Social conservatives made a concerted effort to take over the otherwise-obscure government body that sets standards for schoolbooks and lesson plans for the state of Texas. With the result that, much like the perverse effort to edit out the liberal parts of the Bible, American History is being rewritten by fiat so as to eliminate the unpleasantly liberal portions of its heritage. For instance, where once the intellectual history of the European Enlightenment stood in the curriculum now is taken up with a study of Richard Nixon’s leadership role in the Cold War, and all of Thomas Jefferson’s political philosophy, to be replaced by Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and William Blackstone. Because Jefferson, hey, what did he ever do for the country?
Now, it’s certainly true that the intentional manipulation of knowledge and education for the purpose of ideologically molding an entire generation of children is not something confined only to conservatives. Liberals, however, have tended to sin in this regard by overinclusion — by including so many obscure and fragmented points of view so as to lose the ability to see the big picture of what is being taught. This, however, is an exercise in redacting history. Well, it’s hard to imagine what else to expect from a group under the leadership of a lame duck who said of mandatory disparagement of evolution in Texas biology classes: “somebody’s got to stand up to experts.”
It would be laughable if it weren’t so damned scary. Those kids are going to get a huge shock when they get to college and learn that they’ve been taught a sanitized version of “alternative” history. Or maybe one day Jefferson will be as roundly and unfairly condemned by amateur know-nothing historians as Woodrow Wilson is being disparaged today.