Beck now in favor of progressive control of U.S. history?

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

One of the central conspiracies embedded in Glenn Beck's worldview is the idea that since Woodrow Wilson, progressives have seized control of our understanding of American history and altered it for their own purposes. According to Beck, progressives believe that it is essential to "destroy" the country's understanding of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution in order to implement their nefarious plans. This conspiracy has led to a system in which, according to Beck, public school students are "indoctrinated with history lessons that don't resemble the real truth about America and... the Constitution."

It is in response to this progressive plot that Beck has deployed his "Founders Fridays," weekly sessions intended to provide "revisionist history" and push back on the purported lies that progressives have been telling Americans about the Founders. For paying customers, Beck has provided more revisionist history with his "Beck University" online series. Beck has also repeatedly urged his audience to pull their children out of public schools.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Beck has spent the last two days attacking a Center for American Progress report that recommends the termination of Department of Education programs CAP believes are wasteful and inefficient. Specifically, Beck has taken issue with their call for the elimination of programs that instruct teachers about the teaching of American history and civics, as well as an earmark grant that instructs students on the Constitution.

So if you're following, Beck is against the progressive-run, federally-funded conspiracy that is using the public education system to "indoctrinate" American children about their history and the Constitution. He's also against the elimination of federal funds that are being used to educate - as Beck has previously put it, "indoctrinate" -- American children about their history and the Constitution.

Something doesn't seem quite right here. Given that Beck believes the administration is filled to the brim with progressive Marxists that are trying to collapse the system, etc., wouldn't those funds represent the mechanism the administration would use to keep brainwashing American children with progressive history? And if progressives have been using the schools to indoctrinate children for generations, wouldn't it be through the use of just this sort of program?

It gets weirder. Beck goes on to say -- in the same segment in which he criticized progressives for calling for the elimination of federal funds for American history and the Constitution -- that "you cannot turn your children's education over to the government, especially the federal government. It must be kept close to you." Apparently the best way to do that is by maintaining federal funds for the teaching of American history and the Constitution. Who knew?

As CAP's blog Think Progress points out, Beck's comments make even less sense given that he has said that we should "abolish the Department of Education." Why? Because "money corrupts."

OK, two points. First, again, if "money corrupts," why is Beck attacking CAP for calling for cuts to federal funding? Second, all of the funds for teaching American history and the Constitution that Beck is complaining about would also be eliminated if the federal government closed up the Department of Education and got out of the funding education business, as Beck supposedly wants.

It's almost as if Beck's attacks are based merely on a desire to smear progressives, not on some sort of principle.

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