Revisionist history

Americans Should Embrace Their Radical History

The New History Wars By JAMES R. GROSSMAN, The Opinion Pages, New York Times, SEPT. 1, 2014

Why the Right Is So Freaked Out about the Inconvenient Truths of Actual U.S. History By Sean McElwee,  Salon, posted on Alternet.org, October 7, 2014  American’s right wing, you see, is terrified of history because it is always sentimentalizing it. Many of its arguments rely on a feeling of nostalgia for “good old days,” that appeals almost exclusively to aging whites. That means that a more accurate history, one that considers groups that are traditionally marginalized — women, people of color, Native Americans, immigrants and the poor — don’t necessarily sit that well. Their stories, the stories of the downtrodden, crush the false narrative that many conservatives like to imagine — that of a idyllic past marred by the New Deal, women’s liberation and civil rights….There was a time when conservatism was a philosophy concerned primarily with wrestling with and understanding tradition and the limits of human reason and ability. However, these days conservatism is reactionary — it has been imbued with racism, conspiratorial thinking and a hyper-individualistic capitalism. Instead of questioning the limits of reason, it has jettisoned it. In its place remains free market dogmabad Biblical interpretation and a sentimentalized past. In place of reason and argument, most conservatives rely on fantasy and reminiscence. Allowing conservatives to redefine the past will be incredibly harmful. As George Orwell notes, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

Wrong! Deconstructing 5 Famous History Stories by Robert Krulwich, NPR.org, June 20, 2014

5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About History By Amanda Marcotte, AlterNet, November 21, 2013  …..2. What the Founding Fathers believed. For people who downright deify our Founding Fathers, the religious right is really hostile to accepting them as they actually were,  which is not particularly religious, especially by the standards of their time. But David Barton, a revisionist “historian” whose name comes up again and again in these kinds of discussions, has  spread the belief far and wide in the Christian right that the Founders were, in fact, fundamentalist Christians who are quite like the ones we have today. Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas confirms this,  saying that Barton “provides the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today.”  Barton has convinced the right to believe in their fervent wish that the Founders were religious and even theocratic with quote-mining and outright lying.  He likes to whip out this John Adams quote: “There is no authority, civil or religious — there can be no legitimate government — but what is administered by this Holy Ghost.” Problem? Adams was summarizing the opinion of his opponents; that wasn’t Adams’ view at all.

Using History to Mold Ideas on the Right by ERIK ECKHOLM, New York Times, May 4, 2011

How Revisionist History Works by Cristen Conger, History – How Stuff Works

Making History – The right has been relentless in explaining American history through a conservative prism by Elbert Ventura, March 2011, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas; Spring2011, Issue 20, p123

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