20 Historical Facts That Republicans Distort Or Just Get Plain Wrong

Author: June 8, 2013 8:00 pm

Historical facts are important.

We all know at least one person that doesn’t know much about history. And we all know that there have been people who have tried to distort history. The Republican Party, however, does both. Over these last two years, Republicans have a made a real effort to distort history as much as possible, to the point where they are now seeking to rewrite school textbooks. The Republican Party has bent over backwards to present their own twisted version of history and it’s starting to look like that one requirement to be a Republican is to be ignorant of historical facts and events. Below is a list of the many historical facts that Republicans have either distorted or have just gotten plain wrong along with corrections of their errors.

1. Did Paul Revere Ride To Warn The British?) Sarah Palin made the dubious claim that Paul Revere actually warned the British instead of the American colonists. Her supporters even made attempts to edit the Paul Revere Wikipedia entry to make her claims sound correct. If she had taken the time to read Longfellow’s poem, Paul Revere’s Ride, she would not have made this error, as the great majority of school children know that Revere made his midnight ride to warn Americans, not the enemy.

2. Was The Shot Heard ‘Round The World Fired In New Hampshire?) Did you know that Lexington and Concord are located in New Hampshire? I didn’t. And the people in New Hampshire and Massachusetts didn’t either. When Michele Bachmann exclaimed to a New Hampshire crowd that “the shot heard ’round the world” occurred in their state, I’m sure that Massachusetts let out a roar of laughter. The sad but hilarious thing is that most American children know that the first shot of the American Revolution occurred in the state of Massachusetts.

3. Was John Quincy Adams A Founding Father?) Michele Bachmann must have failed American History in school. Because she has absolutely no knowledge of early American history. She once claimed that John Quincy Adams is a Founding Father of America when in fact, JQA was just a child when the Revolution began. He was born in 1767 and was just 14 when the war ended. And like Palin’s supporters, Bachmann fans proceeded to edit the Wikipedia page of John Quincy Adams in an attempt to make her claim viable.

4. Did The Founding Fathers End Slavery?) Michelle Bachmann isn’t through yet. During a speaking event she once claimed that the Founding Fathers were the ones who ended slavery. That’s a surprise to me since George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe all owned slaves. In fact, 12 of the first 16 American Presidents owned slaves. But Bachmann’s attempt to paint the Founding Fathers as saints is also a denial of past Republican Party history since early Republicans rose to prominence by fighting against slavery and the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, ended slavery altogether.

5. Was America Founded As A Christian State?) Ever heard of David Barton? He’s the guy that Glenn Beck goes to when he wants to distort history. David Barton claims that the Founding Fathers intended the United States to be a Christian state. Many Republicans have since picked up on this claim and have been shamelessly using it to court the Christian right-wing, and as a reason to end the separation of church and state that has been part of this country since its founding. His claim can be trounced with one question. If the Founding Fathers wanted America to be a Christian state why did they not say so in the Constitution? Instead, the Founders placed this in the document.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
~First Amendment, Bill of Rights of the Constitution

In other words, there is to be absolutely NO state religion.

6. Did Benjamin Franklin Reject Evolution?) We continue with the lack of knowledge of the Founding Fathers among the right-wing. Many Republicans have been making the claim that Benjamin Franklin rejected evolution. There are two problems with this claim. First, the theory of evolution wasn’t around until Charles Darwin published the theory in 1859, nearly 70 years AFTER Franklin died in 1790. And secondly, Franklin was a man of science above all else. It is unlikely that he would have rejected a scientific theory in favor of creationism. Franklin in fact, rejected the dogma and divinity of Christianity.

7. Was The American Revolution Fought To End Slavery?) Yet another claim that David Barton makes in an attempt to present the founding generation as perfect, is that the American Revolution was waged to end slavery. Once again, Barton makes a claim that is completely false. The American Revolution was fought to win American independence from Great Britain. And as I recall, the slaves were certainly not freed before, during, or after the war. They remained as slaves and would be slaves until the Civil War.

8. Was The Civil War Fought Over State’s Rights?) Republicans claim that it was all about state’s rights and not about slavery. The truth is, state’s rights only played a small role. The South feared that President Lincoln would end slavery, so they took preemptive measures by seceding from the Union and attacked Fort Sumter without any provocation. Slavery was, without a doubt, the main cause of the war between the states. Without slavery, white plantation owners would have to pick their own cotton, or, pay people to do it for them. They also believed Africans to be inferior and would not tolerate their freedom. We should all keep that in mind as the South/Republican home base continues to make claims that they aren’t racist.

