From the March 12, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”
Gov. Jeb Bush shocked a lot of people this week when he said history would “be kind” to his brother, former President George W. Bush. Maybe he meant to say amnesiacs will be kind to him, because the fact that George Bush isn’t in the Hague right now indicates history’s already been pretty generous.
Now don’t get me wrong. History will “be kind” is a better choice of words than history will “vindicate,” “validate” or “redeem” him. But big brother George has always depended on the kindness of strangers to history.
It’s funny Jeb says this the same week we learn [of] the new controversy in the Louisiana private school system. Now, go with me on this. You remember how last year we learned how Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher system began allowing kids to go to private schools that the public has to pay for?
We’ve previously on this show talked about how the lack of oversight has allowed these schools to teach kids that the Loch Ness Monster is proof that evolution is a myth, how the KKK was a force for reform in the Old South or how, as one textbook actually put it, “the majority of slave owners treated their slaves well.”
Well, now the Louisiana textbook “America: Land I Love,” published by A Beka Book, is presently teaching Louisiana’s eighth graders about the greatest domestic evil of the ’60s: hippies.
“Many young people turned to drugs and immoral lifestyles; these youth became known as hippies. They went without bathing, wore dirty, ragged, unconventional clothing, and deliberately broke all codes of politeness or manners.” It continues: “Many of the rock musicians they followed belonged to eastern religious cults or practiced Satan worship.”
Now I’m guessing by “rock musicians in eastern religious cults” they mean George Harrison adding those “Hare Krishnas” to “My Sweet Lord.” And by Satan worship, I guess they mean Charles Manson, who might have been a competent mass murderer, but was a seriously sucky musician.
But A Beka Book, which bills itself as “excellence in education from a Christian perspective,” doesn’t ever mention the immoral lifestyles or satanic aspects of a government engaging us in a war based on lies in Vietnam — a war the hippies, who were pacifists (the book doesn’t mention that), tried to prevent by talking about peace and love. Which, A Beka Book, is the actual Christian perspective.
So isn’t this proof that for-profit education, my friends, is a complete racket? And if kids do grow up in Louisiana’s provincial, voucher-driven, anti-science, anti-history education system, how are they ever going to get into an actual real university and go on to enjoy a life of student-loan debt slavery?
Look, if you wanna warn your kids about hippies, show them bell bottoms and try to explain the word “groovy.” They’ll be scared straight.
But the question is, who controls history? The people who write the textbooks? Well, I went checking into A Beka Book and guess what? According to their website, they are based out of Pensacola, Fla. The same state that gave George Bush the presidency while his brother, Jeb Bush, was governor. So maybe Jeb’s right — perhaps some history will be extremely kind to his brother.
But my favorite presidential history story is about another George — the young George Washington, chopping down the cherry tree and telling his father, “I cannot tell a lie.” You know why I like that story? Because it’s a lie.
So be forewarned, Jeb. The right-wing bubble may be kind to your brother, but someday, when the Freedom of Information Act kicks in on him, the dirtiest hippie commune in all of Haight-Ashbury won’t smell half as bad as George W.’s place in history.