Monday, September 5, 2022

the last book I ever read (Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth, excerpt fifteen)

from Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford:

Into that breach leapt Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Tea Party darling and the Texas co-chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Patrick reasoned that since the Texas Senate had passed a bill to make it harder to remove historical monuments such as the Cenotaph, then Bush was obviously calling every state senator a racist. Patrick seized the opportunity to slam both Bush and the redevelopment plan, even threatening to transfer management of the Alamo to another state agency. The manufactured outrage was widely considered Patrick’s opening gambit to keep Bush from challenging him in a future Republican Party primary election.

Meanwhile, Fox & Friends cohost Brian Kilmeade came out with what might be the best-selling Alamo book of all time, Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers. To say he hewed to the traditional view of things understates the matter; he referred to slaves as servants. Allen West, the former Tea Party congressman from Florida, moved to Texas and won his insurgent campaign for the state Republican Party chairmanship. His main issue? The Alamo.

And if it wasn’t clear that the Heroic Anglo Narrative had again become a conservative keystone,* in February 2020 Donald Trump promised a “great American comeback” in his State of the Union address. “This is the country where children learn names like Wyatt Earp, Davy Crockett, and Annie Oakley. This is the place where the pilgrims landed at Plymouth and where Texas patriots made their last stand at the Alamo,” he said, continuing through the applause, “the beautiful, beautiful Alamo.”

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