If recent elections have taught us anything, it’s that young Americans have taken a decided turn to the left. Young voters delivered Obama the election: the under-44 set voted Obama and the over-45 set broke for Romney. The youngest voters, age 18-29, gave Obama a whopping 60 percent of their vote.
Now Republicans have a plan to try to recapture the youngest voters out there: Take over the curriculum in public schools, replace education with a bunch of conservative propaganda, and reap the benefits of having a new generation that can’t tell reality from right-wing fantasy.
How well this plan will work is debatable, but in the meantime, these shenanigans present the very real possibility that public school students will graduate without a proper education. To make it worse, many of these attempts to rewrite school curriculum are happening in Texas, which can set the textbook standards for the entire country by simply wielding its power as one of the biggest school textbook markets there is. With that in mind, here’s a list of 11 lies your kid may be in danger of learning in school.
Lie No. 1: Racism has barely been an issue in U.S. history and slavery wasn’t that big a deal.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute reviewed the new social studies standards laid down by the right-wing-dominated Texas State School Board and found them to be a deplorable example of conservative wishful thinking replacing fact. At the top of list? Downplaying the role that slavery had in starting the Civil War, and instead focusing on “sectionalism” and “states’ rights,” even though the sectionalism and states’ rights arguments directly stemmed from Southern states wanting to keep slavery. There’s also a chance your kid might be misled to think post-Civil War racism was no big deal, as the standards excise any mention of the KKK, the phrase “Jim Crow” or the Black Codes. Mention is made of the Southern Democratic opposition to civil rights, but mysteriously, the mass defection of Southern Democrats to the Republican Party to punish the rest of the Democrats for supporting civil rights goes unmentioned.
Lie No. 2: Joe McCarthy was right.
The red-baiting of the mid-20th century has gone down in history, correctly, as a witch hunt that stemmed from irrational paranoia that gripped the U.S. after WWII. But now, according to the Thomas B. Fordham report, your kid might learn that the red baiters had a point: “It is disingenuously suggested that the House Un-American Activities Committee—and, by extension, McCarthyism—have been vindicated by the Venona decrypts of Soviet espionage activities (which had, in reality, no link to McCarthy’s targets).” Critical lessons about being skeptical of those who attack fellow Americans while wrapping themselves in the flag will be lost for students whose textbooks adhere to these standards.
Lie No. 3: Climate change is a massive hoax scientists have perpetuated on the public.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been hard at work pushing for laws requiring that climate change denialism be taught in schools as a legitimate scientific theory. Unfortunately, as Neela Banerjee of the L.A. Times reports, they’ve already had some serious success: “Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change.” Other states are taking the “teach the controversy” strategy that helped get creationism into biology classrooms, asking teachers to treat climate change like it’s a matter of political debate instead of a scientifically established fact.
The reality is that climate change is a fact that has overwhelming scientific consensus. In 2004, Science reviewed the 928 relevant studies on climate change published between 1993 and 2003 and found that exactly zero of them denied that climate change was a reality, and most found it had man-made causes. To claim that climate change is a “controversy” requires one to believe that there’s a massive conspiracy involving nearly all the scientists in the world. So, your kids are not only not learning the realities of climate change, they are also learning, if indirectly, to give credence to conspiracy theory paranoia.
Here’s an interesting article on the roots of Tea Party ‘conservatism’.
It argues that they represent a far older conservatism, one from Europe where the ‘individual’ is assigned a place by God and nature and any attempts to change that imperils both society and the individual’s soul.
It ties in with my frequent observation that to Tea Party ‘conservatives’ that America is not a nation but a faith. They oppose modern society because modernism is, they believe, antithetical to faith.
While the U.S.-led coalition to defeat the so-called Islamic State has launched around 5,000 airstrikes against the extremist group, with Central Command posting daily updates on new airstrikes targeting the organization also known as ISIS or ISIL, several Republican politicians appear to believe that the U.S. is not at all engaging in a fight against group.
