“No one is more important to the future of our state than our teachers.”
May 12, 2011 4:08 PM   Subscribe

New, From Mike Huckabee! Give Your Kids An Exciting Way To Learn The Facts About American History! This fascinating, original series of animated videos features the Time Travel Academy kids, a group of friends who create an incredible time machine that whisks them back in time to experience history in the making! Many of our schools and teachers today haven't found ways to make history for kids fun. Instead, they’re teaching with political bias that distorts facts for the sake of political correctness. As a result, our national pride and patriotism are in jeopardy. - Mike Huckabee, Co-founder Sample video: Learn Our History: the Reagan Revolution

It's widely accepted that kids learn best through experience. But, unfortunately, the only way kids are experiencing history today is by having it force-fed to them through dry text books, monotonous lectures and boring lessons. On top of that, our children's classes and learning materials are often filled with misrepresentations, including historical inaccuracies, personal biases and political correctness.
posted by KokuRyu (113 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's widely accepted that kids learn best through experience

So - are they implying that they're going to send ACTUAL CHILDREN into ACTUAL HISTORY with ACTUAL TIME MACHINES so they can have ACTUAL EXPERIENCE?

Because if so, I'm going back to grade school immediately.
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:13 PM on May 12, 2011 [39 favorites]


I saw this on Talking Points Memo. This is the worst thing ever made by anyone.

Although, of course, it's undeniably true that Reagan saved us all from hordes of vaguely ethnic young men in "Disco" t-shirts menacing us with knives. I wouldn't want to live in that reality.
posted by gurple at 4:17 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like how in the WWII cartoon they point out a wall of propaganda posters as evidence of America's glory.
posted by Beardman at 4:17 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is some great satire. Who made it?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:19 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


History is written by the victors. And the Reagan Revolutionaries won big-time.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:21 PM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


they’re teaching with political bias that distorts facts for the sake of political correctness.

Oh my gosh, that's totally the wrong reason to teach with political bias!
posted by The World Famous at 4:22 PM on May 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


I still prefer Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
posted by dortmunder at 4:22 PM on May 12, 2011 [12 favorites]


This video is crucial.

"Gimme yo money!" - Black Disco Mugger
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:22 PM on May 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


I wonder if the full-length WWII video fetishizes "a young American pilot, Lieutenant George Bush", like Newt Gingrich's book did.
posted by gurple at 4:24 PM on May 12, 2011


Funny how their versions of Reagan and Hitler use startlingly similar rhetoric.
posted by Bromius at 4:25 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Germany has been ordained by God to rule the world!"

Oh Hitler, you silly little man. Germany has not been ordained by God to rule the world.

America has been ordained by God to rule the world.

Also you are an evil atheist
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:27 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Puke.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:27 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Gimme yo money!" - Black Disco Mugger

Wow.

Why Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters Matter
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:28 PM on May 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


The site gives us this little gem:

The Learn Our History: Time Travel Academy series uses the incredible lessons of history to present important themes to your child, such as:

The need to stand up to bullies
The importance of self-respect and respect for others -including their elders
Belief in democratic values such as freedom and equality
Faith in God as a key principle in America’s development and greatness


Knowing Huckabee I guess these themes don't apply to gay people.
posted by catwash at 4:29 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


More unbiased history lessons from Mike Huckabee
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:30 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone really should strip the audio and overdub this for, um, satire. Yeah...satire, that's protected, right?
posted by digitalprimate at 4:30 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


That "Reagan Revolution" episode of the Drinky Crow Show sucked.
posted by pashdown at 4:33 PM on May 12, 2011


I remember around 1984 when Huckabee and I went to CBGB to see Reagan Youth perform; he and Dave Insurgent were really tight. Anyway, Huckabee calimed he was straight edge but I'm pretty sure he was sniffing glue in the bathroom before he went out and stage dived into the mosh pit. Good times.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 4:35 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Reagan saved freedom by moving his mouth while not moving his teeth.
posted by Beardman at 4:36 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Laugh or cry folks. Laugh or cry.
posted by Splunge at 4:38 PM on May 12, 2011


I'm too depressed at the thought of kids being taught that the Regan Revolution was anything but a viscious-spirited attack to ven watch this.
posted by jb at 4:39 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


And the full-on assault on reality continues.

