“Scratch” is a New York Times cartoon feature in the Sunday Business section. This was the most recent installment. I’ll save my (disgusted) comments for the end…
- The breathtaking leap of logic in the introduction represents such flawed logic that the Times Business Section destroys its credibility, such as it is, by permitting such an illogical statement on its pages. ‘Since companies have been foolishly pandering to hyper-woke complaints about, for example, the picture on a box of rice and the artwork on a package of butter, and statues of important and influential historical figures who were honored in their times are being vandalized and toppled by people who barely know who they are, it’s a ‘perfect time’ time to consider dishonoring the Founders and others without whom we would have no nation at all.’
There are so many rationalizations underlying such an idiotic statement that I can’t list them all (One of them is #22, “It’s not the worst thing”), but one that immediately leaps to mind is #23, The Dealer’s Excuse. or “I’m just giving the people what they want!”
- The next statement is almost as obnoxious: this is a good idea because other countries put relatively trivial figures on their currency. (“Everybody does it!”) This an ideological tell: those who use the “why can’t the U.S. be like other countries?” lament are letting us know that they don’t like this country, and don’t understand it, usually because they have been badly educated. The United States was created in its unique and daring form because the Founders believed other countries did not respect human liberty and the right of self-determination.
They still don’t.
- The “75 people” with an “outsized influence on the history of the United States” is a lie. Most of the names had some influence on history; most are worthy of at least a cultural footnots. Only a few had “outsized” influence on the course of history, and not one had influence exceeding any one of the individuals currently on the currency. I do not believe for a second that Grandma Moses, Fred Rogers, Julia Child, Nora Ephron, Michelle Obama or, not to be cruel, but facts are facts,Justice Sotomayor have had much impact on American history at all, just to name a few.
How would America be different today if someone else anchored a PBS cooking show in the Sixties? I can’t wait to hear the answer.
- Another lie: the implication that this list is inclusive and unbiased. In fact, nearly all the figures allowed on it are women, blacks, Jews and “people of color.” There are a couple of inexplicable exceptions, perhaps as tokens–why Thoreau and not Emerson? Why Rogers and not Bob Keeshan or Jim Henson?
It’s an anti-white list. If that’s the idea, the authors had an obligation to say so.
- Angela Davis is on the list! Angela Davis is an unequivocal villain, a terrorist and an accomplice to murder, and about as worthy of a place on our currency as John Wilkes Booth. Her presence instantly renders the whole exercise as a deliberate anti-America insult.
If John Wilkes Booth had been black, he might have made the list…
- Finally, the entire cartoon is disrespectful of the Founders. The suggestion that Aretha Franklin is as deserving of a place on our daily currency as Benjamin Franklin is offensive. We owe these men our lives, and their images are on the currency because we must never forget what their courage and innovation gave us, the world, and civilization.
Like so much of the propaganda aimed at rotting American values and minds, this deceptively “light-hearted” cartoon advances a poisonous misconception that our history, and particularly the history of our nation’s founding, can be warped and redacted to suit extreme ideological goals without existential harm.