So how did I waste my evenings this week? I watched the new Ken Burns documentary on PBS, ′The Roosevelts: An Intimate History′. The 7-part, nearly 14-hour long series was little more than a homage to the Progressive movement. That transformative notion that America needs a strong, powerful, central government to tell us ′Little People′ how we should live our lives. Yes, we are too stupid to be self-reliant and practice individual liberty. The timing of this series could not be more planned as we are weeks away from the 2014 midterm elections. So why I am so critical of this series? Sit back and enjoy. I will be ′Deee-lighted′ to tell you!
First, let me be clear about one fact, the Progressive movement infects both the Democrat and Republican parties. In fact, it has its origins long before either party existed. Those of you whom have read my 2010 article on the origins of Progressivism will know that its roots can be traced back, not only to the old Temperance movement, but even further to one of our Founding Fathers, Dr. Benjamin Rush. If you had watched the old PBS documentary series, ′Liberty′, which retold the story of the American Revolutionary War, Rush was one of the first personages featured. He had been in England and was on a tour of the royal palace and had sat in King George III′s throne. From that perch, Dr. Rush himself could feel all-powerful, and wrote about his experience.
This is important when trying to understand the mentality behind the Progressive movement. Elites with swell heads and egos, therefore called ′Swells′, thought themselves equal to any monarch and just as fit to rule the Masses. They know better because of their station in life. The opening credits of the Ken Burns series is loaded with this mentality. As they list financial contributors, the very first is The Better Angels Society, dedicated to educating the Masses on their view of history. We get the usual gaggle of Swells, like Tom Hanks, Tom Brokaw, and Ari Emanuel, along with some lesser known, but more powerful Swells, like Cappy McCarr, the Texas billionaire who helped fund Barack Obama to the White House.
Another interesting contributor was listed as Jessica and John Fullerton. John Fullerton is your classic Wall Street type, right out of the house of JPMorgan, who helped found the New Economic Coalition. They are all about reeducated us on economics and promoting various Leftist versions of Capitalism, such as the whole sustainability enterprise. Fullerton is also connected to The Club of Rome, which promotes open borders for cheap, immigrant labor and globalization.
As far as content goes, there was virtually nothing new said or revealed in the Ken Burns series. If you had seen the episodes of another PBS series, ′The American Experience′, and their treatment of the lives of Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, then you did not miss a thing. Frankly, the only new thing I learned during this 14-hour homage to Big Government was a new insult. During the 1912 election, Teddy had once called President Taft a ′puzzlewit′. I pondered whether the Lord Haw-Haw of Fox News, Bill O′Reilly, had ever made puzzlewit one of his Factor Word of the Day? Sure enough, he had! Puzzlewit basically means someone who is stupid.
Perhaps my biggest criticism of the series would be that of the actress Meryl Streep doing the voice of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. Ken Burns must think us to be very stupid as Streep′s performance was awful. I could do a better imitation of Eleanor′s ′silly voice′. Those of us who have actually hard recordings of her speaking know that she had a very distinctive, almost comical voice. Not only in tone and pitch but also in inflection. Perhaps Meryl should have watched Greer Garson who played Eleanor in the film, Sunrise at Campobello′. Garson nailed it, hands down! Streep almost nailed during her last two segments in episode 6, after Ken Burns apparently was forced to play two recordings of Eleanor speaking. Only on those two occasions did Meryl Streep do the ′silly voice′. So much for the alleged greatest actress of our time. I could have done better just mimicking the old ladies from Monty Python who wondered why ′There′s a penguin on top of the telly!″
So that is my review of the 7-part, 14-hour long propaganda film by Ken Burns, ′The Roosevelts: An Intimate History′, which aired on PBS this week. Another typical distortion of the truth for the benefit of promoting the Progressive movement. Not to mention a commercial for voting Democrat this November for the 2014 midterm elections. But then, what else could one expect from PBS? I′ll just end this by inviting your comments on my review, so long as you are not a ′puzzlewit′!