Saturday, August 22, 2009

US History with a dash of Newt

In today’s paper “Plans for texts has many riled up – Texas public school students should learn about Newt Gingrich and other conservative politicians but not liberals according to the first draft of proposed standards” all brought to you by the Texas State Board of Education.

First thought through my head was “to the victors go the spoils” which, as I was told as a kid, means that history is written by those in control. Now I don’t expect much from the same group that had a religious neocon at its lead and just recently hired another one in his place. These folks have an agenda, they are biased, and really don’t care about truth or fairness if it runs counter to what they want and believe.

But to be fair, I cannot just take what the “liberal” press feeds me, because you know they have an agenda too – just ask Sarah Palin. No, but really, the press is prone to misunderstanding just like the rest of us, and since everyone quotes and presents the same story, if it is wrong to start with it gets passed on as wrong. So being the good lil’ scientist I am, I find the document and the passage.

Now I have no idea if the group that put this together had an agenda to snub liberals or indoctrinate our youth to think and become conservative. It is possible that what they were trying to do is show the shift in mindset as we moved into the 21st century. That shift, like it or not, was towards conservative views and policy ushered in by Newt Gingrich and the moral majority it it changes the lay of the land significantly. So it is possible that there was no mention of liberal movers and shakers because they played very little in this shift.

On the other hand, the requirement to study Phyllis Schlafly does not hold well for this argument, in my opinion, since she was no more a player in this process as anyone on the left or right. Understanding how Conservative advocacy is how one “understands the circumstances of the US as it emerges into the 21st century." Students should know how it came about, who the players were, and how it took place.

So before we tar and feather these guys for promoting their conservative agenda. Let’s back off a bit and hear what they have to say. If my take is correct, then it is important for kids to know, because I was also told way back when that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes again.

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