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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/25/15

The Conservative Attempt to Rewrite the United States' Progressive History

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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

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Oklahoma isn't the only state where Republicans are waging war on high school history class.

Conservatives in a handful of other states, including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and -- no surprise here -- Texas are now pushing bills that would ban the college board's AP US history curriculum.

The main issue that conservatives have with the current AP history curriculum is that it's "too liberal" and supposedly focuses too much on the "negative" parts of US history, whatever that means.

So conservatives want to replace it with a curriculum that focuses on topics conservatives like -- topics like, you know, Reagan, Reagan and, just for good measure, more Reagan.

In all seriousness, though, there's a really good reason that conservatives are freaking out about what kind of history curriculum is going to be taught in our classrooms.

And that's the simple fact that the history of the United States is the history of the continuous progressive transformation of this country.

All the great accomplishments of US democracy, from the revolution itself to health-care reform, have been progressive accomplishments and they've come about because progressives rallied for change and said "no" to the old order.

It was progressives who, in the 1760s and 1770s, took the streets and then the battlefields of the United States to fight against British tyranny.

It was progressives who, because they believed that all men are created equal, rallied against slavery and pushed former President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

And it was progressives who, because they believed that all people are created equal, started the push for women's rights.

It was progressives, who, because they believed, as Thomas Jefferson once said, that a well-informed citizenry is essential to democracy, created the first public schools.

It was progressives who, because they believed in democracy in the workplace, fought for the right to unionize.

And it was progressives, who, because they believed in the inherent dignity of all work, passed the first workplace safety laws and banned child labor.

It was also progressives who, during the New Deal and then the Great Society, created Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the programs that are the bedrock of our social safety net.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)
 

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