we get this response:
Laurence Leamer, author, The Price of Justice
I was thinking of Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, when the goofy, smiling face of President George W. Bush appeared out of nowhere. Bush’s invasion of Iraq was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the displacement of millions, was a major factor in the dismemberment of nation-states, and the tally goes on.
And this one:
Bryan Safi, co-host, TV Land’s Throwing Shade (premiering in January)
Ronald Reagan. Tens of thousands of gay men were wiped off the map simply because he refused to speak, much less act. What’s worse than ignoring a national health crisis while you stuff your face full of jelly beans and your wife reads her horoscope in the next room?
To be fair, there are other, much more reasonable, responses, including Hitler, Pol Pot, and other monsters of history.
But naming any American president to such a list is wrong. Not only wrong, but incredibly stupid, showing an ignorance of history that beggars belief.
Then again, one of the respondents is a denizen of Hollywood, so perhaps we have set bar for basic knowledge far too high.