It is beyond my power of discernment to identify the most over-the-top comment criticizing President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. But this tweet by a Harvard professor named Joyce Chaplin is surely a contender:
The USA, created by int’l community in Treaty of Paris in 1783, betrays int’l community by withdrawing from #parisclimateagreement today.
Chaplin teaches American Studies. Yet, she appears not to know how America was created. Ted Cruz reminded her:
Just sad. Tenured chair at Harvard, doesn’t seem to know how USA was created. Not a treaty. Declaration+Revolutionary War+Constitution=USA.
Lefty academics @ my alma mater think USA was “created by int’l community.” No–USA created by force, the blood of patriots & We the People. Treaty of Paris simply memorialized that fact, of our total victory at Yorktown. Her claim is like saying a plastic globe created the earth.
Cruz is right. After all, Abraham Lincoln didn’t say:
Four score years ago, the international community brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Paris and dedicated to the proposition that we shall abide by the wishes of foreigners.
Chaplin tried to defend her ridiculous claim by tweeting:
Sad. US Senator, Harvard Law degree. Doesn’t know that national statehood requires international recognition.
Patrick Chovenac of Silvercrest Asset Management and Columbia University demolished her response:
Joyce, your argument is like saying someone isn’t born until they get issued a birth certificate.
Note, too, the bizarre premise of Chaplin’s agreement, i.e., that the granting of international recognition, following a fait accompli, entails an obligation to accede to all major wishes of the international community (including those wished for more than 200 years later). This notion is unheard of, except perhaps in leftist fantasies.
Chaplin might have pointed out that France played a big role in the decisive victory at Yorktown and thus in the fait accompli of American independence. But I don’t see how this would have any bearing on our decision to reject the Paris accord a few centuries later. Did Louis XVI, Admiral De Grasse, and Marshal Rochambeau have a view on climate change?
If we owed a debt to France, I say we repaid it many times over in World Wars I (“Lafayette, we are here”) and II. I say, given all we have done for them, the Europeans should pout less when the U.S. disagrees with them. I say Professor Chaplin should debate Trump’s decision regarding the Paris accord on the merits, rather than by making claims of historical “betrayal” that don’t pass the straight face test.