9. Do States Have The Right To Secede?) After President Obama took office, many Republican legislators and governors, particularly in the South, began threatening secession. They say secession is a right but is it really? The answer is absolutely not. Not only did the Civil War settle this dispute, James Madison and Andrew Jackson (both Southerners) also rejected this claim. Nowhere in the Constitution will you find the right to secede. The Constitution was created by the people “in order to form a more perfect union” and by seceding, a state breaks up the nation, thus breaking a legally binding contract. And Andrew Jackson once threatened to march an army to South Carolina after that state threatened to secede. In fact, Jackson felt that secession was treason. The Supreme Court has also weighed in on this issue. In Texas v White, the court held that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were “absolutely null”.

10. Was D-Day All About Health Care?) Republicans have been very vocal about the Affordable Care Act and Rick Santorum is no exception. He has made the claim that Americans stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day because they opposed Obamacare. He said, “Almost 60,000 average Americans had the courage to go out and charge those beaches on Normandy, to drop out of airplanes who knows where, and take on the battle for freedom … Those Americans risked everything so they could make [their own] decision on their health care plan.”

This is absurd. The men that stormed the Omaha and Utah beaches were fighting to liberate Europe from Nazi rule. They weren’t thinking about health care 67 years into the future. They were thinking of their families and whether they’d ever see them again. Santorum also fails to realize that military personnel and their dependents have government-run health care. And the soldiers aren’t complaining about it either. And as a matter of fact, many World War II veterans and their families also have Medicare which is also run by the federal government. That blows Santorum’s claim out of the water.

11. Did Ronald Reagan Only Lower Taxes?) Worshiping Ronald Reagan means you also have to believe that Reagan never raised taxes during his Presidency, but this constant right-wing claim is false. While he did cut taxes in 1981 and again in 1988, Reagan actually raised taxes every year from 1981 to 1987 including The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 which, at the time, had been the largest peacetime tax increase in U.S. history, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, a higher gasoline levy, a higher payroll tax, and a 1986 tax reform deal that included the largest corporate tax increase in American history.

12. Was Joseph McCarthy A Hero?) Another idol of the Republican Party is Joseph McCarthy. Republicans are now rewriting school books to present McCarthy as a hero who did no wrong. In reality, where the rest of us live, Joseph McCarthy was nothing more than a witch hunter who accused innocent Americans of being communists. He had no real evidence that people were communists and he should have recognized that people have the right to be part of any political party they choose. He violated the Constitution and ignored the values of freedom that we hold dear.
Just like Republicans today.

13. Was Martin Luther King Jr. A Republican?) Republicans claim that Martin Luther King was a Republican. So they can explain this part of a speech by King, right? In one speech, he stated that “something is wrong with capitalism” and claimed, “There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.” So, by claiming King as one of their own, I’m assuming Republicans are also adopting his philosophy.

14. Who Signed The Smoot-Hawley Act?) Many Republicans still have anti–New Deal views. Michele Bachmann blamed FDR for turning a recession into a depression by passing the “Hoot-Smalley Tariff”. Except that FDR didn’t pass it. Hoover did, three years before FDR took the oath of office. Oh, and it’s Smoot-Hawley, NOT “Hoot-Smalley”.

15. Did 9/11 Happen On George Bush’s Watch?) How many times have we heard a Republican or right-wing talking head on Fox say that no terrorist attacks happened when George W. Bush was President? In July, Fox News host Eric Bolling said “we were certainly safe between 2000 and 2008 — I don’t remember any terrorist attacks on American soil during that period of time.” Other Republicans such as Rudy Guiliani and Dana Perino also “misremember” that period of time. I seem to recall sitting in a 20th Century History course at my high school on September 11, 2001 when terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City. And as I also recall, George W. Bush was President at the time.

16. What Did The Founding Fathers Think About Corporations?) Corporations are people according to Republicans. They even believe the Founding Fathers loved corporations. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that the Founding generations distrusted corporations with a passion. That’s why corporations were regulated rather harshly compared to the pampering Republicans give them today. Corporations were limited to an existence of 20-30 years and could only deal in one commodity, could not hold stock in other companies, and their property holdings were limited to what they needed to accomplish their business goals. And perhaps the most important facet of all this is that most states in the early days of the nation had laws on the books that made any political contribution by corporations a criminal offense. If the Founding Fathers were still alive and reinstated these regulations, Republicans would be accusing George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the rest of the founders of being evil, un-American socialists.

