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Parry writes: "If most polls are correct and voters elect a Republican-controlled Congress on Tuesday, a principal reason is that many Americans have been sold on a false recounting of the nation’s Founding Narrative. They have bought the Right’s made-up storyline about the Constitution’s Framers detesting a strong federal government and favoring states’ rights."

Strom Thurmond during a 1957 filibuster against civil rights legislation. (photo: AP)
Strom Thurmond during a 1957 filibuster against civil rights legislation. (photo: AP)

Will the Right's Fake History Prevail?

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

02 November 14


f most polls are correct and voters elect a Republican-controlled Congress on Tuesday, a principal reason is that many Americans have been sold on a false recounting of the nation’s Founding Narrative. They have bought the Right’s made-up storyline about the Constitution’s Framers detesting a strong federal government and favoring states’ rights.

This notion of the Framers as enemies of an activist national government is untrue but has become a popular meme as promoted through the vast right-wing media and accepted by the timid mainstream press, which is unwilling to fight for an accurate portrayal of what the Federalists who wrote the Constitution intended.

So, without much pushback from those who know better, the Tea Partiers, Libertarians and many Republicans have successfully walled off much of the U.S. population from the actual history, which would reveal the American Right to be arguably the opposite of true patriots in its disdain for the assertive national governance devised in 1787.

Plus, the Right’s fake interpretation of the Constitution cannot be disentangled from the disgraceful history of slavery, segregation and today’s renewed efforts to prevent black and brown Americans from voting.

Indeed, race has always been an intrinsic element in the American Right’s history, which can be roughly divided into four eras: the pre-Confederate period from 1787 to 1860 when slave owners first opposed and then sought to constrain the Constitution, viewing it as a threat to slavery; the actual Confederacy from 1861 to 1865 when the South took up arms against the Constitution in defense of slavery; the post-Confederate era from 1866 to the 1960s when white racists violently thwarted constitutional protections for blacks; and the neo-Confederate era from 1969 to today when these racists jumped to the Republican Party in an attempt to extend white supremacy behind various code words and subterfuges.

It is true that the racist Right has often moved in tandem with the wealthy-elite Right, which has regarded the regulatory powers of the federal government as a threat to the ability of rich industrialists to operate corporations and to control the economy without regard to the larger public good.

But the historical reality is that both the white supremacists and the anti-regulatory corporatists viewed the Constitution as a threat to their interests because of its creation of a powerful central government that was given a mandate to “promote the general Welfare.” The Constitution was far from perfect and its authors did not always have the noblest of motives, but it created a structure that could reflect the popular will and be used for the nation’s good.

The key Framers of the Constitution – the likes of George Washington, James Madison (who then was a protégé of Washington) Alexander Hamilton and Gouverneur Morris (who wrote the famous Preamble) – were what might be called “pragmatic nationalists” determined to do what was necessary to protect the nation’s fragile independence and to advance the country’s economic development.

In 1787, the Framers’ principal concern was that the existing government structure – the Articles of Confederation – was unworkable because it embraced a system of strong states, deemed “sovereign” and “independent,” and a weak central government called simply a “league of friendship” among the states.

The Constitution flipped that relationship, making federal law supreme and seeking to make the states “subordinately useful,” in Madison’s evocative phrase. Though the Constitution did make implicit concessions to slavery in order to persuade southern delegates to sign on, the shift toward federal dominance was immediately perceived as an eventual threat to slavery.

Fearing for Slavery

Key Anti-Federalists, such as Virginia’s Patrick Henry and George Mason, argued that over time the more industrial North would grow dominant and insist on the elimination of slavery. And, it was known that a number of key participants at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, including Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, were strongly opposed to slavery and that Washington was troubled by human bondage though a slaveholder himself.

So, Henry and Mason cited the threat to slavery as their hot-button argument against ratification. In 1788, Henry warned his fellow Virginians that if they approved the Constitution, it would put their massive capital investment in slaves in jeopardy. Imagining the possibility of a federal tax on slaveholding, Henry declared, “They’ll free your niggers!”

It is a testament to how we have whitewashed U.S. history on the evils of slavery that Patrick Henry is far better known for his declaration before the Revolution, “Give me liberty or give me death!” than his equally pithy warning, “They’ll free your niggers!”

Similarly, George Mason, Henry’s collaborator in trying to scare Virginia’s slaveholders into opposing the Constitution, is recalled as an instigator of the Bill of Rights, rather than as a defender of slavery. A key “freedom” that Henry and Mason fretted about was the “freedom” of plantation owners to possess other human beings as property.

As historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg wrote in their 2010 book, Madison and Jefferson, Henry and Mason argued that “slavery, the source of Virginia’s tremendous wealth, lay politically unprotected.” Besides the worry about how the federal government might tax slave-ownership, there was the fear that the President – as commander in chief – might “federalize” the state militias and emancipate the slaves.

Though the Anti-Federalists lost the struggle to block ratification, they soon shifted into a strategy of redefining the federal powers contained in the Constitution, with the goal of minimizing them and thus preventing a strong federal government from emerging as a threat to slavery.

In this early stage of the pre-Confederacy era, the worried slave owners turned to one of their own, Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and a charismatic politician who had been in France during the drafting and ratification of the Constitution and enactment of the Bill of Rights.

Though Jefferson had criticized the new governing document especially over its broad executive powers, he was not an outright opponent and thus was a perfect vehicle for seeking to limit the Constitution’s reach. Even as Washington’s Secretary of State, Jefferson began organizing against the formation of the new government as it was being designed by the Federalists, especially Washington’s energetic Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.

