Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Bizarro World of Right-Wing "History"

In the old Soviet Union, the Communists routinely rewrote the history of Russia to suit their political ends, covering up crimes, excising individuals who had fallen out of favor, lying about well-known events, burying inconvenient bodies, and exaggerating the "heroism" of the leadership. The American Right is now engaged in a similar process. The gruesome details are here, courtesy of the McClatchy newspapers. Among the head-spinning assertions being made by the right-wing radicals:

  • The Jamestown settlers? SOCIALISTS!
  • Alexander Hamilton? Small government advocate.
  • Theodore Roosevelt? SOCIALIST!
  • Franklin Roosevelt? Caused the Great Depression (!!!!!!!).
  • Joe McCarthy? Towering hero.

It is with these preposterous fairy tales that the Right wishes to poison us and our children. All of them are simply outright lies or gross historical illiteracy. (Michele Bachmann has been pushing the "FDR caused the Depression" lie. Enough said.) They are trying to present a version of American history THAT NEVER HAPPENED in order to further their own radical, extremist agenda today. They are no different from the conservatives of a different era who spread the amazing lie that the South was "horribly persecuted" during the Reconstruction Era, when in fact the white South was perpetrating savage violence against the newly freed former slaves. The Confederate Myth--that the greatest act of mass treason and anti-American violence in our history was a "Noble Cause"-- has distorted the education of countless millions of people, people who have been taught that disgusting traitors like Jefferson Davis were heroes. The new fictions being pushed by the con artists and grifters of the Right need to be fought, hard. Those of us who cherish historical accuracy have a powerful weapon on our side: The Truth. Let's use it to knock these lies down now--before they have a chance to infect those we love.

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