In the Arena

Know-Nothing Watch

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The anti-Obama forces, it seems clear, are rooted in classic American know-nothing populism–nativist, isolationist, paranoid. Today’s Exhibit A is from the Drudge Report, in which the newly designed $100 bill is slagged for, as the headline has it, “looking European.” Drudge links to this report from Bloomberg, which describes the reasons for the new look:

The new look, aimed at thwarting counterfeiters, has several new security features, including a “3-D Security Ribbon” and an image of a bell on the front of the note that, when tilted, changes in color from copper to green. The reverse side of the bill includes a new vignette of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

But…reasons? Rationality? Greater security against counterfeiters? Feh! It looks like a freakin’ Euro, which means it must be a precursor of socialism. That Obama is one sneaky crypto-muslim.

But then, the same sort of cosmopolitanism was suspected of Ben Franklin–one of our most secular humanist playboy founders–after he sampled the bright lights, and women, of London and Paris. I mean, isn’t it, like, suspicious that Obama would want this Christian Nation to continue to feature someone as insidious as Franklin on its $100 bill? Why not Billy Graham or Ronald Reagan? Or Tom Tancredo? Can’t we get some real reform around here?

And, when you think about it, Independence Hall is pretty suspicious, too: it is a classical colonial building, clearly inspired by European building styles of the 18th century (one of the more suspicious and licentious periods in European intellectual history and arts).

What is this country coming to?