17. What Is The Constitutionality Of Federally Mandated Health Care?) Is federally mandated health care unconstitutional? According to Republicans it is. But that’s not what the Founding Fathers thought. Congress passed and John Adams signed, a mandatory health care insurance law back in 1791. The mandate required sailors to pay a tax and in the event they needed care, they could get medical care from the government. If it was unconstitutional as Republicans claim, why didn’t Thomas Jefferson or James Madison repeal it? The fact is, they didn’t, and I’d say James Madison knew more about the Constitution than any Republican does, considering he’s the primary author of that sacred document.

18. Is Social Security A ‘Ponzi Scheme’?) When Rick Perry called Social Security a “ponzi scheme” in the first GOP Debate, he not only made a political mistake of epic proportions, he was also dead wrong. Social Security was created to keep senior citizens out of poverty and it has done a wonderful job of doing just that. When people put money into a ponzi scheme, they don’t get it back. Social Security, however, gives the money back plus more to every person who puts money into the system. It’s far from being a ponzi scheme. The real ponzi scheme is the private health insurance business which takes money from you and then drops you when you need medical care.

19. Did The Founding Fathers Support A Strong Federal Government Or A Weak One?) This is an easy one. Republicans are dead wrong when they claim that the Founding Fathers wanted a weak federal government. And that is simple to prove. Before we had the Constitution, America was a loose alliance of states under the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government was weak. So weak in fact that it didn’t have the power to levy taxes, could not regulate commerce, and relied on the states to provide money for defense. The states had all the power and the federal government had virtually none. This was a chaotic system that threatened to tear apart the new nation. So the Founders wrote the Constitution which created a strong central government capable of levying taxes, regulating commerce, printing money, and forming a military. Most importantly, under the Constitution, the federal government was given the power to provide for the general welfare and the states were given far less power. Republicans will often cite the Tenth Amendment as proof of state supremacy but they’re wrong about that too. After the Constitution was ratified, some wanted to add an amendment limiting the federal government to powers “expressly” delegated, which would have denied implied powers. However, the word “expressly” ultimately did not appear in the Tenth Amendment as ratified, and therefore the Tenth Amendment did not reject the powers implied by the Necessary and Proper Clause. In other words, the federal government has the power to make laws about things that are not found in the Constitution such as health care.

20. Were The Founding Fathers A Group Of Right Wingers?) Republicans have been crisscrossing the country trying to convince Americans that the Founding Fathers were conservatives. But were they really? The answer to this question is absolutely not. If the Founding Fathers were conservatives they would never have revolted against England. One can hardly call breaking away from the most powerful nation on Earth at the time a conservative act. Plus, the Founding Fathers supported a strong federal government, believed in civil rights, supported separation of church and state, despised corporations, and believed the government had the power to provide health care and levy taxes. This is why the Supreme Court throughout American history has rarely ruled laws unconstitutional using the Tenth Amendment.

Republicans and Americans in general need to get a firm grasp of history. The Republicans understand that the lack of education is the key to controlling the electorate. All they need to do is distort and re-write history in their favor to win the votes of the ignorant. We must learn our past history so that we do not go down the backwards road that Republicans are leading us down.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
~George Santayana


facebook comments:


  • PassingThought

    #4–Actually only partially true. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in SOUTHERN states while leaving some Northern states and the territories to act on their own.

    #13–MLK, Jr. actually was a registered Republican-AT FIRST. When he first registered to vote, he registered in the same party as his father. However, both of them resigned their membership and moved to the Democrat side as the Republicans became more and more the party of racists and greed.

  • Dan,..

    Here’s some ‘History in the Making’,..




    Doesn’t mean ‘diddly’,..

    TRUTH is what’s important.


  • Dan,..

    Here’s some ‘History in the Making’,..



    Doesn’t mean ‘diddly’,..

    TRUTH is what’s important.


