Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Making Stuff Up: The Right Invents Its Own (Fake) History

If you have been paying attention over the past several decades, you're well aware of the so-called culture wars. 

In a nutshell, the culture wars pit liberals against conservatives over a broad range of moral and social issues, including hot-button issues such as abortion and back-burner issues such as, well, the interpretation of American history.

Unfortunately, the Right is so desperate to win the historical battle that it has resorted to inventing its own history, which raises a serious ethical problem. 

Steven Thomma, a reporter with McClatchy newspapers, did some fact-checking, and the results were not good for the right-wing's historical honesty.  

Former Republican Congressman Dick Armey, for example, recently claimed that the 1607 Jamestown colony was "founded as a socialist venture." Wrong! It's a good story, but it's not true. In fact, Jamestown was a capitalist venture.

Then there's the eminent historian Glenn Beck, who recently claimed that Teddy Roosevelt was a proto-socialist. Well, no. As Thomma discovered, Roosevelt believed in individual opportunity, not handouts. He was no fan of socialism, dismissing it in his autobiography.

Or what about the incredibly thoughtful Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who insisted recently that FDR took a manageable recession and "turned it into a 10-year depression." Wrong! The facts are quite different, Thomma noted.

There's more to this sad story, but you get the idea.

For some of the Right, apparently, reality has a definite liberal bias, which they intend to fix by making up their own bogus history.

1 comment:

Tulsan said...

Amazing that the party feels no collective shame about this. The Republican Party I remember from the increasingly distant past prided itself on its realism and pragmatism.

This current group is a result of skimming off the crackpots and kooks, and amplifying them over any remaining vestige of rationality and integrity.

Once they realize they really are out of power and will stay out with their 'philosphy,' they may begin to turn the boat around. But I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.

They are more likely to intensify their tactics of the past two decades until something gives.