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Anti-American Outrage: The Zinnification of America

Friday, June 16, 2017 0:28
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This may sound like it, but it’s not a journal of winetasting. It’s about the undue, horrific influence of a man named Howard Zinn. He became a famous, or accurately infamous, historian. Zinn, more than any other man, turned our history books on their heads, and in a way, changed the contemporary course of history. “Who controls the past, controls the future.” He excelled at this task.

He was somewhat wispy and vulnerable looking in spite of being tall. He could not debate well and he spoke slowly, as if he was in a mildly drugged high. He had a following of female students that was obvious, with lots of student rumors swirling around about his character. He was liked by the majority of his students, who like myself, wanted to take his classes. He was edgy and cool.

He was one of the fathers of the new left back in the late sixties and seventies. He inspired the SDS, coupling with them, making up many of the stories of why America was such a horrible place. The stories became his famous book A People’s History of the United States. In hindsight, it was obvious he made them up (being kind, let’s just say he slanted things), because he was a Marxist. During those years he spoke of the importance of “revolutionary thinking” in his classrooms. It’s hard to believe his influence grew so much.

Oddly enough, he claimed to be a pacifist, often railing about the atrocities done by Americans, yet oddly would never respond to students who stood up and challenged him about the far greater atrocities of the Viet Cong, North Vietnam, or China. He wouldn’t even acknowledge that these atrocities happened.

In that way, he was the perfect communist sympathizer, the perfect true believer. Intellectual, soft spoken, and in the multiple classes I took, he never criticized communism. I often wonder what he later thought when the North Vietnamese savaged the South, or even worse what the Khmer Rouge did in the killing fields. I have to believe he remained silent, metaphorically taking the Fifth, much like he did when asked about the Viet Cong. He was, if nothing else, a master at evading uncomfortable truths about the things he so passionately endorsed.

In that sense, he was never a historian; rather he saw it the way a Soviet historian would have, through the lens of his polemics. He was not interested in the truth, but rather in those things that would advance his own socialist agenda. “History” was a means to be used in doing so. I know this because of the classes I took with him. I witnessed what he was like, what he taught, how he acted, and during my post student (and very apolitical) twenties, began to understand just how flawed he was.

The recognition of his triumph happened some decades later when we had some of our daughters’ college classmates to dinner. One kept waxing eloquent about all the hidden histories (bad stuff) he had been reading about the United States. As he ticked off his list, they sounded very familiar. I laughed and suggested he was taking classes with my old crazy professor. He said, “No, it’s from a history book written by Howard Zinn.” I then told him the name of my professor. He became flushed, as if the dog ate his homework. After explaining who I thought Howard Zinn was up close and personal, we thankfully shifted to another conversation.

I had finally understood just how powerful the polemics of Howard Zinn were. He wrote the number one history book sold in America, and he is feted on the left and by our educators as the one who exposed the dark side of America.

Much of what is seen in today’s left started with Howard Zinn. He stoked the anger, he leveled the charges of institutionalized, never-ending, and unforgivable racism. He pushed the narrative of “white superiority”, now morphed into “white privilege”. He pressed the foolish notion that socialism was the superior political system. He made up the narrative of purposeful, indiscriminate, racist genocide of native Americans. He made up the narrative of America being founded unjustly, by greed, so flawed that it had to be remade in his image of a Marxist paradise. He virtually invented the anti-American outrage so prevalent today, persuading our celebrities, our media, and an entire generation that America is, and has always been, awful.

This from a man who excused Castro’s Cuba, exalted Mao’s China, praised North Vietnam, and to my knowledge has never uttered a negative word concerning the hundred million plus people slaughtered by socialist regimes in the twentieth century.

There is no doubt that we as Americans have had our share of wrongdoing. People are flawed — read the Book of Genesis. There is no doubt the Indians got the short end of the stick, or that slavery was a horrid institution. We need not hide our flaws, but unlike Howard Zinn, neither should we hide so many of the examples of excellence, honor, courage, justice, and the triumph of so many good things we have in our culture. We need not be ashamed of the many great things we have brought to the world. We also need not be ashamed because we are fortunate to live in one of the finest nations to grace the earth. We are far better in so many ways than any nation has been, yet Howard Zinn missed it entirely.

If you took Howard Zinn’s works as gospel, you would think we were horrible. Oliver Cromwell was once asked if his portrait painter should leave his warts in, and he famously replied “Warts and all!” Zinn paints a picture of America as nothing but warts.

His success in bringing the left its dark vision of America is astonishing. How in the world did we get from this man’s contrived polemical history published in 1980 to a place where so many have not only believed him uncritically, but have assimilated his myopic vision?

Look at what he has succeeded in getting the left to profess:

  • The left has adopted his uncritical belief in socialism. They will not look at socialism’s clear and present historical mountain range of flaws.
  • The United States has no trait worthy of praise. We have such a poisonous system, that it must be destroyed. At any price.
  • They will continue to believe that they, the left, can do no wrong.
  • They can overlook a hundred million people being slaughtered as a trifle not to be mentioned.
  • They can allow narratives to be made up in order to further their cause. Truth need not apply.

Look at the past few months and you’ll see his influence. Hillary Clinton only lost the election because of “Russia, Russia, Russia”. And James Comey. A narrative so contrived, Howard Zinn’s ghost must have helped. After all, it couldn’t have been anything she did, didn’t do, her weak campaign, or unlikability. Socialists can’t do anything wrong.

Trump’s greatest sin was suggesting America was ever great, or could be great again. What a horribly wrong thing to say. Ergo, he must be racist, hate women, and must not stand for anything else worthwhile. He’s not even human.

Trump must be brought down at all costs. He must be destroyed by the revolutionary “resistance”.

Nothing the leftwing democrat/media complex has done against Trump is wrong. Making up sources, narratives, literally lying, all that is okay. Because it furthers the agenda. Just ask James Comey, or Reality Winner, the other leakers, CNN, MSNBC or Chuckie Schumer. Burn down the house. Ignore the malfeasance.

It’s for the cause. Howard would be proud.

By David Prentice in AmericanThinker

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