The Mendacious David Barton

Amanda Marcotte at Salon: First fake news, now fake history: Glenn Beck wants to train young people to promote an alternative history

About Glenn Beck and his partner, David Barton -!

If there are two characteristics that really define Trumpism, they are a total disregard for the importance of facts and a nostalgia for a mythical, vaguely defined time of American “greatness.” That makes the Trump era ripe for Glenn Beck’s ongoing project of creating and promoting his revisionist view of American history — one that valorizes straight white men as humanity’s natural leaders and grants Christian fundamentalism a centrality to American history that it does not, in reality, have.

Beck has been ramping up a program he runs with the pseudo-historian David Barton to peddle Barton’s fake history version of American history.

For example,

In 2012 Barton’s tendency to talk utter nonsense finally caught up with him after the publication of his book, “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson,” a work that should have just been called “The Jefferson Lies,” because lies, mostly to minimize Jefferson’s history of slaveholding, are what it was full of. A handful of conservative outlets finally turned on him and his publisher eventually recalled the book.

A more recent example:

Chris Rodda at Huffington Post, History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Thomas Jefferson’s Words to Support Muslim Ban, and Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist, Christian Pseudo-historian David Barton Made Up a Thomas Jefferson Quote to Justify the GOP Agenda

Hemant Mehta produces the long Thomas Jefferson quote from which Barton shamelessly cherry-picks to justify the current Republican administration’s attitude about vetting immigrants. TL;DR version: Jefferson was speaking in the context of a Yellow fever crisis.

Barton’s mendaciousness is obvious, but there will always be customers for his fantasy-version of American history that makes it all about fundamentalist Christians. All humans are inclined toward narratives about the meaning of life that place their interests at the center; some of us are just more self-aware of this bias than others, and try to overcome it.

And if you still give David Barton the benefit of the doubt, how about this? David Barton: The Same Evil Behind Nazism Is At Work Today In The Push For LGBTQ Equality.

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