I'm starting to suspect those who wish to reshape the US into the authoritari-libertarian (not really a contradiction when you think about it) country they want are just hoping to keep hammering on all sides until those who are trying to counter their assault are just so exhausted by all the new bullshit that they give up.

Sadly, I'm also starting to think they're going to win.
posted by hippybear at 4:39 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wiat, what?! Time-travelling kids prevented Reagan's assassination? I think I preferred it when they were trying to ban jenkem.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:39 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, so is Amy pregnant? Or no?
posted by NoraReed at 4:41 PM on May 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm a political cartoonist and this is still the worst cartoon I've ever seen.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:41 PM on May 12, 2011 [28 favorites]


You know, all these Yes Men posts are getting really ol--

Wait, what?

No shit?

Wow.
posted by verb at 4:42 PM on May 12, 2011 [16 favorites]


You've got to admit, we are all better off since Reagan swam across the Atlantic with a dagger in his teeth to defeat Russia and then smashed through the Berlin Wall like the Kool-Aid Man on his way back.
posted by Zed at 4:43 PM on May 12, 2011 [14 favorites]


That's it, I'm moving to Antarctica.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:45 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love the part of the video about Berlin where the West Germans spend hours confronting Reagan about his plans to establish the SDI program in Europe and how that makes them all feel like the US is a giant bully and ignoring the wishes of those who live in foreign countries to carry out its own pla... wait... what? none of that is in there?

Nevermind.
posted by hippybear at 4:46 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


This video is crucial.
"Gimme yo money!" - Black Disco Mugger


See, this is what happens when a conservative hires a bunch of liberal artists. Hilarious shit ensues.
posted by NoMich at 4:47 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love the image of the founding fathers at the top of the site: Franklin, Reagan, Washington.
posted by perhapses at 4:50 PM on May 12, 2011


I see your Reagan Youth and will raise you Jodie Foster's Army.
posted by cazoo at 4:51 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't remember Reagan's head as being that big.

But even coming at this as more-or-less a Chomskyite, nothing in that short clip would have outraged me had it been shown to my children. How nuanced a version are kids sitting in overcrowded classrooms going to be able to absorb?

Even if I thought they were old enough to learn about the Salvadoran death squads, I'd rather they hear my version instead of the school's.
posted by Trurl at 4:51 PM on May 12, 2011


Someone please tell me that the "Origins of World War II" cartoon features a cackling FDR while Pearl Harbor gets bombed.
posted by NoMich at 4:52 PM on May 12, 2011


I'm kind of getting a Grum vibe.

Not the good Grum vibe.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:55 PM on May 12, 2011


Well, I'm glad it's approved by a Council of Masters.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:57 PM on May 12, 2011


Those kids are going to have to pedal faster than that if they want to get away from the SS.
posted by jokeefe at 4:58 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just watched that same Reagan clip again. Still not feeling it.

Are there worse ones? I assumed it was highlighted because it was the worst one.
posted by Trurl at 5:00 PM on May 12, 2011


I thought we were being unduly harsh on the animation and style of this thing, and should instead focus on the indoctrination aspect.

Then I saw a talking catcher's mitt do its best Reagan imitation.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:01 PM on May 12, 2011


Also, their version of Reagan looks suspiciously like the Spitting Image version of Reagan. Maybe there are some underemployed lefty film graduates trying to undermine from within...
posted by jokeefe at 5:01 PM on May 12, 2011


Well, I'm glad it's approved by a Council of Masters.

The first name on the list is Glenn Beck's favorite historian.
posted by immlass at 5:01 PM on May 12, 2011


I have to say I'm pretty impressed that the time travel helmet is a Space Marine helmet from Warhammer 40K.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:03 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


OK, so this is abhorrent.

So how do we start moving the Overton window BACK?

I'm fed up with the liberal strategy of pious hand-wringing that devolves into a self-congratulatory circle jerk.

If facts don't matter, if truth is whatever who is yelling the loudest says it is, why aren't progressives out there SCREAMING for stuff they KNOW will never happen: BAN HANDGUNS! SOCIALIZE MEDICINE! NATIONWIDE LIVING WAGE! NATIONALIZE OIL COMPANIES! Anything to move the goddamn window one little smidgen back toward, oh, I dunno, SANITY.

I mean GODDAMN IT, PEOPLE.