  • Anne in Colorado

    David Barton had a predicessor: Peter Marshall and his “The Light and the Glory”. That book and the works of Francis Schaffer were the foundation texts of evangelical colleges in the 80’s — when Bachmann, Palin, Christine O’Donnell and I were attending them. I’m continually saddened that these women didn’t see through the sham. But I do realize that most women at these colleges got married while in school instead of taking my detour to Guatemala where I got to see the effects of the US polity of inciting religious conflict there.

  • Megsproudrepublican

    So, let me get this straight. Republicans are an entire group of ignorant, racist, no good, liars?
    Well please allow me to insert the following opinions :
    1) Lincoln was a republican-therefore , the “opinions” that you have let the main stream media feed you are incorrect.
    2) Every human has the right to make a mistake. It will happen every day, in multiple ways.
    3) The United States of America, has never to my knowledge, nor that of my fellow Americans, had 60 states. Yet our president seems to thinks so. Did you mention that mistake? “I have been to…uuu…57 states. Uuu… I have 1 more to go. I am not able to go to Hawaii or Alaska…” so what are these other 10 states if democrats are so intelligent.
    4) The civil war was actually fought over many things. Land, power,money,slavery. But again, if you do some actual research, and not base everything on the opinions of the main stream media feed websites, you may get more facts. The south, and slave owners were actually the democratic party.
    5) in the great country we live in, we have the right to believe what we choose. I choose to believe in Jesus Christ. I choose to believe in Christianity.
    6) along with choices, I choose to believe that if it is okay to murder a child, though still in the womb, then it should be okay for me to murder anyone. What is the difference when a life is taken? Why is your life more important than that of an innocent un-birthed child?
    7) President George W. Bush was not perfect. Neither was Clinton, nor is Obama.
    8) the parties will argue day in and day out, about who is right and who is wrong. The basis of most arguments will be feed by the main stream media, and will be played up by the main steam media. With that comes even more ignorance. If everyone would take the time to do research, and not simply say they have, then maybe HONEST opinions could be formed.
    9) I do not agree with gay marriages. I do think that if you choose to be gay, then that is your choice. I do not wish to witness it, nor do I agree with it. I do not look down on someone because of the choice they have made. However, I also do believe it is a choice. No one is born that way in my opinion.
    10) the ignorance that is shown across America, is utter humiliation.
    11) Making something such as healthcare, is socialism. It also takes the jobs of MILLIONS of Americans away, and does nothing to better the economy.
    12) if the government(democrats) continue to hand put money like candy on Halloween, then people will continue to receive it. They will continue to sit at home, and reap the benefits of my hard work. Is that fair? No! Just ad the bail outs were unfair. Millions of Americans were finically struggling, and no one gave them the help to keep their homes, jobs, etc.
    13) the handouts that are given so freely do NOTHING to stimulate the economy.
    14) maybe instead of all of these democrats sitting here, trying to mis-inform people about the republican party, they should either a) get more facts or b) do the same with the democratic party.

  • I hope I am not the first one to point this out but there is at least one glaring wrong claim that the author makes in this article. In fact, evolution as an idea did exist when Ben Franklin was alive and Darwin did not come up with the idea of evolution. Darwin’s contribution to science was that he suggested an excellent mechanism for how evolution could work— natural selection. Also Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus wrote about the idea of evolution. (He died in 1802, btw, so he was alive well within the time period of Franklin’s life). I cannot claim to know Ben’s opinion on evolution, but at least the facts backing up this statement are wrong.

  • I just look at this and go “where the hell did these assertions come
    from?”. There are a few gaffs from a few people, but nowhere do I see
    Republicans as a whole believing this stuff as said. Let’s address this
    point by point.

