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Textbooks distort history, promote government dependency

Textbooks distort history, promote government dependency

Wayne Hoffman
May 31, 2010
Wayne Hoffman
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May 31, 2010

Walter Williams pointed out five years ago that the Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t say, “and to the democracy for which it stands.” We don’t sing the “Battle Hymn of the Democracy.” And for good reason.

This is not a democracy. It is, in fact, a Republic. But if you attended public school anywhere in America, you might not know that. It’s that kind of subtle intellectual dishonesty that has been sneaked into school textbooks, is destroying our nation and rewriting its history.

Recent news that Texas education leaders have overhauled textbook requirements has alarmed some educators and politicians. But the news is frightening only if you’re under the false impression that textbooks our kids use are anything close to accurate today. Of course, that’s not the case. Not by a long short. Our children are being fed a steady diet of statist propaganda, and from that, it is little wonder why our country has veered so far to the Left. The design is in the coursework and intentional indoctrination of our children.

I’ve spent some time over the last few weeks reviewing the textbooks being used in Idaho high school classrooms. Those books are loaded with inaccuracies, misconceptions and opinion in the guise of fact. The end result is a warped view of what American government is all about. For example, several Idaho textbooks refer to our key governing document at a “living constitution,” one that is malleable depending on the popular disposition of society, and not requiring amendment in order to institute changes. Holt’s American Nation text has a whole chapter entitled “The Constitution: A Living Document.” The chapter plainly declares that “the Constitution has remained effective for more than 210 years because it is a living document that can adapt to changes in our society.”

A Prentice Hall textbook claims our Founding Fathers’ view of government is archaic. The drafters of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution rejected democracy because they feared it, the textbook points out. That part is true. “Today, few people share our Founders’ fear of democracy,” the textbook concludes. That part is not true. Another American Government textbook awaiting use in Idaho classrooms has this to say about the country’s government: “Democracy is not inevitable. It does not exist in the U.S. simply because Americans regard it as the best of all political systems. Rather democracy exists in this country because the American people believe in its basic concepts.”

Other textbooks gush about how Franklin Roosevelt “saved the country from the Great Depression” after his predecessor, Herbert Hoover, decided to let economic upheaval run its course. Both are wildly fallacious capsulations of what really happened. Hoover raised taxes and gave us the Davis-Bacon Act, which inflated wages then as now and kept unemployment high; Many experts now acknowledge that Roosevelt’s New Deal programs prolonged the Great Depression. Still, our children are also given books containing matter-of-fact support for Keynesian economics and interventionist ideology that condones government tampering with the free market, ala Obamanomics.

Make no mistake. School textbooks are being used to distort history, reinvent the country, and teach our kids to be wards of the state, dependent on and responsive to handouts and edicts from the government. Even in Idaho.

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