Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Playing the History Card - Revisited

I wrote a post a while back (it got deleted and I can't find a copy of it), where I discussed 'playing the history card'. I described 'playing the history card' as when politicians, journalists, pundits, etc. try to support whatever point they are making by referencing some historical analogy. For example, when someone argues that Israel's military won't be able to defeat Hezbollah guerrillas because "history teaches that regular armies are unable to dismantle guerilla armies" just like when the U.S. military could not defeat the Vietcong. This is the kind of reasoning I like to refer to as 'playing the history card'. It is similar to when lawyers play the 'race card' during trials.

Just for fun I decided to see who was playing the history card today:

1. Thomas Sowell, argues that: World War II history shows cease-fires only aid enemies (BTW, this is my nomination for the next Carnival of Bad History)

2. Editorial in The Standard, argues that: The failure to consolidate the Kenya/Uganda railways is hurting the public because railroads are invaluable players in economic development (especially during the European industrial revolution)

3. Press Release on Jaguar.com demonstrates that: Football special team units need more practice than the rest of players because history shows that almost half of NFL games are decided by seven points or less

4. Larry Zolf on CBC News argues that: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Middle East foreign policy is not based on being Bush's toadie, but on a long history of Tory's being pro-Israel

5. Editorial in the Portsmouth Herald argues that: Nevada's caucus should not be placed between that of Iowa and New Hampshire (thereby giving Nevada more power in deciding the Democratic candidate for president), because history demonstrates that % of Nevada residents who vote is less than the % of New Hampshire residents who vote

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