    1) He did warn the British: See “The Start of the American Revolutionary
    War: Paul Revere Rides at Midnight”, by Allison Stark Draper
    2) Who else did this? Does the Democratic Party as a whole really
    believe Biden’s infamous flubbed assertions? No. This one is
    3) Who else did this? Does the Democratic Party as a whole really
    believe there are 57 states? No. This too is meaningless.
    4) They tried to end slavery, but ultimately it wouldn’t get past the
    Southern colonies. The first sentence of Article I, Section 9 was all
    about eventually bringing about an end to slavery. In the stated year,
    Congress banned the import of slaves.
    5) Most of the founders were in fact Christian. They were trying to
    keep problems like Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, the Inquisition, and so on
    from happening again. To say the founding wasn’t done on Christan
    principles is ludicrous.
    6) Who’s saying Franklin said anything about evolution?
    7) Back to Point 4, they tried to end slavery, but failed.
    8) The South wanted slavery and used the doctrine of state rights to
    justify that. What’s so hard about that?
    9) Who’s seriously interested in this except people who are still
    fighting the Civil War?
    10) This missed the point entirely. The soldiers at Normandy were
    fighting a tyrannical regime. Santorum equated Obamacare with creeping
    11) Who said Reagan never raised taxes? I don’t hear any constant talk
    about this. He did in fact lower a lot of taxes and that’s what he is
    commended for.
    12) McCarthy’s biggest problem was tact. He wasn’t wrong. Look at what
    comes from Hollywood types nowadays.
    13) Maybe this explains some of the non-racist opposition to Dr King.
    14) Okay, so the Republican Party has some foot-in-mouthers. How is
    this different from the foot-in-mouthers that populate the Democrat
    Party? Both are embarassing and shooed away.
    15) I think they’re talking about no sucessful attacks AFTER we got
    caught with our pants down on September 11, 2001.
    16) Who’s saying this? A brief reading of the language in the
    Constitution about patents and copyrights should make it clear they
    wanted such power limited. Memories of the East India Company and such
    were still fresh in their minds.
    17) So, why don’t the Democrats talk about that tax? To be fair, it
    applied to very few people. I don’t think it’s in effect anymore.
    18) A critical difference is that when the government runs a ponzi
    scheme, it has (theoretically) unlimited funds to keep it going.
    Ultimately the theory is bogus but that was kept in check because at
    first people tended to die before becoming eligible to take money out.
    19) The key here is the abuse of the Necessary and Proper clause. Read
    the Federalist Papers and the Declaration of Independence and you’ll get
    pretty good details on the proper bounds of government
    20) You’re trying to apply 21st century terms to 18th century thought.
    Conservatives now are trying to get things back to what liberals (the
    Founders) wanted. “Conservative” and “liberal” are relative terms.
    Again, reading the Federalist Papers and Declaration, I see nothing
    there that would suggest they would approve of much of what Democrats
    espouse today.

    • Dave

      number 14 pretty much describes you.

      Your mouth is a size 14 and a half.

      This, by itself wouldn’t be so offensive, but your brain is only a size 7.

      You need to go back and read some history books WITHOUT running them through the ‘filter’ of your opinions.

      Like MOST trolls, you’re incapable of rational, analytical thought,..

      you still believe Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    • Let’s take a look at this list:
      Everyone makes mistakes and we can usually move on. However, Ms Palin and Ms Bachman made their mistakes, would not admit them and actually had staff trying to change the history in Wikipedia rather than admit mistakes. That is distinctive to those two. However, Mr Limbaugh and Mr Beck are also famous for twisting facts to fit their opinions. One of the funnier ones was when a republican senator (?) was confronted with getting numbers wrong (he claimed that 90+% of Planned Parenthood services were abortions when the real figure was 3%). When his mistake was caught his staff responded that what he said “was not intended as a factual statement”.

      #5: No one has said that the country was not founded on Christian principles. What has been said, correctly, is that the founding fathers did not intend the country to be a Christian state.
      The First Amendment is evidence of that.

      #7: you again miss the point. Those republicans who have tried to say that the American revolution was fought to end slavery are wrong. It was because they wanted to break from from English control. Slavery was never part of this decision.

      #10: I think you are the one who has missed the point. “Obamacare” a/k/a Affordable Health Care law was passed to help control the costs of health care insurance and to help provide health car to millions of people who are currently without any health care.
      Currently, when un-insured people need care they often end up going to an ER, because doctors will not see them if they cannot pay. A private hospital can turn them away if they they are not dying or at risk of losing life or limb. But, a public hospital cannot turn them away. Not even if they just have a bad cough. This is the most expensive way to get health care. It is very expensive and it clogs up ERs. It also means that people who might have been easily treated by a family doctor a few weeks before may now be more seriously ill and more likely to need time away from work. They are more likely to spread the disease at work so that others also lose productive time.

      This is no more tyranny than telling people they need to pay tax or have auto insurance.

      #11: yes, Reagan lowered taxes in 2 years of his administration. The other 6 years he Raised taxes. To hear the republican candidates talk Reagan only lowered taxes. I cannot remember any acknowledgement that he ever raised taxes.