The Federalists, who were the principal Framers, understood the Constitution to grant the central government all necessary powers to “provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” However, Jefferson and his fellow Southern slaveholders were determined to limit those powers by reinterpreting what the Constitution allowed much more narrowly. [See’s “The Right’s Made-Up Constitution.”]

Partisan Warfare

Through the 1790s, Jefferson and his Southern-based faction engaged in fierce partisan warfare against the Federalists, particularly Alexander Hamilton but also John Adams and implicitly George Washington. Jefferson opposed the Federalist program that sought to promote the country’s development through everything from a national bank to a professional military to a system of roads and canals to support for manufacturing.

As Jefferson’s faction gained strength, it also pulled in James Madison who, for reasons of political survival and personal finances, embraced the slave interests of his fellow Virginians. Madison essentially moved from under Washington’s wing to under Jefferson’s. Then, with Madison’s acquiescence, Jefferson developed the extra-constitutional theories of state “nullification” of federal law and even the principle of secession.

Historians Burstein and Isenberg wrote in Madison and Jefferson that these two important Founders must be understood as, first and foremost, politicians representing the interests of Virginia where the two men lived nearby each other on plantations worked by African-American slaves, Jefferson at Monticello and Madison at Montpelier.

“It is hard for most to think of Madison and Jefferson and admit that they were Virginians first, Americans second,” Burstein and Isenberg said. “But this fact seems beyond dispute. Virginians felt they had to act to protect the interests of the Old Dominion, or else, before long, they would become marginalized by a northern-dominated economy.

“Virginians who thought in terms of the profit to be reaped in land were often reluctant to invest in manufacturing enterprises. The real tragedy is that they chose to speculate in slaves rather than in textile factories and iron works. … And so as Virginians tied their fortunes to the land, they failed to extricate themselves from a way of life that was limited in outlook and produced only resistance to economic development.”

Because of political mistakes by the Federalists and Jefferson’s success in portraying himself as an advocate of simple farmers (when he was really the avatar for the plantation owners), Jefferson and his Democratic-Republicans prevailed in the election of 1800, clearing the way for a more constrained interpretation of the Constitution and a 24-year Virginia Dynasty over the White House with Jefferson, Madison and James Monroe, all slaveholders.

By the time the Virginia Dynasty ended, slavery had spread to newer states to the west and was more deeply entrenched than ever before. Indeed, not only was Virginia’s agriculture tied to the institution of slavery but after the Constitution banned the importation of slaves in 1808, Virginia developed a new industry, the breeding of slaves for sale to new states in the west. Jefferson even wanted all the new states from the Louisiana Territories to be slave states. [For details on this history, see’s “The Right’s Dubious Claim to Madison” and “Thomas Jefferson: America’s Founding Sociopath.”]

Toward Civil War

Thus, America’s course to the Civil War was set. Ironically the warnings of Patrick Henry and George Mason proved prescient as the growing industrial strength of the North gave momentum to a movement for abolishing slavery. When Abraham Lincoln, the presidential candidate for the new anti-slavery Republican Party, won the 1860 election, southern slave states seceded from the Union, claiming they were defending the principle of states’ rights but really they were protecting the economic interests of slave owners.

The South’s bloody defeat in the Civil War finally ended slavery and the North sought for several years to “reconstruct” the South as a place that would respect the rights of freed slaves. But the traditional white power structure reasserted itself, employing violence against blacks and the so-called “carpetbaggers” from the North.

As white Southerners organized politically under the banner of the Democratic Party, which had defended slavery since its origins in Jefferson’s plantation-based political faction, the North and the Republicans grew weary of trying to police the South. Soon, southern whites were pushing blacks into a form of crypto-slavery through a combination of Jim Crow laws, white supremacist ideology and Ku Klux Klan terror.

Thus, the century after the Civil War could be designated the post-Confederate era of the American Right. This restoration of the South’s white power structure also coincided with the emergence of the North’s Robber Barons – the likes of Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan – who amassed extraordinary wealth and used it to achieve political clout in favor of laissez-faire economics.

In that sense, the interests of the northern industrialists and the southern aristocracy dovetailed in a common opposition to any federal authority that might reflect the interests of the common man, either the white industrial workers of the North or the black sharecroppers of the South.

However, amid recurring financial calamities on Wall Street that drove many Americans into abject poverty and with the disgraceful treatment of African-Americans in the South, reform movements began to emerge in the early Twentieth Century, reviving the founding ideal that the federal government should “promote the general Welfare.”

With the Great Depression of the 1930s, the grip of the aging Robber Barons and their descendants began to slip. Despite fierce opposition from the political Right, President Franklin Roosevelt enacted a series of reforms that increased regulation of the financial sector, protected the rights of unions and created programs to lift millions of Americans out of poverty.

After World War II, the federal government went even further, helping veterans get educated through the GI Bill, making mortgages affordable for new homes, connecting the nation through a system of modern highways, and investing in scientific research. Through these various reforms, the federal government not only advanced the “general Welfare” but, in effect, invented the Great American Middle Class.

Civil Rights

As the nation’s prosperity surged, attention also turned to addressing the shame of racial segregation. The civil rights movement – led by remarkable leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and eventually embraced by Democratic Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson – rallied popular support and the federal government finally moved against segregation across the South.

Yet, reflecting the old-time pro-slavery concerns of Patrick Henry and George Mason, southern white political leaders fumed at this latest intrusion by the federal government against the principle of “states’ rights,” i.e. the rights of the whites in southern states to treat “their coloreds” as they saw fit.

