About The Other Half of History
I came to appreciate the power of history as a political force during the Year 2000 presidential race. Both political parties had just nominated the sons of wealthy and powerful politicians, and liberal columnist Matthew Miller seized the opportunity to say that these nominations should “explode forever the patriotic American myth that anyone can grow up to be President.”
Anyone who really knows American history would see how dishonest Miller is. Although both Al Gore Jr. and George W. Bush were from wealthy and politically-connected families, their Year 2000 contest was the exception, not the rule. The man sitting in the White House when Miller wrote this column had come from a disadvantaged background; as had Presidents Reagan, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman, and many others.
And who says being President is the pinnacle of success? America is also a country where people like John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Sam Walton can grow up in poverty and then achieve tremendous levels of success in the private sector. The idea that anybody can achieve success without limits in America is a patriotic truth, not a patriotic “myth.”
Miller’s column made me angry, and not just because Miller was lying, which he most certainly was. I was outraged at Miller’s agenda. He was lying to his readers in order to destroy the very hope that had sustained me during the darkest period in my life.
Back in the mid-1980’s, when I was a new college grad trying to get started in a career in the Seattle area, I struggled mightily to get and keep a job. I had no experience or skills that any employer wanted, and the only thing that kept me going as I failed in one job after another was my faith that America is the Land of Opportunity. I knew that Thomas Edison had said “Sticking to it is the real genius,” and I believed him.
I knew, when things were darkest, that Ben Franklin had learned from the Bible that “industry,” meaning hard work, was a “means of obtaining wealth and distinction.” I knew that Thomas Mellon and John D Rockefeller had used these words to inspire them as they rose from childhood poverty to become wealthy.
I knew that when Andrew Carnegie was a thirteen-year-old sweatshop worker, he predicted that he would work his way to success, going so far as to say “if I don’t, it will be my own fault, because anyone can get on in this country.”
My faith in my country turned out to be justified, of course. In America a kid with desire and tenacity can eventually acquire the skills employers are looking for, and I did. Like so many Americans before me, I stuck to it until I succeeded.
By lying about this wonderful Land of Opportunity, Matthew Miller was trying to force young people who face the problems I faced back in my own youth to fall victim to the despair I’d fought so hard to resist. His agenda, and the agenda of every liberal sophist, is to make people see themselves as helpless victims of circumstance.
And you can’t do that, in this wonderful country, unless you are fundamentally dishonest.
I started this website because leftists who share Matthew Miller’s agenda are currently in control of the history departments in virtually all of our colleges and universities. The Columns section of this website designed to expose students to the half of American history that most history professors choose not to teach. The half that inspired me when I needed inspiration. (The Daily Blog section is just my random thoughts on current events.)
I’m not exaggerating when I say that college faculties are left-leaning. An Education professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, for example, boasts openly of having planted bombs in the Pentagon during the Vietnam war. A History professor at Central Connecticut State once published a book supportive of gun control laws, using fraudulent data to provide support for his position. A history prof at Columbia has celebrated the defeat and posthumous humiliation of US soldiers in Mogadishu, and expressed hope for similar treatment of American GI’s in the future.
This kind of extremism is close enough to the “mainstream” on college campuses that all of the teachers mentioned above were still employed when I started up this website in 2009. A couple of them have since retired on fat pensions.
The mission of The Other Half of History is to give students and others a glimpse at the half of history that is being withheld from them, in the hope that some will be inspired to study the history of this wonderful country on their own.