Comment: Wilder's belief in self-reliance is a hypocritical crock. Her family sought a government handout in the form of land. Charles Ingalls didn't want to buy it fair and square; he wanted it free. And he didn't care if someone already owned it.
In short, he was a typical Euro-American. He took what wasn't his while proclaiming his innocence and virtue. And his daughter rewrote history to make him the brave pioneer rather than the shiftless squatter.
I'm not surprised to learn Wilder was a typical conservative. Her beliefs about America's greatness and the Indians' savagery go hand in hand. She shared the Euro-American vision of white Christians dominating the world--of Manifest Destiny. Her family's narrative--trying to claim "free" land on an Indian reservation--was a small but telling example of it.
Demonizing the "other" is a necessary part of this vision. We've done it with Indians, Africans, immigrants, Asians, and Russians. Now we're doing it with Iraqis and other Muslims. We have to fabricate an evil ("The Indians or Iraqis are going to kill us!") to justify our illegal and immoral actions.
For more on the subject, see America's Cultural Mindset.