This white backlash to the federal activism against segregation became the energy driving the modern Republican Party, which abandoned its honorable legacy as the party that ended slavery. Instead, it became home for Americans who feared social change and resented policies that disproportionately helped racial minorities. The smartest right-wingers understood this reality.

On the need to keep blacks under white domination, urbane conservative William F. Buckley declared in 1957 that “the white community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically.”

Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Arizona, who wrote the influential manifesto Conscience of a Conservative, realized in 1961 that for Republicans to gain national power, they would have to pick off southern segregationists. Or as Goldwater put it, the Republican Party had to “go hunting where the ducks are.”

Then, there was Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy” of using coded language to appeal to southern whites and Ronald Reagan’s launching of his 1980 national presidential campaign with a states’ rights speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the notorious site of the murders of three civil rights workers. The two strands of historic conservatism — white supremacy and “small government” ideology — were again wound together.

In New York magazine, Frank Rich summed up this political history while noting how today’s right-wing revisionists have tried to reposition their heroes by saying they opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 simply out of high-minded “small-government principles.” But Rich wrote:

“The primacy of [Strom] Thurmond in the GOP’s racial realignment is the most incriminating truth the right keeps trying to cover up. That’s why the George W. Bush White House shoved the Mississippi senator Trent Lott out of his post as Senate majority leader in 2002 once news spread that Lott had told Thurmond’s 100th-birthday gathering that America ‘wouldn’t have had all these problems’ if the old Dixiecrat had been elected president in 1948.

“Lott, it soon became clear, had also lavished praise on [the Confederacy’s president] Jefferson Davis and associated for decades with other far-right groups in thrall to the old Confederate cause. But the GOP elites didn’t seem to mind until he committed the truly unpardonable sin of reminding America, if only for a moment, of the exact history his party most wanted and needed to suppress. Then he had to be shut down at once.”

Unholy Alliance

This unholy alliance between the racists and the corporatists continues to this day with Republicans understanding that the votes of blacks, Hispanics, Asians and other minorities must be suppressed if the twin goals of the two principal elements of the Right are to control the future. That was the significance of the 2013 ruling by the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority to gut the Voting Rights Act. [See’s “Supreme Court’s War on Democracy.”]

Only if the votes of whites can be proportionately enhanced and the votes of minorities minimized can the Republican Party overcome the country’s demographic changes and retain government power that will both advance the interests of the racists and the free-marketeers.

That’s why Republican-controlled statehouses engaged in aggressive gerrymandering of congressional districts in 2010 and tried to impose “ballot security” measures across the country in 2012 and 2014. The crudity of those efforts, clumsily justified as needed to prevent the virtually non-existent problem of in-person voter fraud, was embarrassing to watch.

As Frank Rich noted, “Everyone knows these laws are in response to the rise of Barack Obama. It is also no coincidence that many of them were conceived and promoted by the American Legal Exchange Council, an activist outfit funded by heavy-hitting right-wing donors like Charles and David Koch.

“In another coincidence that the GOP would like to flush down the memory hole, the Kochs’ father, Fred, a founder of the radical John Birch Society in the fifties, was an advocate for the impeachment of Chief Justice Warren in the aftermath of Brown [v. Board of Education] Fred Koch wrote a screed of his own accusing communists of inspiring the civil-rights movement.”

Blaming the Democratic Party for ending segregation – and coyly invited by opportunistic Republicans like Nixon and Reagan to switch party allegiances – racist whites signed up with the Republican Party in droves. Thus, the Democratic Party, which since the days of Jefferson had been the party of slavery and segregation, lost its southern base, ceding it to the new Republican Party.

A Flip of Allegiance

This flip in the allegiance of America’s white supremacists – from Democrat to Republican – also put them in the same political structure as the anti-regulatory business interests which had dominated the Republican Party from the days of the Robber Barons. These two groups again found themselves sharing a common interest, the desire to constrain the federal government’s commitment to providing for “the general Welfare.”

To the corporate Republicans this meant slashing taxes, eliminating regulations and paring back social programs for the poor or – in Ayn Rand vernacular – the moochers. To the racist Republicans this meant giving the states greater leeway to suppress the votes of minorities and gutting programs that were seen as especially benefiting black and brown Americans, such as food stamps and health-care reform.

Thus, in today’s neo-Confederate era, the American Right is coalescing around two parallel ideological motives: continued racial resentment (against black and brown people getting welfare to the presence of a black family in the White House) and resistance to government regulations (from efforts to control Wall Street excesses to restrictions on global-warming emissions).

Though the white racist element of this coalition might typically be expected to proudly adopt the Stars and Bars of the Old Confederacy as its symbol, the modern Right is too media-savvy to get boxed into that distasteful imagery of slavery.

So, instead the Right has opted for a rebranding as Revolutionary War-era patriots – calling themselves Tea Partiers, donning tri-corner hats and waving yellow banners with a coiled snake declaring “don’t tread on me.” Instead of overtly defending the Confederacy, the Right proclaims its commitment to the Founding Principles found in the Constitution.

But this sly transformation required the Right to rewrite the Founding Narrative, to blot out the initial interpretation of the Constitution by the Federalists who, after all, were the ones who primarily crafted the document, and to pretend that Jefferson’s revisionist view – representing the pre-Confederate position of the southern plantation owners – was the original one. [For more, see’s “The Right’s Made-Up Constitution.”]

