The Texas State Board of Education approved a new social studies curriculum to reflect American History as it should have happened. Board member Cynthia Dunbar (R) elucidated the core of the Board’s premise: America was and should be “a Christian land governed by Christian principles.”
After reading this news — Texas is the textbook industry’s second-largest customer –authors, seeing the chance to make a fortune, sent proposals to the school board and text-book publishers. I quote from one proposal found near the Senate office of Republican Jim DeMint (SC) who coincidentally supports rewriting textbooks.
As an historian, I abhor the liberal slant on our nation’s heroic background and commend your stressing in the new texts American uniqueness and conservative values. My text would begin with God introducing European royalty to His idea of exploring the New World.
He wanted savages occupying this land of opportunity to hear His word before He condemned them to eternal damnation. God had offered them use of His abundant resources and grown weary watching them waste the opportunities.
These so-called Indians killed animals only when they needed food, lacking the imagination to hunt them for sport. 1960s liberal texts glorified these barbarians and also overvalued men — barely Christian — like Thomas Jefferson, whose sole accomplishment was acquiring the Louisiana territory from Napoleon.
My text would not adore Lincoln, who started the War of Northern Aggression. I would elevate the maligned Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America and require students to read (ideally memorize) President Davis’s classic inaugural address, and learn the names of other great figures of the Confederacy. During that sad war, southern newspapers would not mention Lincoln’s name. Indeed, after the patriot John Wilkes Booth shot him, The Richmond Gazette appropriately headlined the news: “Actor Breaks Leg!”
Post Civil War history got re-written, turning genteel southern plantation owners into monsters who mistreated Negro slaves. In fact, this refined social class epitomized civilization’s virtues. Compare their benign social rule to those plundering carpetbaggers and scallywags during the Reconstruction era. They forced brave Southerners to join the Ku Klux Klan to defend local culture.
The subversive texts assume a dubious evolution theory and also propagate a treacherous streak of radical feminism. Imagine crediting women for winning their right to vote in 1920, without acknowledging that only men voted for the 19th amendment giving the weaker sex that privilege.
The women’s vote did not deter the sagacious electorate from choosing Republican President Warren G. Harding, a man given too little play – except for his card playing – in radical history books.
Liberals called great entrepreneurs like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie “Robber Barons” instead of “Industrial Statesmen,” and portrayed with contempt fine presidents like Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.
I show Harding’s presidency as employing conservative values and promoting fun. (Friendly White House poker games allowed businessmen to engaged the President and might help harmonize today’s political atmosphere.) Good conservatives didn’t tolerate gossip-spreading reporters to intrude on presidents’ privacy. Liberal-dominated texts overplayed the Teapot Dome affair, in which Harding’s business friends secured oil leases to ensure low-cost American energy supply.
My text shows FDR and his New Deal as a Satanic era, defying God’s free market principles and applying socialism to His natural market swings. This tendency to esteem rabble rousers became more became acute in the1960s when the mutinous Martin Luther King and the Mexican Caeser Chavez acquired unmerited pedestals.
Instead of praising the diligence of freedom-loving, anti-communist heroes like FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and Senator Joe McCarthy for rooting subversives out of government and elsewhere, the seditious texts applaud perverts like the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy of Chapaquidick fame and legal rebels like Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
What did they accomplish compared to the fabulous legacy of Ronald Reagan who created as near a miracle as one can accomplish by spending without raising taxes?
Under Reagan’s guidance, membership in the National Rifle Association grew, and Americans could hear a leader trumpeting our true heritage — through the eyes of the Heritage Foundation, which keeps alive the patriotic flame of the old Moral Majority. During Reagan’s reign “sleeping with President” meant attending a Cabinet meeting, not some immoral act. Reagan fulfilled half of Ben Franklin’s adage: “early to bed.”
Reagan understood our exceptional history and God’s intention to arm citizens against trespassing humans and animals stupid enough to get into their gun range.
According to the Texas School Board, all students should be able to “describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the National Rifle Association.” That will happen when Texas adopts my text as required reading.
Professor Scamming Shellgame, PhD. Bobby Jones University
SAUL LANDAU is the author of A Bush and Botox World.