If he weren’t merely fulfilling one of the emptiest of right-wing obligations for seeking the presidency, I’d have to nominate this as about the most objectively ahistorical thing I’ve heard in a while:
“You know, you look back over our history, and it doesn’t take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people’s liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.”
Now, I take it for granted that Fred Thompson is no more likely to “look back over our history” than he is to carefully essay his own incoherent definition of federalism. Still, if Thompson wants to give it a shot, he can begin with this sort of thing, which of course occurred in mundane abundance as Fred’s “people” shed blood — other folks’ blood, that is — in behalf of their own — and apparently mutually exclusive — notion of “liberty.”
The camp had been fired and the dead bodies of some twenty-two women and children were lying scattered over the ground; those who had been wounded in the first instance, had their brains beaten out with stones. Two of the best-looking of the squaws were lying in such a position, and from the appearance of the genital organs and of their wounds, there can be no doubt that they were first ravished and then shot dead. Nearly all the dead were mutilated. One infant of some ten months was shot twice and one leg nearly hacked off.
I’m sure this will sound a little overwrought, but it’s still a point I think worth making: As much as anyone else, nations that originate from European settler societies should probably not be in the business of encouraging unreflective conversations about “other people’s liberty.”