Fuck this. I'm gonna go drink until I can't feel my face.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [34 favorites]


Lauren Faust needs to do a reboot of this like yesterday now that she's no longer in charge of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Yes, I know this has scarcely booted. Doesn't matter. It's a failed boot like when Windows pops up the screen that asks if you want to start in safe mode and then promptly crashes anyway.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:06 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to say I'm pretty impressed that the time travel helmet is a Space Marine helmet from Warhammer 40K.

Oh dear. Is Huckabee possibly making a subtle claim that Ronald Reagan isn't dead, but, rather, is the immortal Emperor of Mankind?
posted by frimble at 5:07 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lauren Faust needs to do a reboot of this like yesterday now that she's no longer in charge of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

What fuck this bullshit about Mike Huckabee I said what
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:09 PM on May 12, 2011


Man, I'd almost forgotten how good Spitting Image was.

Here's the end of their election special from 1987: a full-throated Tory rendition of Tomorrow Belongs To Me.* Twenty-three years ago. Good thing that we got past all that bullshit and everthing's fine now!

God, I'm depressed. BOP, pour one from me too, okay?

*Sadly, it become a second or two out of sync by the middle, but it's still more than worth watching. "Do you still think you can control them, Neil?"
posted by jokeefe at 5:10 PM on May 12, 2011


I slept poorly last night, so I woke up around 3 AM and thought, hey, might as well hop online and try to lull myself back to sleep, when I happened on this video at TPM.

And then I really could not sleep last night. Was convinced it was an elaborate - if somewhat obviously farcical - dream.

Sigh.

posted by joe lisboa at 5:12 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What really makes this feel like satire is the adult actors doing bad "kid" voices.
posted by brundlefly at 5:12 PM on May 12, 2011


The story re: Lauren Faust. She's more a story consultant now, IIRC. She gets to review the scripts and be a resource for how things should go in the ponyverse.

She's now Equestria's David Barton.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whoa, bold.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:19 PM on May 12, 2011


"We almost got away with it! Free Market Capitalism! Insignificant Government! The wealthy Elite ! We were so close and we would have done it too if it weren't for you meddling kids! "
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:22 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's so much notable about that Reagan-in-Berlin video I'd hate to highlight one element at the expense of the others, but I think it really is worth pointing out that the kids went back in a Time Machine that brought them to the streets of divided '80s Berlin but kept the post-reunification skyline of the former East Berlin intact in the background.

(Or at least I think that's a cluster of new Postdamer Platz skyscrapers in that picture. Or is it Houston? This is almost as confusing as supply-side economics . . .)
posted by gompa at 5:22 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


kept the post-reunification skyline of the former East Berlin intact in the background

I would not say that this is the central accuracy problem of the piece.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:26 PM on May 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


Oh dear. Is Huckabee possibly making a subtle claim that Ronald Reagan isn't dead, but, rather, is the immortal Emperor of Mankind?

I didn't find it very subtle, personally.
posted by EarBucket at 5:32 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can we go back in time to see whether or not Mike Huckabee used improper influence when his son did that dog torture thing?
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:53 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


"He (Reagan) worked against communism in Hollywood..."
Really, Mike Huckabee? Really? You're down with HUAC, blacklists and McCarthyism? This is a clip-and-save quote for the campaign next year. Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild and testified in front of Nixon himself.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:53 PM on May 12, 2011


"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."
posted by pompomtom at 6:02 PM on May 12, 2011


...they're teaching with political bias...

So to counter that bias the introductory offer is about the Reagan Revolution? Tell me more...
posted by l2p at 6:09 PM on May 12, 2011


The best historical cartoon eva... (some language nsfw)
posted by stifford at 6:09 PM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


I love the whole infomercial marketing copy in the lower right corner. "Preview the first DVD risk-free for 30 days. And when you do I'll include $50 in FREE gifts!"

