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“Fake History” is More Dangerous Than “Fake News”

Donald Trump and others have complained a great deal about the pervasiveness of “fake news.” What is less commonly spoken about is that for decades professors have also taught a good deal of “fake history.” Fake history promotes false narratives, twists the facts, or omits certain key facts altogether. And it is this fake history that has established the foundation for fake news.

There are three respects in which the spread of fake history has been particularly dangerous and served as the foundation for attempts to spread fake news. First, some historians and political thinkers present extreme leftists as heroes worthy of emulation. Second, these same people too often twist history in order to present victims as oppressors and oppressors as victims. Third, these individuals often conveniently omit key statements by the nation’s founders and other historical figures.

Lionizing Extremists

First, pushers of fake history present extreme leftists as heroes worthy of emulation. Why do so many liberals in academe, politics, and leading non-profit organizations have so much tolerance for socialism and communism? These systems have been responsible for more civilian deaths than any other political system that has ever existed. Many American academics are quick to condemn the horrendous actions of Adolf Hitler, but they are much more reticent in discussing comparable behaviors by Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong.

Most of those who lived through the height of the Cold War would cringe at the thought of leftists lionizing Mao Zedong as a political philosopher and hero. Yet, Anita Dunn, the communications director of the Obama administration, stated during a high school graduation ceremony at Washington National Cathedral that Mao Zedong was one of her favorite political philosophers and one of the two people that she turns to the most.

Read more at The Public Discourse. 

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