      #12: No Joe McCarthy was not right. He waved a piece of paper that had nothing on it. He ruined many lives because he accused people of being unAmerican or communist. Few of his accusations had any basis in fact. He was disgraced not because of a lack of tact. It was because he was on a witch hunt and made baseless accusations that did a great deal of harm to many people.

      #18: you do not understand the Ponzi scheme. Also, if people were dying before became eligible we would never have needed it and there would be more money in it. There is nothing about Social Security that cannot be solved with a spread sheet, adjusting age eligibilities, tax rates … and a few hours of time.

      Finally, the idea of trying to call the founders liberal or conservative is silly.
      They were certainly the liberals of the day. Conservatives want to keep things the way they were- which would have been as an English colony. Liberals or progressives would want to improve the country and the conditions of all peoples here. The bigger point here – that I think you have completely missed – is that the Constitution was written over 200 years ago. We have no idea what the founders would have thought about euthanasia, the internet, mind altering drugs or any of the many advances and mistakes that have been made. AND who cares what they might think? This is our world and our country now. We should use the Constitution to guide us, but not to make assertions that “the Founding Fathers would never approve of Obamacare”. That is such complete nonsense my 13 year old son thinks it is something from Comedy Central.

      We are all entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. Saying something loud and often does not make it so. This country depends on an educated electorate, not an electorate that dismisses education and science, that thinks history is whatever you want it to be. Now when republicans stand up and get history so wrong they cannot be taken seriously they are no longer an opposition party. They are the Comedy Central party. They are the class clowns.

      We all lose when this happens.

  • Cheryl Purnell

    Actually, many African’s were repatriated to Africa and created the country of Liberia (Liberty). They were neither forced to go, nor mandated to go. Since they had been forced to be slaves in America, the government felt, and rightly so, that the American people should support the repatriation of any African who wished to return to Africa. While Jason greatly distorts or misunderstands the facts, he should probably do some research before attempting to comment. He should also rely on the little education he has received and NOT his spell checker (lie, not lye) and he should definitely invest in a grammar book. But, at the same time, he is definitely a shining example of how the Republicans and Corporate America ensure that citizens remain ignorant–by constantly cutting funds for education.

  • I, a liberal, would not have held it against people for making mistakes if they had actually taken the time to admit that they did in fact make a mistake. I mean, maybe liberals would have left it alone had the conservatives admitted to making their mistakes instead of trying to rewrite history in order to make it seem like they’re perfect. Really, liberals do their best to deny the beliefs in natural superiority/inferiority as well as beliefs in perfection. Conservatives, on the other hand, try to enforce these beliefs. A good example is how the right wingers are constantly trying to get converts to Christianity, a religion that believes in a supreme, all powerful, and perfect deity who makes absolutely no mistake and whose word is law.

  • 9. Do States Have The Right To Secede?

    In addition to the info above: According to Robert E. Lee the Civil War settled the question forever and the answer was and still is NO!

  • Truth be told, Republicans have always held a tremendous political advantage, given that even at our best, we have always had one of the most ignorant electorates on the planet, since historically Republicans have never let themselves be inconvenienced, let alone troubled, by such pesky little concepts as “facts.”

  • I won’t dispute your facts, but you do know, I hope, that in the 19th C they had an awful lot of history revisionists? Nothing written the 19th C is safe to use for research. Paul Revere’s Ride heads the list, it was a political piece about the current politics! About the only facts it doesn’t get wrong are that Revere rode to warn the Americans, and that the ship Somerset was there (yeah, puts it ahead of Palin, but it’s still not documentation!)! The Shot Heard Round the World is a 19th C phrase, which has been inciting arguments ever since it was coined. Emerson wrote it, in Concord, referring to Concord, and Lexington historians have been disputing that it should refer to Concord, ever since, as the very first shots of the day were in Lexington.

  • Epic list and future reference points for the next time I encounter someone (cough cough, Tea Partier $^$#) trying to distort, or alter altogether, history as most of us rationale, educated individuals understand it.

    Many thanks for this!

  • First, judging a whole political party based on the actions and words of a few is simply inaccurate. Second, let’s not pretend that people don’t have slip-ups and make mistakes. Are you trying to tell me you’ve never misspoken? I’m also glad that YOU know exactly what the Founding Fathers’ intentions were because you were clearly there. You’re making just as many assumptions as you accuse Republicans of making. Context is also an issue. If you are going to quote someone, take a second to think about how they intended it to sound. I hardly think anyone REALLY believes that D-Day was about healthcare. It’s truly the bashing of one another’s beliefs that gets us no where in this country. If everyone would just compromise a little, we’d be in much better shape. Just a thought…

  • Regarding #15, Bush didn’t keep us safe after 9/11 either. There was a terrorist attack on July 4, 2002 (less than a year after 9/11), when an Egyptian terrorist shot six people, killing two, at the Los Angeles International Airport. Google it.

