As Long As We’re Revising, Can I Kill Hitler?

I’ve written about the disregard for reality that grips the Texas Board of Education and their nationally influential textbook decisions before but apparently the problem is bigger than I thought. Life must be a breeze when you don’t allow facts to get in the way of your preconceptions. What’s next, Washington wrestling dinosaurs as he crossed the Delaware? Ben Franklin shooting down the Red Baron with Snoopy as co-pilot? St. Ronnie lassoing Gorbachev from on top of a descending ICBM? Before you know it we’ll have books about how the Nazis were progressive leftists fighting for social justice.

Oh, right. Sigh.

Some days it all seems so overwhelming and pointless. How can we rationally discuss which direction to steer the country if a third of us don’t even care to subscribe to reality? Most depressing is that the twisted logic required to concoct some of this tripe requires someone to be at least a little intellectually curious. If the know-nothings are merely parroting the right-wing version of our history, then it means some rather smart people are feeding it to them. This is the most insidious aspect of the whole thing: people who know better are working to dismantle history and replace it with pure propaganda. Not that I think history per se is infallible, but there are some things that are a matter of pure fact, not conspiracy or opinion. I shudder to picture a future where Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are believed to have been our most successful leaders. Unfortunately, if some people have their way, it could be less remote than you think.

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