Now this doctored history – accepted by millions of Americans as true – has become the driving force for what many pundits predict will be a “wave election” for the Republicans and the Right. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+44 # RMDC 2014-11-02 13:31
thanks. This is very good. the right wing has always fabricated history. That is one of the basic principles of conservative politial philosophy. the godfather of the neo-cons justtified lying about crucial historical or factual matters by tracing the practice to Plato's theory of the "noble lie." In the Republic Plato argued that the ruler had the right to lie to people in order to get them to do the right things.

Basically conseratives have been doing this for 2000 years. Most people probably don't think of lying as one of the pillars of political conservatism, but it really is. The conservatives of Israel have taken lying about history and fabricating history to record levels.
+28 # Old4Poor 2014-11-02 14:40
It goes much further back than 2000 years. The saying is that the victors write history, but sometimes all you need is dedicated followers to repeat your version ad nauseam.

There is yet another movie coming out in which the Egyptians under Ramses II enslave the Jews who then build the pyramids, none of which ever happened let alone at that time frame.

Yet, the Biblical account of "The Exodus" continues to be a part of accepted history.

If we stay silent when falsehoods are passed off as truth we become part of the problem.

WE can swing things the other way. Look at the growing acceptance of Gay Marriage in this country. It can be done, people, just calmly assert the truth no matter what anyone else says.

Start by repeatedly repulsing that canard that Government is not the solution, Government is the problem. A cute sound bite, but oh so wrong.
+14 # MidwesTom 2014-11-02 16:40
This is an interesting argument. This only goes to show that as more and more people vote the major decisions are controlled by the uninformed voters. Regular readers here are constantly arguing to expand the vote, which, if everybody was as involved as the readers of RSN, would be a good idea. However, as the vote expands, informed voters have less and less influence.

Just look at the ads you are witnessing on TV right now; do you think that they are aimed at intelligent informed voters? If your answer is yes, I wish that I lived in your district,
+14 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-11-02 21:27
You have a good post. Question is, who wrongly "informs" the uninformed voters? This is where Fox News enters the picture. Additionally, Mitt Romney's company, Bain Capitol owns Clear Channel, Rush Limbaugh's watering hole. Only in America would so many unintelligent citizens listen to that crap.
+1 # Old4Poor 2014-11-03 09:47
Midwest Tom: And who is to decide which voters are informed, Kemo Sabe?

I have this same reaction whenever I realize that a majority of people who voted in his district actually elected Louis Gohmert.

(To say nothing of the tea party loon who supposedly represents my district in Phoenix.)

Then, I realize that this was the trick by which black voters were prevented from voting for many years.

Does everyone have to take the test before each election, and who writes the questions?
+26 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-11-02 14:43
Can't ignore the first principle of selling. "If you can't sell it, you may as well not have it." Democrats have excellent ideas. But, have not been able to sell them to the public on a large scale. Or as Bill Maher said, "It is a marketing problem." Some ideas this article did not consider. Think citizens are saddened by those who promote never ending wars. Especially by "someone" who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and fumbled.

Natural gas, a much cleaner burning fossil fuel, is expected to significantly replace demand for oil. Yet, fracking, used to access natural gas is ruining water supplies, causing earthquakes. The planet is in the emergency room and what politicians really care?
+37 # bpuharic 2014-11-02 15:01
20 years from now conservatives will be telling us how they tried to warn the world about climate change but liberals wouldn't listen
+6 # Dust 2014-11-02 15:10
0 # politicfix 2014-11-03 11:50
It becomes a little more difficult with technology what it is to erase everything. One can only hope that all their bad deeds will eventually catch up with them and the GOP will end up destroying themselves and their own party.
-23 # MidwesTom 2014-11-02 16:46
If this article's premise was true, the Republicans would be begging to get more and more uninformed impressionable people to vote. It is the Democratic Party that keeps trying to expand the percentage voting. This article calls that tactic into question.
+17 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-11-02 20:09
The Republicans have had a slogan for hundreds of years:"keep 'm poor and stupid and we'll (the corporations) keep all the money." Germany recently made upper education, the university free. I have heard this is also true for Spain. Republicans fear Democracy and an educated intelligence for the middle class and poor. If this were not true, why is Fox News so popular?
+2 # Old4Poor 2014-11-03 09:56
The Democratic Party's work to expand voting is so that everyone who is eligible can vote, without regard for that person's preferences re party. The major concentration at the moment has been with constituencies that tend Democratic, such as Blacks and Hispanics because those are the people most often blocked re voting.

