10 Historical 'Facts' Only a Right-Winger Could Believe
Continued from previous page
Thus at the Conservative Book Club you can buy The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinismand Intelligent Design, which assures us that "Darwinism -- like Marxism and Freudianism before it -- is simply unfit to survive," and you can buy from the Conservative DVD Club films like How the Cambrian Fossil Record Disproves Darwin, and so on.
Some intellectual cons who can't quite go full knuckle-dragger try to finesse their way out of it. Dinesh D'Souza noted that, while "evolution does seem to turn many Christians into unbelievers," the discovery of evolutionary principles didn't sour Darwin himself on God -- Darwin's own bitterness over the death of his child did that; and when the evil Thomas Huxley later tied evolution to atheism, the embittered atheist Darwin supported him by becoming "increasingly insistent that evolution was an entirely naturalistic system, having no room for miracles or divine intervention at any point." If Darwin had been in his right mind, of course, he'd be singing Glory Hallelujah.
First Things author Peter Lawler made a noble effort, writing that as Darwinism shows that "our happiness comes from doing our duty to the species as social mammals. .. this account of who we are is basically conservative. It promotes family values—including such insights as people who come from large families are generally happier…."
Nice try, Poindexter! But, as with so much in conservative thinking, Jonah Goldberg iced the cake with his statement that while "I disagree with those who would lump Darwin with Freud and Marx… I don't think one can glibly say that just because the book was scientifically correct (speaking broadly, we've discovered lots of new things since then) and pioneering, doesn't mean it can't also be harmful. Darwinism certainly led to many horrors and abuses across the ideological spectrum…."
This thing goes way back and, despite the efforts of some pointy-heads, conservatives aren't backing off it anytime soon.
1. FDR: History's greatest monster.
If you have aged grandparents still living who remember the New Deal, or are among America's prominent historians, you will hear nothing but good from them about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president who shepherded America through the Great Depression and the Second World War.
Conservatives have never felt that way, of course -- back in the day they went to the Trans-Lux to hiss Roosevelt, and FDR welcomed their hatred. For some years they were obliged to keep their anger at FDR on the down-low -- after all, wasn't Reagan a Roosevelt fan? Plus there were many more people then than now who actually remembered that presidency, and it didn't play well to contradict their memories.
Lately, though, conservatives have gotten back to the Trans-Lux, and this time they're not just hissing. "FDR's public works only exacerbated the Depression," says The American Conservative. "The New Deal was harmful medicine for a struggling economy," claims The American Spectator. "Faced with a similar crisis, there cannot be more than one in a hundred who would now recommend FDR's specific curatives" -- at least, not among the hundred the Spectator would ask.
A book by right-wing factotum Amity Shlaes called The Forgotten Man, all about how FDR prolonged the Depression, has gained a place of honor on conservative bookshelves. As you may imagine, the Wall Street Journal reviewer loved it -- "Ms. Shlaes rightly reminds us," he wrote, "of the harmful effect of Rooseveltian activism and class-warfare rhetoric." The reviewer did mention that "one question that Ms. Shlaes never quite answers is just what Roosevelt should have done to beat the Depression beyond practicing a Coolidge-like passivity." But no true conservative would need to ask such a question: Of course FDR should have done as Tea Partiers counsel be done for our current depression: Cut the deficit and screw the poor.