The Reagan Test

EmailI got an email (in response to an earlier post) challenging the liberal bias of social studies textbooks. Well, I don’t have any illusion that I’ll be able to convince anyone so obviously unwilling to listen, but maybe you’ll listen to an expert: Professor Larry E. Schweikart, from the University of Dayton. He’s the author of 48 Liberal Lies About American History (Penguin, 2008), A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror (Sentinel 2004), and many other wonderful books. He says that there’s an easy test to see if a history book is too liberal: if the text doesn’t credit President Ronald Wilson Reagan as ending the Cold War, then that book is liberal. We all remember when Reagan ended the Cold War, dancing on that tank and tearing down that wall, and it’s ridiculous to claim otherwise. But how can some textbooks deny Reagan’s achievement? Says Professor Schweikart:

“The reason why textbooks get to where they are is because this is the world view of (a) the people who write the text books, (b) people who edit the text books, and (c) people who publish them … They all tend to come from New York, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia.”

That explains it. They have a northeastern, urban worldview that is at odds with both reality and patriotism. And if you can’t see the rampant liberalism that infests our childrens’ textbooks, then I feel sorry for you. For example, the current textbooks talk about the New Deal and the Great Society, but they don’t explain why smaller government is better. They teach about the Civil Rights movement, but don’t cover the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s (e.g. Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association). They teach about other religions, but deny the religious foundations of our country. Says the Committee on Instruction Vice Chair, Ken Mercer:

“To deny the Judeo-Christian values of our founding fathers is just a lie to our kids.”

And who likes lying to kids? Or they just get the history wrong, giving the wrong people credit for advancements. As the former Chair Don McElroy said:

“All we are doing is reflecting what has actually happened in the country. Somebody has got to stand up to the experts. The women’s right to vote, the women didn’t vote on it, the men did, the men passed it for the women, eventually the civil rights act … in other words the minorities were not able to do it by themselves.”

I think that says it all. I can’t add anything to or take anything away from that, and I won’t even try.

It’s abundantly clear that our children aren’t being taught the real history of America, and that must change. And if that takes adding a lot of Conservative topics, then I’m sure the teachers can find time to teach all of them. And if they can’t, I’m sure we can find some more liberal stuff to remove.

2 Responses to “The Reagan Test”
  1. Sidney Carton says:

    You didn’t know? St. Ronnie went to Berlin, struck the wall with his staff and demanded “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

    At which point, the wall obligingly collapsed, and all of communism fell in its wake, leading to sunshine democracy and lollypops for all!

    • ThomPaine says:

      That’s pretty much the way I remember it, except for the lollypops.

      Well, actually, that’s the way I remember it nowadays. I used to remember the Soviet Union collapsing under it’s own weight, but since then I’ve learned how to remember it correctly. And who knows what I’ll have remembered happen in another twenty years. It’s impossible to predict how I will have remembered it by then.

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