A Conservative Version of History

Texans are painfully aware by now (or should be) how the right revises history for political purposes. Even the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute, for example, has criticized right-wingers on the Texas State Board of Education for adopting new social studies curriculum standards that represent a “politicized distortion of history.” Now The New Yorker magazine has a brilliant little piece online looking at the warped versions of history evident in conservatives’ own words. An impressive number of Texans made the list. A selection:

1500s: The American Revolutionary War begins: “The reason we fought the revolution in the sixteenth century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown.”—[Texas Gov.] Rick Perry

1607: First welfare state collapses: “Jamestown colony, when it was first founded as a socialist venture, dang near failed with everybody dead and dying in the snow.”—[Former Texas congressman] Dick Armey

1619-1808: Africans set sail for America in search of freedom: “Other than Native Americans, who were here, all of us have the same story.”—Michele Bachmann

1861: Civil War breaks out over pitting “individual rights as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence against collective rights.”—The Weekly Standard

Even more modern American history isn’t immune from the distortions:

September 11, 2001: Nothing happened: “We had no domestic attacks under Bush.”—Rudy Giuliani

2009: Michigan diversifies its legal system: “The judges in Dearborn are using, and allowing to be used, Shariah law.”—[Texas state] Representative Leo Berman

2010: Flying Jihad Terror Babies invade America: “It appeared they would have young women who became pregnant. They would get them into the United States to have a baby, they wouldn’t even have to pay anything for the baby, and then they would return back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists.”—[Texas Congressman] Louie Gohmert

Read the whole thing here — and then don’t be surprised when members of the Texas State Board of Education insist that some of these “facts” be included in new social studies textbooks they are scheduled to adopt in 2014.

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3 Comments

  1. Doris Santiago
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Texas Tea Party & Rick Perry find new ways to waste our tax dollars, by deliberately creating worthless school text books, that will be discarded for its contents! It would be deserving to have Rick Perry & his supporters to foot the bill on such a reckless spending spree that deliberately harms our students’ education! Texas AG should bring up charges against those who will contribute to this waste of our taxes! Especially those who gain $$$ from this travesty!

  2. Posted September 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Luisa: Sadly, the sample quotes in The New Yorker are from all over. But yes, the right has truly made a hash of things in Texas.

  3. Posted September 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The East Coast is doing fine and doesn’t require any weeping, but Texas? Texas is a tragedy of backwardness, rigidity, corruption and false pride

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