I do my best to try to be a clear as possible on this site. Of course, I do not always succeed, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why fellow blogger and APUS History teacher Chris Wehner is having so much difficulty understanding my position on American Exceptionalism [and here]. It’s one thing to disagree with me, which is something I have no problem with whatsoever and even encourage, but why does he continue to attribute positions to me that I’ve never expressed? In his most recent post, and after hurling insult after insult in my direction, Wehner has this to say about what might be behind my comments:
However, I will offer a guess. (Note, this is my own personal opinion!) Levin has issues with the Republican Party going back to Reconstruction and what they failed to accomplish. He is also disappointed in what the American Revolution failed to accomplish. He is very much like Howard Zinn. But that is the problem, America was exceptional for what it was attempting. It initially failed to live up to our modern and presentists views. I wish our Founders were able to give equality to all, though nowhere else on such a scale was there anything close to early America in terms of political participation.
Thanks Chris, that was truly enlightening. I sure could have used you the other day in class to help me with a lesson that pushed my students to understand the various factors that prevented most Southern slave owners from emancipating their slaves after the Revolution. The goal of the lesson was to move beyond our own expectations to better understand the challenges that these men faced on a political/cultural/social and economic level. Yep…sounds a lot like presentism to me. I find it hard to believe how anyone who has followed my blog over the past few years could possibly arrive at such a characterization of my approach to history and/or the teaching of history.
Well, at least he remembered to provide a link this time around.