Michael Schaus

What is a leftist supposed to do when history doesn’t perfectly fit their ideological narrative? Well… If you’re in charge of creating textbooks for college students, you just write your own version of historical events. And while you’re at it, throw in a few editorial comments cleverly disguised as “facts”. Apparently, the end result should look something like the textbook that a University of South Carolina student was required to read. In a nutshell, it explained that Ronald Reagan was a sexist, that Conservatives hate people, and that the “rich” like to exploit the lower classes because they don’t want to rake their own yards… Or something.

CampusReform.org reported the story of Orwellian indoctrination on the University’s campus (I know, I know… Nobody’s surprised). According to Campus Reform:

The mandated reading includes sections such as “Conservative Extremes in the 1980’s and Early 1990’s,” which claims Reagan “ascribed to women primarily domestic functions’ and failed to appoint many women to significant positions of power during his presidency.”

“Conservative Extremes”? Is that what we call it when a President gets elected with 489 electoral votes? Oh, and for the record, Reagan appointed over 1,400 women to positions of power; including Sandra Day O’Connor (first female Supreme Court Justice), and Jeane Kirkpatrick (First female US Rep. appointed to the United Nations)… But I guess neither one of those are “significant positions of power”. (I mean, really, who cares about the first female Supreme Court Justice? Right?)

But, it gets worse. The “textbook” then makes an attempt to define “conservatism”. I guess we should be thankful they didn’t put a picture of Ted Nugent wearing a tin-foil hat holding an AR-15. (Nothing against the Nuge… I’m a huge fan.) The definition was, however, pretty cartoonish:

Conservatives usually oppose change and thrive on tradition. Conservatives tend to take a basically pessimistic view of human nature. People are conceived of as being corrupt, self-centered, lazy and incapable of true charity.

Pessimistic? Well… I’m beginning to get that way, if this text is typical of university “enlightenment”. It’s true: socialism is a morale buster for free-market advocates. So… Yeah. Euro socialist entitlement programs bum me out a little.

As for the rest of the text’s “definition”… Well, let’s address this piecemeal:

Corrupt? Is there really an argument that corruption exists? To argue that corruption is a minimal risk in any institution is bordering on ignorance of incomprehensible proportions. Conservatives don’t believe everyone is corrupt… But then again, it doesn’t take everyone in the IRS to target the political opponents of the President. The simple fact is, there will always be a degree of corruption. Conservative philosophy hinges on minimizing government’s influence over daily life so corruption (to any degree) is incapable of infringing on the rights of average citizens. (After all, it’s a lot harder to misuse government resources when there are less resources to misuse.)

Self-Centered? So… Did the authors of this text book read the footnotes of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and scrape together a cartoonish definition of objectivism for their well-documented indoctrination educational material? I guess I wasn’t ever made aware that all my neighbors were looking out for my family. I kinda thought people went to work and saved so they could provide their own families with comfort and opportunity…

Lazy? Well… Only when sloth is subsidized. It’s kinda tough to argue that anyone would turn down “more money for less work”… Especially when you’re being promised more of other people’s money. But lazy still seems like a strong word. Especially when a robust economy (in the minds of Conservatives) depend upon masses of motivated hard working middle-class folks trying to climb their way to success.

By far, the most insulting few words in this passage had to be the supposedly conservative beliefe that people are “incapable of true charity.” The truth is, Conservatives believe intensely in the charitable nature of average Americans. In fact, it is the fundamental decency of human nature that propels the faith in Laissez Faire economics. Private charity, raised through the goodwill of individuals, has traditionally proven to be far more effective than cumbersome bureaucratic wealth redistribution. In fact, government “charity” is non-existent; it is a confiscation scheme orchestrated to reallocate private property to key political constituencies. True private charity is a gesture of benevolence, among members of a community, without the coercive and invasive nature of government force.

Oh… And by the way, this is why wealth creation is a good thing. You know all those rich people that are demonized by the left? Yeah… They’re the ones who have the monetary capital to contribute to “good causes”.

Which brings us to the final stage of the textbook’s Orwellian trifecta… Heck, they’ve already re-written Reagan’s Presidency, redefined “Conservatism”, what’s one more factual edit? (Karl Marx may deserve co-author credit for the following passage.)

The wealthy find that having a social class of poor people is useful. First, poor people can do the ‘dirty work’ for rich people that the latter don’t want to do… Second, having a poor social class emphasizes that the wealthy are higher in the social-structure . . . and allows them to look down on classes below them.

Yeah… Poor people are useful. Of course, so are rich people (AKA: employers). The insinuation that the rich enjoy being rich so they can “look down” on the other classes may be plagiarized from Marx’s Capital… The Euro-socialist trash pushed through these handful of sentences should be sickening for Americans who have grown up in a nation with unparalleled income mobility. While the leftists and progressives concentrate on class structure, conservatives focus on the ability to move upward on the socioeconomic ladder.

Who likes class structure? Leftists. Only by demonizing the rich, can the Bill de Blasio’s of the world create a political class. And what exactly is the alternative to a world with classes? (Oh, how did the Soviet model turn out? From what I remember, it wasn’t such a big hit.) The rich like the poor because they can employ them… And the poor generally have the rich to thank for employment. You want to start a business? You better hope a rich guy decides to invest, directly or indirectly, in your start-up. You’re going to have a tough time raising capital from the impoverished.

The Ministry of Truth is hard at work on the University of South Carolina campus. Remember when half the country called themselves “Conservative”? Remember when Reagan was elected in a landslide? Remember when textbooks were used as a tool to educate instead of indoctrinate? Remember when Orwell’s 1984 was considered far-fetched science fiction? Maybe the textbook was right… Maybe I really don’t like change.


Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is the Associate Editor for Townhall Finance, and the Executive Producer for Ransom Notes Radio. He is a former talk show host and political activist. Having worked in fields ranging from construction to financial investment, his perspectives and world views are forged with a deep understanding of what it means to be an American.