“The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.” Ronald Reagan
In 1983 President Reagan gave a famous speech in which he outraged American liberals, and warmed the hearts of conservatives, by describing the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.”
College faculties were pretty uniformly left wing in the 1980’s, and reflexively hostile to anything anti-Communist. Professors on campuses all around the nation reacted to the President’s speech with outrage. Dr Henry Steele Commager, a history professor at Amherst College, spoke for many of his colleagues when he said that this was “the worst presidential speech in American history, and I’ve read them all.”
History professors haven’t gotten much more moderate over the ensuing years. They still tend to lean very far to the left, and they still resent Reagan.
”The cold war is now behind us. Let us not wrangle over who won it.” Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990
In an insightful 1944 essay, George Orwell coined the famous phrase “History is written by the winners.” His point was that totalitarian regimes like the Nazis and the Communists showed no regard for truth, in and of itself; and would compose and teach whatever “facts” suited their political agendas. If Hitler succeeded in conquering Europe, Orwell said, future generations of Europeans would believe whatever lies his National Socialists chose to put in their history books.
Orwell, however, did not foresee scholars in free countries like England and the US practicing this kind of creative “history” writing on behalf of the enemies of their own countries. He would probably be surprised at some of the tendentious teaching that goes on in college history classes these days.