The same politicians will readily praise the leaders of Egypt and Jordan for launching airstrikes against the terrorist group, while then criticizing President Obama for not following in their footsteps, even though the U.S. is responsible for the vast majority of the airstrikes carried out by the anti-ISIS coalition. Of course, many Republicans and Democrats have expressed legitimate criticisms of the administration’s strategy to defeat ISIS, but some Republicans are acting as if the administration is not at all engaged in fighting the group, whose momentum has been blunted since the airstrikes began.
Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have passed a bill. It gives China the right to sue, in secret tribunals, so that if a Canadian law interferes with Chinese investments that law can be overturned. This includes overriding treaties signed with our First Nations.
As John Ralston Saul noted, Canada is “Burdened with the laziest elite of any developed nation; people who have made their fortunes by selling off the country’s resources and working for more energetic foreigners. They are most comfortable on their knees, admiring those from larger countries who have bought them.”
In essence Canada has been sold to the Chinese and the people of Canada no longer get the slightest say in how the country is run.
Have I mentioned recently how much I loathe Stephen Harper?
To my American friends: this is a warning. If that can happen here it can happen in your country as well.
Interesting. I came on to LGF and of course the first thing I saw was the article on Twitchy.
Which immediately made me think of the article my news aggregator discovered this morning, One on a psychological study on the differences between people and the groups they identify with relating to their reaction to assorted stimuli.
Specifically ‘conservatives’ react far more strongly to ‘negative stimuli’. Fear mostly. They often create fear when there is none immediately to hand.
Also interesting was a little bit near the end of the article. It turns out that a point I’ve often said here and elsewhere, that the poor are regarded as sinners, has been demonstrated to exist in another study.
Two things stand out about how conservatives talk about economy, Osorio said, based on several years of intensive observation and analysis. First is the “the tendency to compare it to something natural — a body or the weather or moving liquid,” she said. “But the other idea undergirding their worldview, and thus shaping perceptions of poverty, riches, inequality and desirable economic policy, is the idea that the economy exists for a specific purpose: to reward the good and punish the bad. It’s a moral arbiter; simply having great riches indicates you deserve them because the economy loves you the best. Thus, it follows that poor people deserve to be poor and we can know this because they’re poor.”
There are two things I will disagree with though.
This excessive reaction to negative stimuli is not limited to ‘conservatives’. The jacobins and the Bolsheviks were definitely not ‘conservative’ so it seems to me that a political ideology is chosen to deal with the fear caused by this phenomena.
I believe they’ll also have to consider the fact that, as I’ve pointed out before, that fear, anger and hate makes a person high.
Still, a fascinating article.
The Canada Revenue Agency (Canada’s equivalent of the IRS) has told OXFAM Canada that it cannot list ‘preventing poverty’ as a goal, only ‘alleviating’ it. The reason is “Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not.”
This is just one of many instances of Our Dear Leader using the CRA to punish critics for criticizing. OXFAM Canada opposes Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
Yet another example of so called conservatives showing their revolutionary goals.
Today, Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative sent out an email to activists asking if the crisis along the southern border just might be God’s judgment on America for allowing legal abortion and same-sex marriage.
Written by Kenneth L. Carozza, the piece declares that while evangelicals have a lot in common with Catholics, they cannot support calls from Catholic leaders to back immigration reform because Catholics have an ulterior motive: “Rome might see the alien deluge into the U.S. as a quick road to bigger parishes regardless of the form of government that survives.”
Excerpt from the email:
Does our nation gain God’s favor if officials advocate for children crossing the Rio Grande but fail to guarantee safe passage through the birth canal? Such carnage in the womb occurs within our U.S. borders daily. Additionally, in 2003 Justice Scalia predicted that with the repeal of sodomy laws, sodomy would become institutionalized. Today our little children learn a new euphemism in school, “same-sex marriage.” At the university level, academics are paving the way for pedophilia to be viewed as one more sexual orientation…
Yeah, how dare those ivory tower elitist professors teach our youth that pedophilia is OK?!!?111!
Oh wait…actually that isn’t happening, the only place pedophilia gets discussed as a “sexual orientation” is in abnormal psychology classes. Nevermind…