I find it strange that you assume that such voters are ill informed. It would take more than my own 20 fingers and toes to count all the appalling Congress people elected on the GOP ticket, and many uninformed voters is the only explanation, unless you think a joker monkey god is randomly entering candidates on a cosmic computer.
+1 # politicfix 2014-11-03 11:59
It's about assuming a particular race will vote one way or another and it's a crap shoot with all their redistricting, changing hours, voter ID. It's the middleclass in general that they are still working to eliminate, disenfranchise, and disable or what's left of it. They got Dennis Kucinich out of office with redistricting and he was a huge advocate of eliminating the Federal Reserve. They work the numbers more than whose informed and who isn't. They're lying, hypnotic ads, and scare tactics are suppose to take care of the rest. If you have more money than God you can do whatever you want. It's unbelievable that anyone would buy what the GOP is selling. They're just voting for the party and don't pay attention to what they stand for. Misinformed is the word of the day.
+2 # Interested Observer 2014-11-02 17:06
Just for clarity, by "godfather of the neo-cons" do you mean Leo Strauss?
+25 # davidr 2014-11-02 13:32
Great summary (might have incorporated fundamentalist religion while he was at it). But the thesis is altogether too polite. It isn't that right-wingers are misinformed about Patrick Henry. It's that they agree with him.
+16 # perkinsej 2014-11-02 14:17
Truth is that the Founders did have an aversion for a strong central government becuse of the existance of slavery in half the original 13 states. That attitude was steadily undermined by, first, the outcome of the Civil War, and, secondly, by the depths of the Great Depresssion. Most of the governmental efforts to stimulate the economy from 1789 to 1860 came at the state level. Indeed most of the expansion of government over the last quarter century has come at the state and local level, but the author is right in saying that Republicans do not want voters to know that truth.
+30 # ericlipps 2014-11-02 14:31
Truth is that one has to make a distinction between the Founders, who included many who were terrified that someday, somehow, the federal government might free the slaves, and the Framers, whose dominant concern was preserving the Union, not keeping a white foot on a black neck forever. Toward their end, they made a number of concessions to the slaveholders to keep them from walking out of the Constitutional Convention in a snit, but again, the primary concern was crafting a charter of government which would hold the country together better than the Articles of Confederation were doing. Strong central government predated the Civil War by generations; indeed, for decades Southerners counted upon he federal government to back them up, by force of arms if needed, in retrieving fugitive slaves who had escaped to free states.
+11 # Hey There 2014-11-02 15:44
Well said! And accurate.
-14 # MidwesTom 2014-11-02 16:32
Washington DC could be described as a small back water town when both Truman and Eisenhower were President. The US was not trying to rule the world under them. Kennedy attacked the financial control of the country by the Fed, and many believe paid the ultimate price for so doing. Under Johnson the Federal government stared it rapid growth, which has only accelerated no matter who was in the White House ever since. No matter the founding fathers wanted, the government was far less involved in everyday life in earlier times.
+3 # Old4Poor 2014-11-03 09:58
And where is FDR in all this theory of your?
+13 # jdd 2014-11-02 17:53
You couldn't be more wrong. The US Constitution is unique in that it placed responsibility for the welfare of its citizens squarely on the back of the Federal Government. While it did share some responsibilitie s with the states, all the major functions of government, including nation banking, were reserved for the national government.
+11 # Tigre1 2014-11-02 14:27
Of course the majority will buy it. It's DONE. The righty-tights have been running a subversion campaign since Freddie Koch came home with millions from Stalin and a hypnotically-im planted directive from one of Stalin's best ops, at Stalin
's create, as he had in Ukraine, a network of anti-lefty US Government-degr adation campaign by all the standard means...setting up clubs for righties, and keeping the membership rolls! plus take over enough of the media to brainwash the dumbies...set up idea manufacturing 'think tanks'...and buying enough officials, including the Supreme Court...ask Common CAuse about that one!

DONE. Cliven and fellow a-holes think they are exercising their Constitutional
rights to bear arms AGAINST the government, when Article 1 Section 8 clearlys tates that citizens can bear arms to assist in 'putting down' such rebellions.

Inshort, every mouthy halfwit who espouses uprising against the government has just LOST his rights to bear arms...

lies? so what. The government needs some good COINTEL guys, not the bought up and paid off DOJ we have now...

it's all OVER, friends. It was a good run while we had it, as Bennie Franklin remarked...for as long as we could keep it.

Now it's all Koched up. Probably rimes with Botched...
+22 # Regina 2014-11-02 14:41
Unfortunately this accurate detailing of American history isn't taught in our schools. If it were, Fox News would be devoid of listeners and down the drain of communications.
+22 # Old4Poor 2014-11-02 14:53
We need to be as vigilant about our children's school texts as the right is. The first time I saw my grandson's High School American History book I immediately checked its coverage of the Union Movement in this country. While not great, it was adequate and gave me the opportunity to fill in.

Also, beware of the subtle propaganda in popular culture such as music and video games, etc.

I once refused to buy my older son a tee shirt for a local metal band he liked as the image endorsed violence against women. When I pointed it out, he was shocked and said that he had not even looked at more than the band's name.

My son is now in his 40s, very anti war, pro liberal causes, against racial and gender discrimination. This while being educated in Arizona schools.

If we set a good example and explain WHY on issues, our children learn and pass it on.
+13 # Junius 2014-11-02 14:54
Jefferson's proposal of 1784 would have barred slavery from all the western territories. It lost by one vote.
-41 # 2014-11-02 15:16
Regardless - both John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan proved that smaller federal government is better. The fed. budget is like a bloated sheep that has eaten so much it lies on its side but keeps looking to eat more. Eventually, it dies away.

Graduated income tax?
A Central and Private bank from which the
U.S. gov't borrows in order to operate?

Then....borrowing money and giving to nations or the UN, both of which hate us?

+25 # Hey There 2014-11-02 15:58
In what way has smaller federal government been proved as being better for the country as a whole?
+3 # Tigre1 2014-11-03 09:45
Better than what? a poke in the eye? so what do you want, a government the same size as the one that was inadequate for three million people, only a million "Citizens?"

Yeah, that's probably what you, Moafu, DO million voting full citizens in this country, and the rest of us restrained by electronic chips and top-down electric dog collars for bad thoughts and behavior...grrrrr.