If it were really worth its salt, you wouldn't have to rely on that kind of thing to convince people to buy.
posted by hippybear at 6:11 PM on May 12, 2011


I wonder how many people would have to order the first video, claim the free gifts, and return the first video for a refund before the company goes broke providing all those free gifts.
posted by hippybear at 6:14 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Journey back with the Time Travel Academy to see what led to World War II, learn how America responded to the threat

Well, let's see. I don't have the advantage of a time machine, but I'm pretty sure America responded to the threat by sitting on the sidelines for 2+ years after the war started, letting the Soviet Union defeat Nazi Germany, and swooping in late in the game to take all the credit.

and what you can do to make sure nothing like that happens again

Step 1: get Stalin on the phone.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:20 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


And get those Yaks in the air!
posted by NoMich at 6:27 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


We Australians are maybe emerging from the History Wars where our steely eyed defender of all that was great and good lambasted those who felt that British Colonisation of Australia was not all together a positive experience for the indigenous population - as taking a "black arm band" view of history. No, the British wore splendid red coats, played cricket, indulged in fair play and above all, weren't the French.
posted by the noob at 6:48 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure America responded to the threat by sitting on the sidelines for 2+ years after the war started, letting the Soviet Union defeat Nazi Germany, and swooping in late in the game to take all the credit.

Let me begin the massive second world war derail by noting that without lend-lease and america's massive industrial capacity, there would have been no credit to take. Not that I by any means support the reaganesque 'US swooped in and saved the world' meme but they certainly didn't lurk around and wait to take credit.
posted by thedaniel at 6:53 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Related to the topic, This American Life aired a segment in January about a middle school field trip the Regan Library, where the students had to re-enact the White House's reasons for invading Grenada. Seriously. They even teach the kids the deaths of the American servicemen were the fault of the press leaking information.
posted by riruro at 7:04 PM on May 12, 2011


Let me begin the massive second world war derail

It's not really a derail... more of a tangent.

One of the things I love best about the Huckabee history WWII page is this:
In Germany, Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power through a platform of touting German superiority and blaming others for Germany’s problems. Hitler gained complete control of the country and used a growing military to invade and brutally conquer numerous countries in Europe.
which isn't actually untrue... but when the target audience reads statements like that, I know they aren't actually looking at the constant preaching of American Exceptionalism and the non-stop finger-pointed at immigrants and public employees and the poor on government assistance which they've subjected themselves to over the past years, and to a lesser extent the decades before that.

Because that's not a parallel in philosophies, or anything. Not from them. No, never.
posted by hippybear at 7:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many people would have to order the first video, claim the free gifts, and return the first video for a refund before the company goes broke providing all those free gifts.

If I had to guess, I'd say that the free gifts are probably copies of books by conservative pundits and politicians, bought by the LLC in heavily-discounted bulk. It's a well-known tactic used by the right for juicing up best-seller numbers, thus increasing the front-of-store exposure at mainstream booksellers. I used to work for a Borders in a heavily conservative part of the country, and we were still routinely buried in stacks of unsold Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly screeds because the makeup of our Best Sellers shelf was determined by the publisher's overall sales figures (including bulk-discount publisher orders sent to the Heritage Foundation, et al) instead of what actual people were buying in our store or elsewhere.

Come to think of it, these videos have "future bonus freebie" written all over them too. It's like some kind of right-wing mail-order version of Big Lots.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:12 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Isn't this literally how Doctor Who started? Until the Daleks showed up?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That animation was horribly bad.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:17 PM on May 12, 2011


As I said on MetaChat:

"No longer will you suffer under what Huckabee calls "the 'blame America first' attitude prevalent in today's teaching."

Aren't these the same people who rush to blame the government for everything that's wrong with society today?
posted by Eideteker at 7:43 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Lovecraft: I think that was how the series was pitched, but given that the Daleks showed up in literally the second series and the first was an introduction, I think the idea of Doctor Who being educational got kicked in the head pretty quickly.

I'm trying to imagine a right wing doctor who... and thankfully failing.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:48 PM on May 12, 2011


Huh, I had no idea Fensler was still making these. Pork chop sandwiches!
posted by fleetmouse at 8:00 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fuck this. I'm gonna go drink until I can't feel my face.

I'm out of booze.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:17 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Laugh or cry folks. Laugh or cry.
posted by Splunge at 6:38 PM on May 12 [+] [!]


