Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama falls into the history trap

I enjoyed Obama's speech last night up until he fell into the trap so common for politicians -- that of personifying 'history' and suggesting that it has the ability to teach or judge.

Obama said in his acceptance speech: "You have shown what history teaches us, that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington."

No, no, no! Historians teach us. History just is.

2 comments:

I am so wise said...

Even worse, in my not-so-humble-opinion, is the phrase- He/She/It changed the course of history. History is history and is the past. Nobody can change it.

Except the historians.

drhistory said...

Superior point 'i am so wise'... I am always fascinated by how 'history' is used as a rhetorical device, especially since it is most often inaccurate.