Don't get very close to me. I'm a LOYAL American...
+3 # Floridatexan 2014-11-03 19:26
I don't know what kind of game you're trying to play here, equating JFK and Reagan, but there's virtually no similarity between the two. The GOP is still running on "Reaganomics" principles, which have been shown to destroy in several states...Kansas being the most obvious example. And George W Bush's tax breaks constitute the largest part of our national debt, with the illegal wars not far behind. Republicans have spent the last 5 years trying to sabotage the economy, in the hope that they might get rid of President Obama, who has been steadfast against incredible opposition. The "tighty-rightie s" want back their power, and that power will not be used to advance the dreams of the majority.
+1 # rockieball 2014-11-04 11:20
Now you just proved this article correct, you believe in the Rights fake history. Reagan was a joke. He increased the national debt to a record, he increased the size of government. He lowered the taxes for the rich but increased them for the middle and lower class. That great tax reform removed deduction one could take on the short form such as credit card interest, car loan interest, union dues, work clothing, mortgage interest without having to hire a person and pay them $100 to do one's taxes. Back then CC interest was a whopping 9% and climbing so what BS came out of Reagan's mouth "DEREGULATE" "Deregulation will create more competition between banks and lower interest rates on CC, car loans and such while raising them in passbook savings." So what do we have CC interest at usury rates 24% and up. Cars that cost more than some homes. Banks merging and getting bigger. then fucking the populace with bad loans and predator lending and having the tax payer bail them out while they don't get punished. As for passbook savings, they went from 4.25% (4.25 cents on the dollar)to 0.01% less than one tenth of 1 cent. You sir bought the bill of goods of the Reagan Administration and our children will be paying for it till they die.
0 # rockieball 2014-11-04 11:36
As for Kennedy unemployment was 4.9 when he was killed. Reagan left with it at 5.4 and rising. Bush 1 lest at 7.3, Clinton at 4.2 and going lower. Bush 2 at 6.1. Currently under Obama 5.9.
under Kennedy the purchasing power and wages increased. Under Reagan they dropped.
+9 # Anonymot 2014-11-02 15:49
I don't disagree except about the level of your subject's importance in this election.

I have always considered myself very independent, yet Democrat inclined. I found no one to vote for in most elections, but when Bush appeared I found someone to vote against and I did twice then Obama appeared, intelligent, degreed, and black. Yes, yes. But I, like millions of others, was voting against. I voted against everthing Bush and that grotesque gang of corrupt pols did. I voted for what Obama promised.

But many of the independent voters have watched 5 1/2 years of absolute, almost ridiculous foreign failures and domestic compromises. None of the promises were fulfilled even during the 2 years of Democratic control.

THIS TOWN, Lofgren & your very own writings depict a morally, economically, & politically corrupt system that would have well served Germany in the early Thirties - and did.

We voted for an idea of a President, a minority President, the American Dream of anyone can make it come true.

We forgot that a President, his team & his Congressmen become real after the elections. He installed a neocon cabinet: inexperienced, seemingly chosen to fill minority and genitalia quotas not brains, experience & competence.

I've had hundreds of requests for Money, NOT ONE about ideas. I've gone broke under Obama. He said in August 2011 he had a billion $$ for the 2012 campaign and started the money race.

The pols are rich, but I lost my house. That's why we'll lose.
+5 # anarchteacher 2014-11-02 15:53
I love Robert Parry, he is one of the most dedicated and informative investigative journalists writing in America. His work on Iran-Contra, the October Surprises of 1968 and 1980, and the new Cold War over Ukraine are legendary. But on this specific topic he has ventured beyond the long-standing documentary evidence of reputable historians and has embarked on an unfortunate quixotic quest superbly illustrated by this brief YouTube video below:
+9 # fredboy 2014-11-02 17:38
Dear Right Wing Assholes (with a capital H):
I am a Constitutional scholar.
A fact for you:
Our founding fathers CREATED a strong national government.
Because they knew they needed to unite the fledgling states.
Read your history, don't make it up or rely on the BS artists.
+7 # fredboy 2014-11-02 17:39
The H stands for Hairbrains.
That's a term we use to describe idiots.
+1 # jdd 2014-11-02 17:43
Mr. Parry correctly identifies Jefferson as the leader of the weak government faction.Fortuna tely, Washington sided with Hamilton on every key issue regarding Federal Power. When Jefferson did get his turn, he and then Madison so weakened the governmnt and armed forces that we were nearly conquered in 1812. Similarly, Andrew Jackson not only destroyed the Bank of the United States, causing the depression of 1837, but laid the foundation for secession later on. Ironically, these two "tea-partyers" are still hailed as icons of the Democratic Party to this day.
+6 # Radscal 2014-11-02 17:53
Thanks, Mr. Parry.

Among the compromises the Framers made with the Slave States to gain their ratification is apportioning equal numbers of Senators to each State.

This results in a WY resident's vote now being worth the votes of 67 CA residents. I find this a hugely undemocratic situation. States should have Senators apportioned by population as are the House of Representatives .

Frighteningly, instead, there is a "conservative" movement to abolish the 17th Amendment, which would take away the power to vote for Senators at all!
+6 # geraldom 2014-11-02 18:07
The Republicans claim that the founders of our Constitution did not want a strong federal government and favoring states rights, implying that the Republicans also do not want a strong federal government and favor states rights, but, as usual they’re lying to the American people. If truth be told, the Republicans do want a strong federal government over that of states rights when it come to several important key issues:

o Foreign policy, the ability to make endless wars of aggression for U.S. world domination.

o National security policy, the ability to illegally spy on American citizens and to detain American citizens indefinitely without any due process, even to kill (assassinate) American citizens without any due process, even in the United States, at the behest of the POTUS based on the latest version of the NDAA that was recently passed, among so many other heinous things that cannot be mentioned here due to limited space.

o Financial policy, the ability to protect Wall Street from its own trespasses as was done in 2008 with TARP and with no one going to prison for causing the financial crash.

