"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."
That was the slogan of the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's "1984," where Winston Smith worked ceaselessly revising the past to conform to the latest party line of Big Brother.
And so we come to the battle over history books in the schools of Texas. Liberals are enraged that a Republican-dominated Board of Education is rewriting the texts. But is the rewrite being done to falsify history, or to undo a liberal bias embedded for decades?
Consider a few of the issues.
The new texts will emphasize that the separation of church and state was never written into the Constitution.
Is that not right? The First Amendment prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion. But, in 1776, nine of the 13 colonies had state religions established in their constitutions.
Thomas Jefferson's words about a "separation of church and state" were not written until 1802, when he responded to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association. Not until after World War II did the Supreme Court begin the systematic purge of Christianity from American public life.
Barack Obama may have declared, "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation." But Woodrow Wilson said, "America was born a Christian nation," and Harry Truman wrote Pius XII to affirm, "This is a Christian nation."
The Texas school board wants the U.S. economic system called "free enterprise" rather than the term Karl Marx used, "capitalism."
Anything wrong with that?
The Christian Science Monitor cites one professor Phillip VanFossen as appalled the new history texts will put a "more positive spin on Sen. Joe McCarthy's communist witch hunt."
The FDR and Truman administrations were shot through with treason. Alger Hiss, who was with FDR at Yalta and Truman in San Francisco when the U.N. was founded, was a Stalinist spy, exposed by Whittaker Chambers and Rep. Richard Nixon.
Harry Dexter White, Treasury's No. 2, who pushed the infamous Morgenthau Plan to turn Germany into a pastureland, was a Soviet agent, as was White House aide Laughlin Currie and State's Laurence Duggan, whose treason was confirmed by the VENONA decrypts of Soviet cables in 1995.
William Remington at Commerce was convicted of perjury for denying his ties to a spy ring. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for their role in betraying the secrets of the atom bomb.