  • It’s nice to see so many lies in one place. I often find myself in a debate with a right-winger and though I have read many history books I never can seem to remember what I need at that exact moment. Bookmarking the page so that if it happens online at least I have 20 at my fingertips.

    It’s just annoying when someone tells you something you KNOW is wrong but you just can’t seem to remember why..

  • In regards to Fort Sumter, it is not quite as clear cut as it would seem. The fort was in the process of being reinforced when it was attacked. The South Carolinians had mistaken this for an act of aggression and attacked the fort. However, documented orders from the military show the reinforcements were being sent there expressly to defend the fort if it was attacked, not to launch an attack themselves. (McPherson: Battle Cry of Freedom) You’re still mostly correct, though.

    • Wrong! Lincoln considered sending troops to Fort Sumter, but was afraid it would be seen as an act of aggression. He therefore chose to just resupply the fort because supplies were getting short. South Carolina saw this as an act of aggression anyway and fired on it.

  • The Platzner Post

    The GOP/Tea Party’s motto is…”If you can’t dazzle them with your intelligence, baffle them with your bullshit!” Unknown.

  • I recently did a bit of reading on “States’ Rights” in relation to the Civil War, and I came upon two interesting points.
    1) When Southern states used the term “State’s Rights”, it could also specifically refer to the state’s right to have slavery.
    2) While the North had many reasons to fight, the primary reason was to maintain/regain The Union. On the other hand, almost all of the Southern states clearly stated that they were fighting to keep slavery.

    • @noahhw, I am not a right winger or left winger. I hate both parties and they are the problem with America with all their lyes and this fighting they pretend to do to keep this country divided. The arguements you make are so dead wrong. If the North were so worried about slavery why did they ship thousands of slaves back to west Africa? Why did they set up a US controled state in West Africa to ship slaves back to. The North had no reason to fight. If you research history, the Northern soldiers were starting to lose interest in the war and side with the South over states rights. It was only when Lincoln made the war about slavery did they and the French change their minds. The North wanted to tax the hell out of the Southern farmers for selling cotton to international companies. The South wanted to sell their cotton to who every they wanted without being taxed to death. The north was making way to much money off the south to ever stop slavery. Lincoln never intended on ending slavery. This idea that he was the great white hope to African Americans is a lie. Lincoln came up with the emancipation proclamation to keep the French out of the War on the South’s side and to give the Norhtern soldiers something to fight for.
      And No I am not white!

      • “If the North were so worried about slavery why did they ship thousands of slaves back to west Africa? Why did they set up a US controled state in West Africa to ship slaves back to.”

        Please provide reliable sources for these claims.

      • The Confederate Constitution(s) specifically stated that the reason they attacked Ft. Sumter, and wanted to secede, was because they didn’t believe Lincoln when he said he didn’t plan to end slavery in the states that already had it (even if he’d wanted to). At the time Lincoln first disclaimed planning to end slavery in the southern states, and until some time into the Civil War, he was telling the truth. However, he also said that it would probably be ended at some point, but not during his administration, but that he wanted to do what he could to help eventually bring it about (though he phrased that delicately so as to not damage his political chances too much). He thought slavery might be ended gradually, and eventually disappear within as many as a hundred years from the date of his administration. But when the South attacked Ft. Sumter, and issued the Confederate Constitution announcing their intention of removing many states from the Union, the South supplied the Union with a very good reason to fight.

        Your apparent depiction of Lincoln as not being very concerned about slavery is incorrect. Any study of his life shows he was long of the opinion that, while he felt black people were inferior in some ways, he didn’t think they should be slaves because of it–he always felt they had equal rights, and equal hearts. And his racist attitudes gradually toned down.

        The US’s establishment (originally via the American Colonization Society in 1820) of the African colonies that soon became Liberia, and the US’s other attempts at deporting freed slaves to other locations, doesn’t conflict with its concerns about slavery, but instead reinforces it. They wanted to send freed slaves mainly back to Africa since that’s where many of them had originally come from, and not only did it seem fair, it also got Africans out of the US. This may be partly due to racism, but that’s a different issue–though some of the deportation supporters may have been racist, it doesn’t mean they felt that it should be expressed by enslaving blacks.

