This is a guest post by Dana R. Casey.
A simple narrative recently given to my daughter seems innocent enough on its face and is, in fact, accurate in a simplistic way. But the message that most students get from this example, given the constant deluge of liberal equals good and conservative equals evil, is clear leftist liberal propaganda.
Here is the note that I found in my daughter’s notebook from her American History class:
A tree has a broken limb.
Radicals would blow up the tree.
Liberals would prune and tend to the tree.
Conservatives would leave the tree alone.
Here is the liberal subtext, the message that students get:
A tree has a broken limb: Awwwww, the poor tree. We must fix her because nature is our mother and the spirit of the tree is suffering.
Radicals would blow up the tree: Trees are bad because they are traditional and all things traditional are evil. They are chains to enslave us!
Liberals would prune and tend to the tree: Because we are a loving, compassionate, and enlightened people who have the vision to foresee the long term consequences of that broken limb. We will mend it, tend it, and prune it and then make a law that all people tend the trees or our children will live in a hellish flooded world unable to sustain life.
Conservatives would leave the tree alone: Conservatives are selfish, racist bigots who don’t care about poor people.
Here is the conservative interpretation, a message that students NEVER get:
A tree has a broken limb: That is a fact
Radicals would blow up the tree: Radicals would blow up the tree because they have been infected with “cause”. They are infected because they are void of self-value and their lives lack a purposefulness leaving them empty. They fill the emptiness with “cause”. They will blow up the tree leaving a bare scorched field. Then, because they have nothing beyond the cause of blowing up the tree, they have nothing to take place of the tree. They find another cause or another tree to destroy. Shade, shelter, wood, fruit, all is lost.
Liberals would prune and tend to the tree: Liberals would determine that the limb broke because of winds created by global warming and destroy American industry to control greenhouse gasses whether or not there is any evidence to make such a correlation. To fill the manufacturing void, China’s manufacturing would explode geometrically and pollution would quadruple in China, because they have absolutely no qualms about polluting with impunity in this communist oligarchy.
Then the liberals would try to splice the limb back on and trim the other limbs to balance the limb inequality, but they would stop when they noticed a rare snail on the limb. They will add a tax to protect future undiscovered rare snails. Next, they would say that one cannot remove the broken limb because it houses the rare snail found only on that limb. It will not matter that the limb has crashed into someone’s house and that the family will lose their shelter and property if the limb is not removed. Snails are more important than people.
They will then make it social policy to shame anyone who removes broken limbs from their houses because conservatives are selfish, racist bigots who don’t care about poor people.
Conservatives would leave the tree alone: If the tree was on their neighbor’s property, the conservatives WOULD indeed leave the tree alone as it is their neighbor’s business. If the tree was on their own property, they might take that limb and make found-wood frames or slice it into natural chopping boards and sell them. Then they might start looking around for other fallen branches. They might pay some others to gather fallen branches. They might hire unemployed people to manufacture or sell their frames and boards. They might purchase unused land and plant more trees. Or they might just chop up the limb for fire wood, trim the break, seal the cut, and let the tree grow providing wonderful shade for the backyard. They might choose to do nothing but pull the limb to the back of their yard and leave it there. Whatever they choose to do, it is their business because it is THEIR tree.
The most important point is that either both or neither of these interpretations should be found in a public school classroom. The school’s responsibility must be to actually teach a real diversity of ideas or should present information in as unbiased a way as possible. Here is the only version of this tree metaphor that I would give in my classroom and the only one that belongs in any public school classroom in America:
A tree has a broken limb.
Radicals would blow up the tree: There are extremists of every variety who want to tear down parts or all of society for what they believe in. Not everyone agrees on who is a radical. A radical to one group may be a freedom fighter to another.
Liberals would prune and tend to the tree: Liberals believe that the world is unjust and people need help. They feel that the government is the best way to provide that help. They believe people should pay taxes to support government programs and that the government should create laws to make people more equal in both income and quality of life. Liberals tend to challenge traditions.
Conservatives would leave the tree alone: Conservatives believe that individuals should control their own lives and, therefore, the government should be limited and freedom of individuals should be protected. Federal taxes should be minimal, used for only defense and infrastructure. They also believe that the free market and capitalism are the best way to make individuals more prosperous. Conservatives tend to support traditions.
Discuss these ideas with your family and explore these ideas on your own to decide which you believe is right.
Liberals control the narrative in schools, in the news, in movies, in almost all aspects of popular culture. Whoever controls the narrative teaches the “truths” of that society. Are we going to continue allowing only liberals to control the narrative? Are we going to start demanding that the conservative voice be heard once again in diversity of ideas, or demand that schools and universities remain unbiased in their presentation of ideas.
Dana R. Casey is a veteran high school English teacher of more than two decades in an East-coast urban system. She is a life-long student of theology, philosophy, and politics, dedicated to the true Liberalism of the Enlightenment, as defined by our Founders and enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.