I had this so-called, self described history buff “Friend” who posted the above meme on Facebook over a month ago.
The meme says that the 13th amendment abolished slavery with 100% republican support and only 23% democratic support. Then it gives the stats on 15th and 14th amendments as well as republican vs democrat support of “Obamacare.”
It also reads that if you don’t know this information, please keep quiet.
I was reminded of this meme when President Donald J. Trump quoted the then “Republican” president named Abraham Lincoln last night in his address, as if Trump has a right to quote him since he was a republican and somehow they share the same values. I rolled my eyes.
Let’s call this guy who posted the above meme Bob. You’ll remember that I wrote above that Bob claims to love history. He’s taught history. He loves history books. He’s well read in history. Well, supposedly well read.
And for what it’s worth, Bob’s influence on my past and his passion for history spilled out on me a bit and certainly encouraged me to have a similar view of honoring history by studying it.
Bob is also a self-described conservative Christian. I once held very similar views.
What Bob doesn’t seem to realize is that this same meme has been circulating in some form, even before Obamacare arrived on the scene. I remember stumbling on a conservative forum some 10 years ago with this conversation attempting to establish Republicans as not racist. I jumped on and said, “Are you guys serious? Do you not know the history of value reversals?” I linked history lessons for them. It wasn’t met with open arms, but I was astonished by the ignorance. But knowing that the education levels of most people suffers, I kind of wrote it off until I saw this meme.
Conservatives have tried to paint an anachronistic view of history by claiming that it was they who abolished slavery, gave all Americans an equal right to vote and that they freed the slaves.
This is as historically untrue as it is preposterous.
I attended an Evangelical Christian school from kindergarten through 12th grade. One of the simplest, most basic of all American history lessons, which I can recall to this day, which is verifiably true and just the dumbest of all historical basics is that the republican party was established as a progressive, liberal movement under Abraham Lincoln and the democrats were the entrenched, conservative side of the political spectrum. It doesn’t take much of a brain to remember that the Democrats, or Dixiecrats, were behind the KKK, lovers of slavery (and fighters for), and were the racist, bible-thumpers of their era. Over time, the two parties’ values reversed. Republicans became the conservative party and the Democrats became liberal. It’s such common knowledge that it could be considered remedial.
This is hardly a historical mystery. No lover of history would ever make this mistake … or so I thought. When I saw this on Bob’s wall, I commented on it. “Come on, man!” Surely, this person wouldn’t be involved in purposefully misleading others, re-writing history to fit their values so to make a point.
I was offended most, though, by the idea that a person whom I looked up to, would purposefully disrespect the honor of history.
In other words, this meme is crafted to use deceptive language. Yes, the meme is accurate if you consider the historical truths behind it (that at one time republicans were liberals and democrats conservative), then yes, it’s accurate. If it was written in another way, it should be re-written to read: the majority of liberals supported the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and the whole of conservatives opposed them. Liberals supported the Affordable Healthcare Act and conservatives opposed it.
The disaster of the ACA is that conservatives are so brainless to ignore how many people it’s actually benefited, not to mention myself, my wife and my life. And that as it’s been pummeled by republican assholery, it’s grown worse and is threatened to be repealed. So not only does my friend Bob disrespect history by purposefully lying about its veracity, he is using deception to oppose something that ameliorates my life and the life of my loved ones.
I think it all comes down to casting a critical eye on current events. It’s okay to oppose things and want to improve the world in how you see it. But this deliberate, misinformation-led attempt to shit on people you claim are friends or even family, that’s despicable. It’s dishonesty that’s widening the chasm between family and friends.
This is not a question of “fake news.” This is not a question of politics. It’s not where you get your news. I got this information from a History book. It’s not from a source with an agenda other than educating young minds with basic understandings of what happened in our country’s past.
I hold people to a high level of public discourse. And reducing discourse to a deceptive meme, to wave around hypocrisy as a flag of dishonesty, that brings public discourse to a level of ignorance beneath an eighth grade education. For more information on this topic, pick up an American History textbook written for 13 year olds using language that a 7 year old could understand. Heck, maybe even language that President Trump could understand.
To add insult to injury, though, is that Bob thinks one should “keep quiet” if they’re so dumb that they didn’t know this. Keep quiet? Shut your hole? Go fuck yourself if you think Republicans are the bad guys? Okay. Fine. See ya, Bob. Obviously sitting and shutting the fuck up is a perfect response to perpetuating ignorant history lessons.
It’s become clear to me that despite any awkward attempts by Bob to show love toward me, he clearly hates the values that we both share in terms of honesty, integrity, and bolstering each other for the betterment of wellbeing. It shows that this fella in fact working hard to shove my head in a pile of shit while saying, “How do you like this awesome shit?”
If that’s friendship, I’ll pass.
I’ll post another comic below that circulates among conservatives in an attempt to buttress their views that they are in fact the non-racists and its the damn liberals who hate it. The fact is that conservatives keep echoing the stereotype that they’re ignorant and uneducated. Liberals can easily lean back in their chairs, hands clasped behind their collective heads and let them embarrass themselves.