By BJ Bjornson
A nice article from McClatchy on the various ways that the right is working to rewrite American history to suit their particular ideology.
The right is rewriting history.
The most ballyhooed effort is under way in Texas, where conservatives have pushed the state school board to rewrite guidelines, downplaying Thomas Jefferson in one high school course, playing up such conservatives as Phyllis Schlafly and the Heritage Foundation and challenging the idea that the Founding Fathers wanted to separate church and state.
The effort reaches far beyond one state, however.
In articles and speeches, on radio and TV, conservatives are working to redefine major turning points and influential figures in American history, often to slam liberals, promote Republicans and reinforce their positions in today's politics.
The Jamestown settlers? Socialists. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton? Ill-informed professors made up all that bunk about him advocating a strong central government.
Theodore Roosevelt? Another socialist. Franklin D. Roosevelt? Not only did he not end the Great Depression, he also created it.
Joe McCarthy? Liberals lied about him. He was a hero.
Nothing necessarily new about all that of course, and I�d argue that the effort goes far beyond just history. The right has fully embraced the worldview contained in the now-infamous quote from 2004:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality�judiciously, as you will�we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors�and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Tax cuts increase revenue. �Intelligent Design� (a.k.a. creationism) is a valid scientific theory that should be studied alongside evolution in science class. Climate Change is just a theory that needn�t be taken seriously.
Creating their own reality is now pretty much all the right does anymore. And as with all such made-up realms, consistency isn�t exactly a strong point, such as the Republican policy position of, �We�re against whatever the Democrats are for, updated daily�.
And it�s never about standing up to authority, as the right�s authoritarian tendencies are always out in full display whenever they feel they need to defend police beating, pepper-spraying, or otherwise interfering with the protests of �liberal� protesters. Instead, it�s about debasing the authority of any figures or areas in which reality doesn�t treat their ideology too well.
At one point in time, you could assure yourself that those who led the right were smart enough to recognize the delusions they were feeding to the masses were just that. Unfortunately, the rubes realized they were being taken and have begun demanding true fealty rather then just lip service from their elected officials.
Indoctrinating children to be part of the faithful is just another step in ensuring the Church of the Right remains strong.