+8 # geraldom 2014-11-02 18:07

o Selective control of the electoral system. I use the word “selective” in that the Republicans do want to maintain federal control of the electoral process under certain conditions when it is to their advantage. For example, as long as what is taking place at the state level favors the Republican candidates, they want states rights to take effect, but as long as what is taking place at the state level is endangering Republican candidates, they want Congress and/or the federal court system (under Republican control of course) to intercede as was done in 2000 and just recently by SCOTUS to enforce these illegal Democratic suppression laws recently passed by Republican-cont rolled states.

In conclusion, the Republicans favor states rights over a strong federal government in matters not involving foreign policy, national security policy, financial policy involving large national banks and investment firms, namely Wall Street, and the electoral process when things are going their way at the state level. In other words, what is required for a dictatorship. You can forget religious freedom in that Christianity will, in effect, be pushed upon all American citizens of different faiths. Separation of church and state will be, as the rest of our Bill of Rights is, dead in the water. Many things guaranteed by our Bill of Rights that the Republicans do not like will become things of the past.

And let's not forget about abortion rights, or perhaps we should.
+2 # Old4Poor 2014-11-03 10:02
Well argued, Geraldom. Thank you.
-6 # BKnowswhitt 2014-11-02 19:30
This is all repeat of what has already happened. Will it continue to play on the very same themes? A is only if it continues to work. How does it work. First of all only those willing to take the risks and passionate to get involved run for office. So what evolves then is that only those on the extremes care to get involved and attain positions of power. Most people assume including myself that the government was and always will be for the 'Common Good' .... and will swear that's what it's all about. Reality is though that the play for power involves money and private and ideological gain. When we don't agree we call it corrupt .. so the truth is yeah Repukes win by a small margin .. good news is they don't have the presidency .. and nothing new will get passed even with the Dems in so called power as we have witnessed that already .. so the jury's out .. turnout will be low .. as the Left is happy .. though the Left to in my View has is and continues to perpetuate an unproven lie .. Climate Change .. which will go down as one of the biggest lies ever told .. caused by mankind ... just as big a lie as the Repukes as aforementioned in this article is acknowledged .. this one not yet ... but it will be disproven ..
+5 # geraldom 2014-11-02 23:02
If the Republicans retain control of the U.S. House, or gain an even greater majority, which is very possible, and if they also gain control of the U.S. Senate, they could possibly attempt to impeach Barack Obama since they also control the federal court system. It's possible. The Republicans are crazy enough to do anything.
+2 # Old4Poor 2014-11-03 10:12
Surely for an impeachment trial to be successful in the Senate it requires more than a simple majority vote. While the GOP may well take the Senate it will not be by much. And, as 2016 will be a Democratic Senate race, considering which states are in play, it would be a short lived victory and they would not dare take too much advantage, barring them all suddenly being infected with Ted Cruz mental Ebola and becoming bat s*#t crazy.

The drama of a 50-50 vote with Biden deciding whether or not to make himself President has a bizarre feel to it.
+1 # Old4Poor 2014-11-04 14:31
And, as I thought, to be found guilty in an Impeachment Trial in the US Senate requires a 2/3rds vote.

If CRUZ and his few friends want to try this to embarrasss the President (Won't work any more than it did with Clinton) and puff out their chests, good luck.

It would be a monomuental waste of time and Government money and make most of us really angry with them, Americans have an intrinsic sense of fair play, and even those who dislike some of Obama's poicies would not like this.
0 # Radscal 2014-11-05 12:36
Yes. Impeachment is one of the three legislative actions for which the Constitution requires more than a simple majority (Constitutional Amendments and Treaties being the other two).

Filibuster is NOT Constitutional, it is a Senate rule that must be instituted at the start of each new Senate. I do think filibuster is a useful rule to prevent, or at least delay impulsive votes, but I also think the majority party should require the minority parties to actually filibuster. That is the Dems have rolled over and not called for a vote when the Reps threaten to filibuster.

If the Dems had made the Republicans actually stand there and talk for days each time they disliked a bill, then the Dems could show that the Reps were obstructionist. Then the public would know who was causing the gridlock.

Instead, the Dems were complicit in the gridlock.
+6 # intheEPZ 2014-11-02 20:11
The Repugs LOVE big gov't and hate state's rights. Big gov't is what enriches Halliburton and Exxon-Mobil (that's why they expanded it's size under Bush-Cheney) . State's rights are what would end GMO's and the nuclear power priesthood. CAFTA and NAFTA, which they are all for, pre-empt not only state's env. and labor laws, but the fed'l gov's as well. Any pretense of supporting state's rights is cynical hypocrisy.
+3 # Old4Poor 2014-11-03 10:14
Plus, they need the US Government and our military to fight to protect all their oil "Rights" world wide.
-6 # BKnowswhitt 2014-11-02 20:25
Only one negative oh it's early yet. One thing i differentiate between contrived 'Climate Change' which is what it is after the planet cooled after a two year warm up of one degree .. so they decided to call it Climate Change which has been and always will be going on in the planet when it is healthy. However, I don't disregard air pollution which is has and continues to make us all sick .. that is the sole reason to eliminate toxic emmissions (other than CO2 which has basically no effect what so ever) .. and those emmissions making people sick is the real core reason to cut emmissions from fossil fuels and that alone . though a very important and truthful argument vs. the histrionic lies put forth by the 'Warmanista Climate Change' Histrionics ....
0 # davidgeri 2014-11-02 20:31
The analysis of the author is excellent, and along with the comments of several readers, the conclusion is evident that we need more honest history instruction in this country to overcome the false narratives that are thrust upon our unsuspecting population. I take the position that not only should this happen in high school, it should take place the first time children are really introduced to American history, which is usually in the intermediate years of elementary school. To that end, I have written a book that strives to bring a more honest accounting of US history to children, and as a former elementary school teacher, it is my goal to get that book out to schools for widespread use so that we can change the way our children and later our grown citizens think regarding our past, and based on that, to be more aware of what we need to do in order to make our country more just here at home as well as more diplomatic and less invasive abroad, especially removing the belief in American exceptionalism that makes US actions so arrogant.

