Tennessee Tea Partiers want to reject history and substitute their own.*

Pic of an intelligent Tea Partier.

Do you really want this guy setting your kid's educational standards?

They say that reality has a Liberal bias which probably explains why the Far Right is always trying to change it through revisionist history. Down in Tennessee the leaders of the Tea Party met up with state legislators to present their “demands” on what the government’s priorities should be.

One of those demands was for history books to be changed to be nicer to the Founding Fathers:

Regarding education, the material they distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”

[…] The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

“The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at,” said Rounds, whose website identifies him as a Vietnam War veteran of the Air Force and FedEx retiree who became a lawyer in 1995.

via Tea parties issue demands to Tennessee legislators » The Commercial Appeal.

In other words, who gives a shit what some members of the minority did in our country’s history when there’s all these rich, white men to teach kids about? And all that bad stuff they might have done? Let’s pretend it never happened and just focus on the stuff we like.

Reality doesn’t conform to their black and white view of the world so rather than adjust their views to fit the facts they’re going to adjust the facts to fit their views, and then try to force it to be taught in public schools. In their world the United States is beyond reproach as are any of the major figures of its past that they like.

Found over at Slate.com.

*With apologies to Adam Savage.

5 thoughts on “Tennessee Tea Partiers want to reject history and substitute their own.*

  1. an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

    This guy is the lead spokesman? Seriously? Shouldn’t the lead spokesman’s job be to try to put an ostensibly sensible face on this disgustingly reactionry movement?

    “Made-up”? The hypocrisy of (most) of the Founding Fathers on the issue of slavery is well documented, and was recognized by the Founders themselves. Washington and Jefferson, among others, knew that slavery was immoral (Jefferson in his first draft of the Declaration condemned the institution) but they did not know what to do about it and personally relied on it financially. Franklin owned some slaves earlier in life but by the end of his life was calling for abolition. Hamilton was one of the few with a pure record on the issue, having never owned slaves and opposing the institution throughout his career. But, then, even though the Founders are supposed to be infallible and revered I suspect that modern Tea Baggers would probably dismiss him as being for “big government.”

    It is fair enough to say that they brought progress (Progess? I thought progress was a bad thing according to Tea Partiers?) for the era in which they lived, and that our modern criticism should perhaps be tempered a bit, but refusal to point out their slave owning is ridiculous.

    As for his comment about the Native Americans; he should consider himself lucky that the U.S. does not have laws similar to those in Austria against Holocaust denial for Native Americans. American Conservatism, at least the form that it takes today, is a hodge podge of pernicious lies and distortions meant to appeal to unedacted voters. If Obama wants to help the country, as well as his party, he should probably focus more on trying to restore the United States’ standing in education, which keeps declining. The more educated a person is the less likely they are to vote Republican.

    If Obama did that we might even finally get a majority of people to accept the facts about evolution for the first time… but I’m surely asking for too much there.

  2. Yep. As Santayana said, “those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it”, and deifying the Founding Fathers by smoothing over the “rough spots” is tantamount to declaring them gods, and thus precludes the possibility of learning from their mistakes.

    As a resident of Austria, I understand the motives behind the Wiederbetätigungsgesetzen (the laws against Nazi propaganda), but I think they are counterproductive: they make martyrs of the pathetic Neonazis.

    cheers from thawing Vienna, zilch

  3. Hi Les-

    I’m Judd Corizan from the blog Sunday Stealing (http://sundaystealing.blogspot.com). Every week we rip a meme off someone’s blog. Today we chose yours from August of 2009. We give you full credit and link back to your blog. The great thing is that a lot of previous “victims” such as yourself have become regular players! We usually publish the blog between 1 and 3 PM EST Saturday. We usually get between 40 to 60 people who play and comment on each others responses. And a lot of our players are previous victims of our theft like you! We hope you play along in the weeks to come! Thank you and have a great day…

    Judd

  4. I agree, I believe that freedom of speech should allow even for Holocaust denial; just saying that this guy is no better.

    The ironic thing about deifying the Founders and treating them as though they were perfect is that they all had numerous quarrels with one another, some irreconcilable, and often had opinions of each other that were quite low. If you want to read the opinions of people who were not reverent towards the Founding Fathers, just try reading the writings of the Founding Fathers… I suppose next we will have to censor or suppress the writings of the Founding Fathers in order to keep the myth going. Destroy the village to save it.

  5. This reminds me, sadly, of the Al Franken quote, to the effect that the the Right loves America like a 4-year-old loves their parents (an unquestioning, tantrum-filled, fiercely loyal, Manichaean kind of love), while the Left loves America like an adult loves his parents (with gratitude but a perspective that allows for acknowledgment of mistakes mixed with appreciation).

    Thus, these TPers can’t admit that the Founders were great men with feet of clay, that the issues of slavery (and even race) and the native population were real ones that do not take away from the achievements or even the sentiments and ideals of that generation, but put them into a perspective.

    (It also creates a false myth that the Founders were all one monolith that believed and did the same thing.)

    It’s oversimplification of reality. Not all that surprising.

    Worse, it makes it impossible for people today to match their achievements. If the Founders were all saints, what chance that anyone today could match their wisdom or purity. All we can do is try to discern their saintly original intent and behave like we were living in the 18th Century. And it means we can ignore things like race today because, well, the Founders must have solved all those problems because there’s nothing about them in the history books …

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