How the Right Is Rewriting History

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A McClatchy Newspapers piece today notes that the Texas State Board of Education‘s appalling revision of social studies curriculum standards isn’t an isolated case of the political right rewriting history. Moreover, many of the “facts” in the right’s versions of historical events are just flat wrong. Money quote:

The effort in Texas and nationwide is controversial, however, even among many conservatives. (Texas State Board of Education member Don) McLeroy was defeated in a recent primary after he led the campaign for a more conservative version of history, a defeat that the National Review, a leading conservative organ, called “sensible.”

While even some conservative intellectuals say that some of the revisionist history is simply wrong, at the core, the effort reflects the ever-changing view of history, which is always subject to revision thanks to new information or new ways of looking at things, and often is viewed through a political lens.

“History in the popular world is always a political football,” said Alan Brinkley, a historian at Columbia University. “The right is unusually mobilized at the moment.”

The article notes some of the biggest examples of bogus history (some of which we have seen in the Texas social studies revision) being promoted on the right these days: the Jamestown colonists were socialists, Alexander Hamilton was a small-government conservative, Theodore Roosevelt was a socialist (see a pattern here?), Franklin Roosevelt was a socialist who actually caused the Great Depression, and Sen. Joseph McCarthy was a hero whose anti-communist witch hunts in the 1950s have been vindicated.

Read the whole piece here. And hat-tip to TFN Insider reader Charles for calling the story to our attention. Thanks!

6 Responses to “How the Right Is Rewriting History”

  1. trog69 Says:

    What a great article. As I noted there, rather than this “pendulum” bs, if there are some instances of leftwing viewpoints being over-represented, they should be rewritten to give a more objective lesson to the student, rather than just adding more idiocy to the textbooks.

    Somehow I get the feeling that ideologues like the SBOE in Texas and elsewhere prefer the McLeroy method of revision.

  2. David Says:

    I’ve figured it out. Don McLeroy et. al are actually socialist agent provocateurs whose agenda is to make “conservatives” (radical religious right, or the 3 R’s ) appear as preposterously foolish as possible.
    They’re socialists.

  3. Charles Says:

    You are welcome TFN. Keep up the good work:

    Rah-Rah-Ree
    Kick’em in the Knee

    Rah-Rah Rass
    Kick’em in the Other Knee

  4. Bryan Says:

    I wrote my own piece on the idiocy of the Texas School Board:

    http://www99.epinions.com/content_5403943044

  5. David Says:

    Since this is such a great opportunity for us all to make new discoveries in history, this article seems to be especially appropriate:

    Here’s a great Republican answer to one of the biggest threats to our democracy: corporate feudalism.

    To Battle Wall Street, Obama Should Channel Teddy Roosevelt

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/02/AR2010040201523.html

  6. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    All I can say about what they are doing is Zeig Heil! Their flagrant disregard for FACTS is untenable and somehow they MUST be stopped. I was around when the witch hunting McCarthy was around. Even as a fairly young person I could not believe what I was hearing (pre-TV). Even the cowardly Walt Disney turned over names of people he did not like to feed them into McCarthy’s sausage machine. Fear is the driver of cowardice and this is what is happening in this country today. People like Bachman, Beck and Limbaugh are running a fear campaign based on pure hot air. How in the world could voters send a piece of waste like Bachman to Congress? She is a nut to end all nuts!

    My blog, fwmetro.com will have more on this on Monday the 5th.

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