When someone refers to a person as a 'Benedict Arnold', that individual is definitely NOT receiving a compliment. The connotation by which this reference is targeting goes back to the year 1780, that's 236 years! In other words, the time is during the Revolutionary War only four years after America became an independent nation. The intended outcome: money and high position.
This Day in History: September 21, 1780
In the predawn darkness of a misty September morning of 1780, the premier combat officer of the Continental Army, said farewell to a young British officer and headed back home along the banks of the Hudson River. Major General Arnold, commander of the American fortress at WestPoint, had just handed over information vital to the enemies planned attack on the fort then called the key to the continent.
|Benedict Arnold Oath of Allegiance, May 30, 1778|
John Andre, the aide-de-camp and spy chief of General Sir Henry Clinton, commander-in-chief of the withdrawal from Philadelphia was responsible for negotiations for the British capture of the American bastion of West Point. The agreement was for Arnold to be paid 20,000 pounds for the fort. If he failed to deliver the fortress, the amount was reduced to 10,000 pounds. This substantial bribe went down in history as the catalyst to "create the most notorious traitor in American history."
What would make Arnold a turncoat? After all, he had proven himself a skillful leader and was given command of West Point, an American fort on the Hudson River in New York. Benedict Arnold loved luxury never seeming to have enough money to indulge his extravagant lifestyle. This was half the reason. Congress repeatedly insulted Arnold's virtue. That represented the other half...
Arnold never forgot nor forgave and still embittered by criticism he thought was undeserved and enraged by the lack of recognition for his military genius, he became obsessed by a passion to avenge his shattered pride. What better way to seek revenge than by betraying those who had betrayed him. He decided to offer his services and West Point to the British.The promises of money and higher position were too alluring for him to turn down. Did he later regret the decision he made to betray his country of origin?
Lesson to be Learned: Beware the 'Benedict Arnolds' alive and well in the 21st century, those who sell out joining the forces of a stronger side of a situation out of fear, not honor. These persons are unhappy with the sound, solid foundation upon which America was built. They are disgruntled with America's principles of faith, courage and hope, which have been proven to make America a great nation. They are the cancers of America, gradually eating away America's freedoms while keeping what is happening hidden by layers of deceit!
God Bless America!