May 14, 2015

Rubio ignorant of US history

Marco Rubio doesn't know about America's history with Native Americans

By Scott SuttonSometimes politicians tweet helpful and insightful things. Other times, they tweet things that are regrettable at best and in denial of history at worst.

A tweet from 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) early Wednesday afternoon fits into that latter category.

You can see the tweet below, which we took a screenshot of because it seems destined for deletion.
Gawker may have summed it up best with the snarky (and 100 percent correct) headline “Marco Rubio Remembers the Trail of Tears.”

Here’s what they had to say about the tweet:The conservative estimate of the US Native American population before the arrival of European settlers was over 12 million. Today, that number has been reduced by 95 percent.Here’s a quick list of just a few times America has been engaged in armed conflict in order to expand its territory:

Northwest Indian War
Winnebago War
Patriot War
Mexican-American War
Apache Wars
Puget Sound Wars
Utah War
Great Sioux War of 1786
Second Samoan Civil War
We didn’t even get into the 20th century with that list.
My tweeted response to Rubio:

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics May 14
BlueCornComics retweeted Marco Rubio

Except for killing the Indians, adding slave states, taking land from Mexico, etc. How ignorant can @marcorubio get?

Who exactly was gaining freedom when the US expanded into Indian territory? Not the Indians, obviously. The settlers? If you define "freedom" as freely taking things from others, I guess.

In this context, the US is roughly like a bank robber. The criminal gains more "freedom"--more opportunity to live high on the hog--after he robs a bank. The stolen wealth increases his ability to act.

Only problem is, it decreases the freedom of those who were robbed. Their opportunities are limited by their loss of wealth. Whether it's buying goods such as food and medicine or services such as education, they have fewer choices.

When we're talking about fixed assets such as land, this is pretty much a zero-sum game. White men win, Indians lose. More "freedom" for some means less freedom for others.

At least Rubio is consistent, I guess. Like other conservatives, his political career is all about increasing the wealth "freedom" of rich white folks. He accomplishes this by cutting services to and raising taxes on poor brown folks.

"Expanding freedom" for the rich by contracting freedom for the poor...that could be the Republican slogan for 2016. Thanks for nothing, Rubio.

For more on America's colonizing efforts, see Debating Professor Grundy's Tweets and America Constructed to Erase Indians.

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