Reversing America’s Historectomy

By | October 7, 2019 | 0 Comments


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Watch this brief interview with a student at the University of California Irvine. The young man’s parents emigrated from Mexico to seek a better life for themselves and their family. That they succeeded in this aim is shown by their son, who is receiving an education at a prestigious public university, with the help of financial aid.

Nevertheless, he is proud to have introduced a resolution, which was approved, to have the American flag removed from the Student Council lobby. He feels that the flag is “hate speech” and makes people feel “unwelcome.” When asked about his receiving an education with financial aid, he replied that he was taking advantage of “the system” while working to bring it down. This is precisely what a Marxist relative told my mother 50 years ago. Many things change, but leftists remain remarkably similar.

The young man feels no gratitude, much less a sense of obligation, for the gifts he is receiving from America. On the contrary, he feels only bitterness and resentment toward the flag that represents the source of these gifts. You see, courtesy of his high school and university, the young man underwent a historectomy.

No, I am not referring to a hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus, but a historectomy, or removal of our history. This is especially damaging to America.

Many nations were founded centuries or even millennia ago. But America is a relatively recent invention. Its population is still shifting because of continued immigration. To define America, we can’t refer to an ancient land with a stable population. To define America, we must refer to the ideas and ideals on which it is based.

But are we trying to preserve these ideas and hand them on to the next generation? Or are we doing our best to eradicate these ideas from our collective memory? Are we attempting to induce national amnesia? Are we undermining the foundation of our nation? Are we performing a historectomy?

When I went to grammar school, we saluted the flag every morning. We learned patriotic songs for our national holidays. On Flag Day, we celebrated our flag. And we enjoyed Christmas and Easter vacations, not winter and spring breaks. After all, the vast majority of Americans, and all of the founders, identified themselves as Christians.

In junior high, I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the first and fourth verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” If you want to learn how a house is constructed, study the foundation.

In high school, I had to take American history and civics, not “social studies.” We learned about the great people and great events of our history, and (to a lesser degree) some of the unhappy events. We learned how a bill becomes law, and what powers the President and the Supreme Court have.

But I loved movies. I saw “Sergeant York,” the true story of how a pacifist became convinced that violent evildoers had to be opposed by force, then went on to earn the Medal of Honor. And I saw “The Fighting Sixty-Ninth,” depicting Father Duffy’s role in this New York regiment’s World War I achievements. So when I passed his statue in Times Square, I may have been the only one on the tour bus who knew who he was − not bad for a Jew who was born in Fargo.

I was brought up to be an American, not merely a member of my own ethnic group. I was being entertained at the movies, but I was also being exposed to my country’s past. Contrast my upbringing with that of today’s kids:

● Today’s kids read history books that describe America’s past as evil or even genocidal.

● Today’s kids mumble a few of the words to the first verse of the National Anthem at sports events. Forget about the fourth verse, the one that mentions (gasp!) God.

● Today’s kids are taught that the founders were deists, not really Christians — that is, if religion is mentioned at all. Regarding slavery, Jefferson wrote, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just…” Does that sound like someone who believed that God created the universe, then went on vacation?

● Today’s kids are lucky to place the Revolution or the Civil War in the right century, much less the right decade.

● Today’s kids identify Grant as the man on the $50 bill, not the man who led the Union to victory and thereby ended slavery.

● Today’s kids are taught to observe Flag Day by marching with the flags of the nations from which their ancestors fled. They learn to respect other nations, not our own.

● Today’s kids are forbidden to hold Christmas programs in schools, but instead they observe Mexican Day of the Dead and Cinco de Mayo. Instead of E Pluribus Unum, they are taught “multiculturalism,” which means respect for other cultures, not our own.

● Today’s kid’s see movies depicting our leaders as scheming warmongers, and our military as sadistic morons and oppressors.

● Today’s kids see TV shows like “Law and Order” and “ER” that show service members returning from the Middle East as unstable at best and homicidal at worst.

● Today’s kids see clergy depicted as idiots or molesters, if they see them at all, and religion shown as an oppressive force. But this refers only to Christianity − extremist Islam is not mentioned, much less criticized.

● Today’s kids, and even law students, are taught that the Constitution is a “living document.” That is, it has no fixed meaning, and means whatever a judge says it means today. Law that is arbitrary and unpredictable loses its claim on our respect − or our obedience.

In short, the current generation of Americans has been taught little of the foundations of their country. And what they were taught was often negative. What they saw in films and on TV reinforced this negative impression.

No wonder they view America with ambivalence or even hostility, although they were born here. Are “Taliban” John Walker Lindh, “Al Qaeda” Adam Gadahn, and “Fort Hood shooter” Nidal Hasan aberrations, or the tip of the iceberg?

Leftists lust for the power to decide what information is “harmful,” and then to “redistribute speech” so as to minimize “harmful” information and emphasize “beneficial” information. They plan to regulate talk radio and the Internet in the interest of “fairness.”

Control of information is characteristic of totalitarian regimes. If information is not made known, it never becomes part of history. This makes things easier for tyrants − they don’t have to go to the trouble of rewriting history if it was never written in the first place.

In the Soviet Union, dissidents joked that the future was known; it was the past that constantly changed to suit the ruling elite. Photos of Stalin were airbrushed to remove former colleagues who had been sent to the Gulag or shot. Those who seek to control information and decide what people should be told are no friends of freedom.

Historectomy Russian style

If you want to destroy a house, undermine the foundation. If you want to destroy a nation, do the same. If you want to restrict liberty, restrict the free flow of information on which liberty depends. If you want to debase people who are defined by ideas, destroy the ideas. If you want to bring down a society that is sustained by its history, perform a historectomy.

The bad news is that a historectomy is a dangerous operation from which the patient may not recover. The good news is that the procedure can be reversed:

● We can teach the actual Constitution, not liberal commentary about it.

● We can make the “Federalist Papers” and the “Anti-Federalist Papers” required reading in political-science and law-school classes.

● We can insist that schools use history texts that are written from a pro-freedom perspective.

● We can restore pro-American books to school reading lists. When a student goes to the high-school library and asks for a book about the Marine Corps, he must never again be told that they allow no “violent” books.

● We can encourage Hollywood to make more films that show America in a favorable light − or at least, not in the most unfavorable light.

● We can take care never again to elect a president who twice mispronounced Navy corpsman as “corpse-man.” Such profound ignorance revealed a profound lack of interest in anything related to the military − which ill behooved the commander-in-chief. Instead, he went around apologizing for America and bowing to foreign leaders.

Now watch the brief video again. Yes, it’s painful. Yes, you see a self-righteous, self-important ingrate. But you also see a likeable, bright young man who is a victim of a leftist educational system that robbed him of his intellectual and spiritual inheritance. If you steal young people’s financial inheritance, you are called a thief and sent to prison. But if you steal their intellectual and spiritual inheritance, you are called progressive and given tenure at a university.

A historectomy is a destructive procedure. It prevents us from passing on our values to future generations, and thus dooms what is worthwhile in America. But it can be reversed − if we care enough.

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