        Lincoln saw that the slave owners in the South were gaining an enormous, disproportionate amount of political power, enough to allow them to expand slavery to many of the new territories. While Lincoln initially didn’t think the proper response was to try to end slavery in the existing slave states, and he initially made no moves to do so, he wanted to prevent it from spreading, as did many others in the US. Specifically, he wanted to protect things like the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which outlawed slavery above the 36-30′ parallel, from being compromised by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which tried to get around it by allowing the settlers to decide whether they wanted slavery in their territory. The existing slave states didn’t like Lincoln’s defense of things like the Missouri Compromise, since they wanted to expand their production methods to more territory, and (probably unreasonably) feared his strong defense of these things might mean he’d go after them next, and this is one of the main reasons they seceded.

        Once the Civil War had been going for some time, but the Union wasn’t gaining enough ground fast enough, and too many people were being killed in battle on both sides, Lincoln realized the only way for the Union to succeed was to declare emancipation.

        If “the Northern soldiers were starting to lose interest in the war and side with the South over states rights” (and if any of that happened, it certainly wasn’t en masse among the Northern soldiers), why would Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation make them change their minds? And if this invigorated them with a new purpose, then all the better.

        As for “The north was making way too much money off the south to ever stop slavery”, that may have been part of Lincoln’s thinking originally–remember Lincoln originally had no plan to end slavery in the states that already had it–but a couple years into the war, he changed his mind when he saw that it was required.

        So, the Civil War was fought over slavery–started by the South over its paranoid belief that Lincoln was going to end slavery in the existing slave states, and the South’s displeasure over Lincoln upholding prior legal acts that prevented slavery in the new territories; and then engaged by the North in order to defend the Union rather than to end slavery in the South; and then the North’s strategy changed when it became clear that one of the things that was allowing the South to hold out, was their continuation of slavery. So it made sense to then end slavery in the Southern states. But it wasn’t merely a practical military decision, but one which Lincoln knew to be morally right too, though fraught with consequences.

        Here’s some references:



        • Thanks for the complete description of the things I read about :) I’m glad there are multiple people on here that are much more educated on the issues than the many types of deniers.

          • If you don’t believe the South started the Civil War to protect slavery, read any states declaration of sucession. They make it crysal clear. This is from Texas:
            “We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

            That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states. ”

            Mississippi “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery–”

            No mention of states rights in either document, but clearly the right the slave-holding states were fighting for was the right to be a slave-holding state

    • It was “new” states rights that started the whole thing and, yes, it was over slavery. Basically, the north part of the country wanted all new states to be slavery free, while the south part of the country wanted new states to be able to decide for themselves. When the north insisted, the south threatened to secede from the union. The rest, as they say, is history.

      • Thanks for the info Terri. I actually agree with you that almost every reason for the Civil War came back to slavery. I was mainly referring to the information I happened to read at the time, but I know there’s plenty of evidence out there showing that it was almost entirely over slavery. I just tend to gloss over The North’s reasons because most deniers out there focus on the idea that The South wasn’t fighting for slavery.

  • I agree with all but one… America was founded by corporations. The James Company was one as was the Massachusetts Bay Colony. New Amsterdam was set up as a profit making enterprise.

    • The article never said anything about that, so I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with. I think you’re misunderstanding something somewhere. The founding fathers (of the USA) were not yet alive during the time those corporations founded colonies in the New World.
      And even if they were alive, they could still disagree with the existing corporations the same way they disagreed with the British Government that ruled over them. Saying otherwise is to create an artificial corrolation.

      • I’ve always found it quite amusing that they call themselves the Tea Party. The tea in question actually belonged to the East India Company, a monopoly. Therefore, the people involved destroyed a corporation’s property and interfered with their ability to make a profit. I doesn’t sound like they were supporting corporations to me.

  • Hey, Rich,

    Thanks for all the research. I’m one of those guys that has only a general view of history, but have always suspected that Republicans just simply have a skewed view of the world. And I have some conservative strains in me, but not enough to make me a Republican. I appreciate the specific detail, and the clarity of your descriptions. I wish I could just memorize all of it.


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