My book is a historical fiction book involving a small after-school enrichment class of intermediate students in the present who travel back in time on their teacher's magic couch to be guided by a child,
0 # davidgeri 2014-11-02 20:32
The analysis of the author is excellent, and along with the comments of several readers, the conclusion is evident that we need more honest history instruction in this country to overcome the false narratives that are thrust upon our unsuspecting population. I take the position that not only should this happen in high school, it should take place the first time children are really introduced to American history, which is usually in the intermediate years of elementary school. To that end, I have written a book that strives to bring a more honest accounting of US history to children, and as a former elementary school teacher, it is my goal to get that book out to schools for widespread use so that we can change the way our children and later our grown citizens think regarding our past, and based on that, to be more aware of what we need to do in order to make our country more just here at home as well as more diplomatic and less invasive abroad, especially removing the belief in American exceptionalism that makes US actions so arrogant.

My book is a historical fiction book involving a small after-school enrichment class of intermediate students in the present who travel back in time on their teacher's magic couch to be guided by a child,
+2 # davidgeri 2014-11-02 20:32
the child being about their own age and generally from the class of victims of the particular elite policy of the moment, through the particular events of various important epochs in US history through the Civil War and Reconstruction; I intend to write more volumes of more recent times. The book can be characterized as Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States meets The Magic School Bus. Kids much prefer reading fiction over a textbook, so I have written my book as historical fiction to make it as interesting and engaging as possible while still getting out the important lessons we progressives want children to learn about American history. Especially for elementary teachers who aren't very familiar with history and who would otherwise defer to a textbook that merely perpetuates our mythical history, my book can be the source teachers need for their own education as well as the spark to make their students interested in the important study of our nation's history as a tool for making our country and world a better place.

My book is called American Tales: Stories of America's Past for the Young People of Today, and you can get more information about it at Or you are welcome to email me at, and I could send you a pdf copy of the book if you would like.

Thanks to Mr. Parry for writing the article and sparking the conversation, and thanks to all the commenters for caring about our country and our world.
-1 # lewagner 2014-11-02 23:37
I don't fall for any Republican fake history. But I'm not going to run out and vote for Democrats anymore, either. Reasons? War in 7 countries, the bank bailout, no investigation of 9/11, no prosecution for torture, rampant police brutality, world's highest prison population, Obamacare instead of single payer ... etc.
+3 # Old4Poor 2014-11-02 23:57
While I agree with all the objections you raise to what has not happened under the DEMS, what matters most to the future is the composition of the Supreme Court, and that means electing as many Dems as possible until we can figure out how to create an effective & viable third party.
+1 # geohorse 2014-11-03 08:07
Something all critics seem to forget is that on the night of Obama's initial inauguration the Republicans had a big meeting plotting their course from then on. To make Obama fail, to make the country fail, was all that was really important because that half breed didn't belong in the white house, period. It was "NO" to everything from then on despite reason, facts, evidence, etc. etc. Obama's failure was in his not doing an FDR and taking his agenda to the people, telling the truth about his opposition in big headlines really taking them on. Instead he thought he could be reasonable and polite to these thugs and they'd go along on a winning course. I wonder if any of us could have done better with so much opposition along with the military-congre ssional-corpora te-industrial complex's hold on power. To top all that off Cheney's packing the bureaucracy's positions with his people that couldn't be fired prior to his leaving office certainly is also a factor in blocking progress.
-1 # Walter J Smith 2014-11-03 09:38
No, Robert, the right's fake history will not prevail.

Nor will the left's.

History has always and will forever be a collection of tales, all sorts of tales, even tales about tales.

The most notable of these tales, as Joseph Campbell's tales remind us, following Jung's, following Goethe's & Blake's, following long lines of tale-tellers into the irretrievable past - all the geat tellers of tales agree: the best tales are, as are the worst of them, the ones we tell ourselves and then forget they are merely tales. We believe they are truths. That is the evolutionary moment in creation we have fallen from God's & Natute's grace.

Today's tale-telling twins jockying for power are merely power jocks, arguing over who has the cutest jock straps.

They are both pathetically ugly. Hideous as sin. The most terrible of wholly, irredeemably sinful ugliness.
+3 # mmcmanus 2014-11-03 13:22
These myths are perpetuated on an America whose citizens are growing more ignorant, indeed more stupid, about our history and important national issues becausethey are less educated or responsible about their duties as citizens. Millions of Americans can tell you all about facebook and what's on their i-pad, but nothing about what the founding fathers thought and said, or even who they were. Republican blatherers like Palin, Bachmann, Romney and Perry repeatedly lie or make up things about our history, freedom and democracy because they are too ignorant or stupid to know the truth.

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