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!