RCP Morning Note, 04/17/2017: Invoking Hitler; United’s Larger Mistake; Jordan’s Role; the Pen and the Sword

04/17/2017
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Carl Cannon’s Morning Note

Invoking Hitler; United’s Larger Mistake; Jordan’s Role; the Pen and the Sword

By Carl M. Cannon on Apr 17, 2017 08:47 am
Good morning, it’s Monday, April 17, 2017, Patriots’ Day, an official state holiday if you hail from Wisconsin or Massachusetts, where it all started and where I happen to be as I write today’s missive. The Boston Marathon is starting as this note is being transmitted. It’s a staggered start, with the wheelchair competitors getting underway just after 9 a.m., and the final tranche of runners (“Wave Four") is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. By that time, I should be happily inside Fenway Park, seated beside a famous Boston mixologist and restaurateur. Two hundred and forty-two years ago today, the Boston Gazette published the last of the patriotic “Novanglus" letters. Novanglus was the pen name used by John Adams in his rebuttal to essays written by a Tory loyalist named Daniel Leonard. But on April 17, 1775, events were rapidly moving past the debate stage. The next venue for the dispute between Great Britain and its American colonies would be the town greens-turned-battlefields of Lexington and Concord. I’ll offer an observation about those events in a moment. First, I’d point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. We also offer a full complement of original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following: * * * The Hitler Rule. In a column, I try to add some perspective to the Sean Spicer brouhaha. A Deeper Lesson From the United Airlines’ Fiasco. Charles Lipson writes that larger issues about how societies and economies are organized should be considered. U.S. Must Fortify Jordan to Combat Terrorism. In RealClearDefense, John Bednarek and Kenneth Glueck spotlight the role this key ally can play in defeating ISIS. It’s Springtime in Washington, and Regulatory Reform Blossoms. In RealClearMarkets, Hester Peirce lays out the prospects for banking reform, along with what could get in its way. Protect Data Privacy at the Border. In RealClearPolicy, Dan King urges Congress to pass a new bill protecting American citizens from mobile device searches by homeland security agents. The Climate Change Speech Donald Trump Should Give. In RealClearScience, former Congressman Bob Inglis has advice for the president. Health Care Reform Must Reassure Patients. At RealClearHealth, Peter Roff explains the importance of patient confidence in reform efforts. * * * As it does this year, April 17 also fell on a Monday in 1775. As tensions between New Englanders and their mother country increased, the weekend had been swirling with rumors and planning. What was British Gen. Thomas Gage intending? Whom would he arrest? How should the colonials respond? American spies reported that Gage would order his redcoats to march on Concord and Lexington, two towns emerging as hotbeds of rebellion. But which route would they take? Across the Charles River, or inland through Medford? Acting on a tip from Paul Revere, John Hancock alerted the rebels in Concord. There, in a hurriedly called meeting of the local committees on safety and supplies, preparations were made to remove artillery pieces from the Concord armory and hide them in neighboring towns. In Boston, meanwhile, Paul Revere and his confederates were already working out their plan on how to warn the patriots from the tower of the Old North Church of the redcoats’ expected route: one lantern signifying an overland march; two lanterns if they sailed up the Charles. One cannot overstate the importance of the battles that launched the Revolutionary War, and the profound outcome of that conflict. These were, literally, the “shots heard ’round the world." But the origin of that phrase reminds us that the pen is often mightier than the sword — and mightier than the musket, and the cannon, and even the “mother of all bombs." The first volleys in that struggle for independence came from writers, not snipers. And they were immortalized after the fact by poets. I don’t know if they still teach history this way in America’s public schools, but should they stop doing so something invaluable will be lost. The indelible “one if by land and two if by sea" wording comes from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s classic poem, marked by its stirring opening: Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…
And the heroes of Lexington and Concord — along with their cause — were immortalized by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s classic opening stanza of “Concord Hymn": By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard ’round the world… Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)
ccannon@realclearpolitics.com

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