Written on Friday, August 24, 2012 by David L. Goetsch
One of the principal strategies of the left for the past 40 years has been the dumbing down of America’s public schools. Dumbing down public education at all levels is how the left is transforming Americans into a flock of naïve, ill-informed, easily-led sheep. A major component of the dumbing down process is historical revisionism. Historical revisionism is the concept liberals use to revise America’s past to suit their agenda in the present.
One of the most prolific practitioners of historical revisionism is President Obama. When it suits his purposes to do so, the president will simply make up history that never happened or distort what did happen until it appears to support his agenda. President Obama’s most infamous act of historical revisionism came when he claimed that not only is American not a Christian nation, it is one of the world’s largest Muslim nations. To make such an absurd statement, Barack Obama had to ignore more than 200 years of historical evidence, evidence that is readily available and clearly contradicts him.
Historical revisionists such as President Obama employ one or more of five methods for distorting America’s history to suit their purposes: 1) deconstructionism, 2) post-structuralism, 3) modernism, 4) minimalism, and 5) academic cronyism. Thinking people who respect and admire the truth no matter where it leads need to understand these five methods, recognize when they are being employed, and challenge the liberals who use them to distort the truth. The best way to challenge historical revisionists is to call the world’s attention to their use of these five wrong-headed, deceitful, and intellectually lazy methods.
Deconstructionism is the practice of deliberately searching for the negatives in America’s heroes and then emphasizing those negatives to the exclusion of all positives. If the real human foibles of great historic figures are not sufficiently negative to undermine their standing in the eyes of Americans, deconstructionists simply make up supposed character flaws that are. For example, one of the favorite targets of historical deconstructionists is George Washington. Because Washington owned slaves liberals discount everything else he did—little things like leading a ragtag Army to victory over the mighty British in our War of Independence, turning down the opportunity to be America’s first king and instead serving as our first president, and quietly holding the Constitutional Convention together so that the most famous government document in the history of the world could be completed and approved.
Post-structuralism is the practice of rejecting moral absolutes and encouraging people to come to their own interpretations of history. This, of course, is a convenient method for liberals who do not like the truth of American history. Modernism is the practice of judging historical figures according to today’s social norms. Of course when historical figures are judged out of context, instead of by the norms of the times in which they actually lived, their character and contributions are easier to attack and disparage. Minimalism is the practice of oversimplifying history and reducing it to a level that requires no thinking. I call this practice “bumper-sticker” history. The problem with minimalism is that people are complex beings with multilayered motives and agendas. Consequently, historic events can rarely be explained on a bumper sticker.
Academic cronyism is the practice of academic historians quoting each other instead of relying on original source material. Professors set themselves up as experts and quote each other rather than doing the hard work of ferreting out original source material and using it. It works like this. One so-called expert makes a claim about an individual or historic event that by design or carelessness is wrong. Then other professors quote the erroneous material of this so-called expert and the process repeats itself until fiction becomes enshrined as fact. I encourage readers to look for these five revisionist methods of liberals in the speeches of politicians (especially President Obama), the textbooks of their children, and the words of political commentators. There is an agenda behind these methods that is not good for America.