Friday, March 12, 2010
Texas Conservatives Vote to Make Textbooks “Right”
Posted on March 12, 2010. Tags: Conservative, economy, Politics, public education, republicans, revisionist history, tea party, Texas, text books
Posted by BC Bass
AUSTIN, TX (GlossyNews) — Despite the ongoing efforts of educators to create national standards for public schools, the Texas school board has seceded from the debate by proposing sweeping changes to its social studies curriculum that would highlight the underrated achievements of conservatives, emphasize the role of Christianity in American history and include Republican political philosophies in textbooks.
The board is expected to take a preliminary vote this week on a cornucopia of changes proposed by the seven conservative Republicans on the board. A final vote is expected in May.
Conservatives argue that the existing curriculum unfairly touts the accomplishments of liberal politicians but gives less importance to efforts by conservatives like President Ronald Reagan to limit the size of government. They cite liberal failures such as Social Security, the New Deal and the Great Society as catalysts for the revisions.
“The way I see it,” said Joe Daunch, an unemployed electrician from College Station who co-chairs the board’s conservative faction, “none of these programs contributed to the prosperity of the country. Sure, the opposition and its activists — you know, historians — argue that these initiatives ended the Great Depression, but we disagree. The Great Depression wasn’t a problem at all. It was an economic weeding out of the infirm and the under-performing. Had liberals let the market take care of itself, America would have emerged with one class of nothing but wealthy citizens. A missed opportunity, really.”
When asked if his take on this economic thinning of the herd could be described as a form of social Darwinism, Daunch said he felt it was more akin to “fiscal Calvinism,” where the truly chosen prevail while all others perish in the hellfire of their own kindling.
Additional examples of sprawling, massive government entities include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the expanded warrantless wiretapping program and the Office of Faith-based Community Initiatives, a lot of pork that could benefit from some trimming.
“There is simply no balance in the text books today. It’s all ‘melting pot’ this and ‘equal rights’ that and ‘freeing the slaves.’ And when they talk about the country’s first entrepreneurs, they use pejoratives like ‘Robber Barons.’ Nobody talks about how the antebellum South managed to obtain state’s rights nationwide. Look, we’re not suggesting that the history books be rewritten to talk about Republicans only; just those Republicans who came into office after Eisenhower — a president who, one could argue, was virtually a communist, with all his talk about excluding the military industrial complex from the nation’s economy. Sorry, Ike, but without military spending, we wouldn’t have thriving aviation and manufacturing sectors. The Army Corps of Engineers builds our levees. Can you imagine what would happen to cities below sea level if we didn’t have protective walls?”
The conservatives on the board also complained that Republican trailblazers received short shrift during the last 50 years by socialist publishers. Ronald Reagan’s economic policies, for example. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen. But at the top of the spectrum, the rich had gotten richer, which the group says demonstrates the successful growth of the nation’s wealth under Reagan.
Richard Nixon’s unprecedented efforts to collect intelligence during the Watergate Era resulted in superior spying and surveillance techniques that saved the United States from untold terrorist threats. And although Daunch admitted that George H.W. Bush cowered from confronting Iraq, he went on to point out that George W. Bush salvaged the situation by deposing Saddam Hussein. Iraq has a thriving democratic politic system and, once secular, now enjoys religious freedom. Conversely, the group says, Clinton failed to change Iraq during his cursory engagement there. His failure to destroy al Qaeda after attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and the U.S.S. Cole in 2000 paved the way for the carnage of September 11, 2001.
There have also been efforts to parse and amend, where necessary, discussions on the civil rights movement.
Daunch said, “If we do nothing in this country but talk about how everyone can have a level playing field to succeed, we set unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes among minorities. When they inevitably fail, doesn’t it seem that we’ve done more harm than good? The government shouldn’t be responsible for making the sure their glass always seems half full, when in reality it’s just a few drops of malt liquor in an otherwise empty Dixie cup.”
Another proposed change removes any reference to race, sex or religion in talking about how different groups have contributed to the national identity. “When you realize that white people did all the work building this country,” Daunch continued, “it just makes the other races feel bad. We’ve given them a pretty good ride. Affirmative action, sharecropping, railroad industry jobs, cheap education, and what have they given back? Not much, considering the welfare system. This amendment was specifically added to appease the liberals. But they’ll complain about anything.”
One board member said publishers should “describe the effects of increasing government regulation and taxation on economic development and business planning.” She pointed out the devastating losses and staggering unemployment rates among teachers, police officers, fire fighters, financial institutions, air lines and automobile manufacturers. “All regulated industries,” she added.
“Country and western music” will also make the list of cultural movements to be studied. Alan Jackson’s chart topping hit “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” includes the line, “I’m just a singer of simple songs / I’m not a real political man / I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you / The difference in Iraq and Iran.” Daunch asserts that singers like Jackson astutely illustrate the abysmal state of our current educational system. “Kids don’t understand the geographical and political issues of the Middle East. We want to correct that.”
A surprising number of concerned citizens attended the meeting to support the amendments, including some who were enraged at “socialist tendencies in Washington.” One man asserted that the Tea Party movement should be included in the textbooks, but not “the thing with the Indians that happened in Boston.”
“Conservatives need to take back control of the messaging,” said Zeke Merfkoppen, one of the Texas Seven, as they are being called. “We’ve let the liberal socialists control the media for too long. Hollywood? Book publishers? These are artists. These are bleeding heart liberals who aren’t interested in business. Making money is the foundation of our free market system. Hollywood liberals just want more regulation. They’ve got ratings for everything. They want the MPAA, the FCC and all these other organizations around to regulate them. And the publishers? They have no moral compass. I defy you to find one book in print that praises Christianity and the salvation accorded to followers of Christ. No? Didn’t think so.”
“You can vilify anyone,” concluded Daunch. “Hitler’s engineers brought us some of the biggest technological advances in history. He restored a sense of national pride and patriotism, ended inflation and curbed a population explosion that was out of control. Mussolini made the trains run on time. They don’t run on time here, do they? Once we’ve finished revising the inaccuracies with our curriculum, perhaps our European friends will follow suit. I read a German history book once that made no mention of the ‘Holocaust.’ It’s a hard thing to prove, really, so why stir up undue controversy and conspiracy theories, like we do with all that Kennedy-Oswald stuff?”
Posted by Nikki at 3/12/2010 02:18:00 PM