Examiner: Obama Wouldn't "Literally Follow" In John Brown's Footsteps, But His KS speech "Recall[s] Brown's Obstinate Radicalism"
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In their December 7 editorial, The Washington Examiner compared President Obama to the "murderous radical" John Brown, an extreme slavery opponent in the years before the Civil War. The Examiner noted that Brown "slaughtered" "five settlers thought to be Southern sympathizers," then went on to say, "Obama would never literally follow in Brown's footsteps, of course, but the chief executive's reliance on the polarizing rhetoric of class warfare and his assault on the facts of recent economic history recall Brown's obstinate radicalism."
From the Examiner editorial:
[T]here is something else about Osawatomie County that makes it a strange locale for a presidential address ostensibly intended to encourage greater American unity. This was the place in Kansas that was headquarters for John Brown, the murderous radical who obsessed throughout his life about inciting a race war he believed would end slavery in the South.
Brown moved to Kansas in 1856 thinking he could start his war from there. Late in the evening of May 24, Brown, four of his sons and two other compatriots traveled from Osawatomie to a nearby county where they rousted five settlers thought to be Southern sympathizers from their beds and slaughtered them with broadswords. The vicious massacre shocked the nation and is remembered to this day as the most horrendous of the many crimes committed by both sides in "Bleeding Kansas" during the years leading to the Civil War. Brown thus became a precursor for contemporary radicals like Bill Ayers, the unreconstructed Students for a Democratic Society bomber, who had no qualms about killing innocent people to achieve his ends.
Obama would never literally follow in Brown's footsteps, of course, but the chief executive's reliance on the polarizing rhetoric of class warfare and his assault on the facts of recent economic history recall Brown's obstinate radicalism that the vast majority of Americans North and South rejected.