Memo to: The Texas Board of Education
Re: Proposed curriculum changes
I'd like to offer some advice on the eve of your vote to update your state's high school history textbooks by putting conservatism, Christianity and Southern culture in a more positive light — such as mentioning the overall stupendiosity of the NRA and the "tea party" movement; elevating to official greatness both Ronald Reagan and Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson; noting that Joe McCarthy was actually right about a few things; emphasizing that, unlike Martin Luther King Jr., some black people were violent during the civil rights struggle; and de-emphasizing the contributions of Thomas Jefferson to the birth of democracy because he was an advocate of the separation of church and state, a doctrine of which you disapprove.
I know that these things have opened you to ridicule from the faultfinding liberal media, who allege that you are injecting naked partisan politics into what should be a dispassionate sifting of events by their importance; your critics have been particularly cruel because you have not consulted actual historians and because your ideological leader — the person most behind these proposed revisionist geopolitical philosophies — is a dentist.
Nonsense. My feeling is that your proposed changes do not go far enough. Your group should lead a statewide campaign to extend these changes to other forms of media and expression.
• Texas dentistry school textbooks should emphasize that intermittent toothlessness is not a disability but a cultural choice among some rural conservatives. In a related reform, when people are criticizing America, application of the First Amendment should be restricted to those in a reclining position with a mouth full of dental appliances.
• Children's television: Edit scripts to eliminate insidious references that deny the importance of personal responsibility and self-reliance in the conduct of one's life. Ergo, Oscar the Grouch gets kicked out of the neighborhood for being a freeloader. He is replaced by Oscar the Heritage Foundation Pundit and Dufus the Fetus Who Wasn't Aborted.
• Opera companies: Give them tax breaks for converting to English-only, with a Southern accent.
• In textbooks, change the name of the "American Revolution," because it encourages disrespect for authority, hints at condoning terrorism and also sounds too much like "evolution." New name: "Operation Enduring American Freedom."
• Rewrite dictionaries to substitute new words for "democracy" and "liberty," as they currently suggest an etymological connection, respectively, to Democrats and liberals. Proposed new words: "The Ocracy" and "Repuberty."
• End liberal-influenced "reverse discrimination" by integrating college basketball in your state; specifically, limit African-American participation in proportion to African-Americans in the general population. Then subsidize Baylor for lowered revenue after its vaunted men's squad has a 1-31 season that includes losses to Harvard, the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and the University of Connecticut Lady Huskies.
• Rewrite the criminal code: Any swarthy-skinned individual running across your lawn without permission can be "winged" via a nonlethal shot to the shoulder. No semiautomatic weapons are to be used unless the individual is a known, or suspected, undocumented worker.
• Promote truth and honesty in official state communication by eliminating silly, politically correct euphemisms such as "undocumented worker." Undocumented worker = malodorous leech. Pro-choice advocate = murder enthusiast. Darwinian = intelligent design denier. Liberal = traitor.
Gene Weingarten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.