In reading this weeks postings I have come to the conclusion that conservatives and liberals do in fact “do history” differently. The bloggers that I read this week like to write about how things were better before liberals ruined the country. They believe that if only they could eliminate the liberal indoctrination of the children of America things would be much better. This is a concept that keeps popping up over and over again; indoctrination. This is a real fear for them. Because they believe that liberals are evil, as Strickland stated, and have morally compromised leaders as Scott affirms. This is why they can show Barak Obama as the devil and state that Jimmy Carter is the worst liberal ever. Really, Jimmy Carter is the worst liberal ever? This man has spent the past 35 years building homes for the homeless and attempting to stop the spread of disease in Africa through creating methods for cleaner drinking water. This is not the worst liberal ever.
Another concept that I noticed is that some bloggers use facts in a new and surprising way. For example, Barton claimed that the 3/5ths clause was not a measurement of human worth. The reality is that they did not see slaves as human, they were property. This can’t be ignored. To call it an anti-slavery provision is a bit disingenuous. The North did not think it was fair to have slaves be property and yet still count as population. There was also an argument made that the Founding Fathers were mostly opposed to slavery. Again, this is an interesting interpretation of the facts. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe all owned slaves. Even Klugewicz, another conservative blogger, stated that after the Constitutional Convention Madison sold off his valet because he was afraid that his slave might get ideas about freedom and liberty. So while they might have claimed to dislike the institution of slavery, none of them were willing to take the financial hit that freeing their slaves would have caused. This class is also aware that Washington created the runaway slave laws after his own slave ran off. So it’s not like they were fighting the good fight to end slavery or that they were willing to put their money where their morals were.
I agree with Vanessa Anderson regarding the contributions of blacks in history. I think too often we focus on what was done to blacks. History shows that they had their own methods of rebelling. Black people have made enourmous contributions to this country, as have women and Native Americans. We should talk about that more often. It is funny that she made this point by attacking liberals for wanting to teach sex education. “I firmly believe that if accurate history regarding this era was actually taught in schools (instead of teaching our youth how to have safe anal sex), we would by now be dealing with fading racial scars instead of wounds that wont heal; better yet, wounds that are not allowed to heal.” Sigh.
There seems to be this idea among conservatives that only they are truly patriotic. They use the founding of America and the mythology that surrounds the Founding Fathers to point out that they hold the only means to saving this country from the horrors of liberalism. Ken Taylor brings up all the men who died defending the heritage of America. He writes about Old Glory, my country tis of thee, bravery, and freedom. He wants us all to remember the fighting men and women keeping this country safe for democracy. This is nationalism at its scariest. He’s not really saying anything here, just using patriotic rhetoric to remind us that there is a war being fought that we should all be supporting.
The teacher/blogger made me laugh. I had to roll my eyes at some of the things he said because I believe that, yes, the government should protect the environment because it has been proven that without the government business will use the most economical means of disposing of hazardous materials. Usually this involves dumping them. “Only by removing the communist principles in education can teachers again teach and further the life, liberty, and prosperity of our children.” Again, I see fear inducing rhetoric. Do this or life, liberty, and prosperity will be unavailable for your children. I doubt it, but ok. I will say that I liked his take on the preparedness and education of high school students. Often what is overlooked is how intelligent some of these kids are. Each succeeding generation is afraid for the lazy good-for-nothings coming up behind them. I doubt that the USA will fall into failure when the next generation comes of age. It will just be different than it was before; as it should be. There is the crux of the difference between libs and cons. One wants thing to stay the same and one is forever wanting change, to bad that they can’t work together, like yin and yang, bringing balance to the force.