I'm actually getting really good at doing both at the same time.
posted by nanojath at 8:34 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


You do all realize that the Romney Department of Education is going to be making grants of federal money to school districts so they can purchase these, don't you?
posted by benito.strauss at 8:50 PM on May 12, 2011


So Satire is dead right? Like it is literally impossible to satirize the Right without just adding to their corpus? We can just go and write Epic Poetry or something?
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 PM on May 12, 2011


it's just ....I you can;t even make a metaphor or comparison, like said above, this is literally like the cold open you get right before you pan out to a Dalke in the Oval Office.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on May 12, 2011


DALEK.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on May 12, 2011


RolandOfEld: "That's it, I'm moving to Antarctica."

Antarctica's too close. I'm moving to space.

*Looks at hastily-drawn map of Near-Earth objects* Hmm, the Apollos, the Atens, or the Amors?

Maybe Ceres? Decisions, decisions...

posted by Minus215Cee at 9:08 PM on May 12, 2011


Mike Huckabee has a real future on QVC if his presidential bid doesn't pan out.
posted by bstreep at 9:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


If facts don't matter, if truth is whatever who is yelling the loudest says it is, why aren't progressives out there SCREAMING for stuff they KNOW will never happen: BAN HANDGUNS! SOCIALIZE MEDICINE! NATIONWIDE LIVING WAGE! NATIONALIZE OIL COMPANIES! Anything to move the goddamn window one little smidgen back toward, oh, I dunno, SANITY.

The politics of grievance just gets you marginalized by the corporate media establishment. Progressives desperately need their own FOX, to convey progressive ideas in a strong, visceral, unambiguous, positive way to middle america. At the very least, to dispel the notion that liberal does not equate to elitist, nerd, or freak.
posted by blargerz at 9:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


The fun historian
posted by Anything at 9:19 PM on May 12, 2011


Antarctica's too close. I'm moving to space.

Gotta go to space.
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


He'll save children, but not the British children.
He'll save children, but not the British children.
He'll save children, but not the British children.
posted by erniepan at 9:34 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


The politics of grievance just gets you marginalized by the corporate media establishment. Progressives desperately need their own FOX, to convey progressive ideas in a strong, visceral, unambiguous, positive way to middle america. At the very least, to dispel the notion that liberal does not equate to elitist, nerd, or freak.

Not sure I buy the need for a propaganda machine, but progressives are certainly losing the war of words. Largely because there's 20 years of echo chamber built up on the other side which creates a term and repeats it until even the progressives end up using it.

It's so hard to combat. I wish I had good solutions, but I don't. But you can always tell when the right feels scared about a concept -- they invent new phrases and say them over and over and over for a month or so. Seems like as soon as progressives see that cycle start, they'd at least know that's a good issue to press hard on. The right only does this with issues where they know they're vulnerable.
posted by hippybear at 9:38 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


At the very least, to dispel the notion that liberal does not equate to elitist, nerd, or freak.

Hey! I resemble that remark.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:45 PM on May 12, 2011


Not sure I buy the need for a propaganda machine.

See, this unfortunately is why progressives will always have a messaging problem. Progressives need not feel ashamed to participate vigorously in the free market of ideas.
posted by blargerz at 9:54 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess at some point, stooping to the level of one's enemy makes one into one's enemy.

But yeah, I know what you're saying about participating in the market of ideas, or whatever.

Most of it is my own inability to watch the ranting heads of those I agree with. Rachel Maddow's reasoned arguments and careful connect-the-dot reporting... I'm with that. But Olberman and Matthews and Ed Whatshisface? I can't bear to watch them any more than I can bear to watch reality shows or pro wrestling. Shouting makes me weary.
posted by hippybear at 10:04 PM on May 12, 2011


Olberman and Matthews and Ed Whatshisface

The problem with all three of those guys is they are dripping with bitterness and condescension. Progressives need positive voices that believe in and defend eternal values without a shred of irony.
posted by blargerz at 10:17 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Progressives need positive voices that believe in and defend eternal values without a shred of irony.

Air America was an unqualified failure.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 PM on May 12, 2011


Air America was an unqualified failure.

That's why progressives need a cable station with swooping american flag intros, over-caffeinated blonde chicks with awesome racks, big-chinned ex-jocks, all conspiring 24/7 to make you feel like you simply aren't cool and probably hate america if you don't support a certain way of looking at the world.

It's like, if Shell has an incredibly successful gas station on one corner of an intersection, and there is an empty lot across the street, why WOULDN'T you build there?
posted by blargerz at 10:32 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's why progressives need a cable station with swooping american flag intros, over-caffeinated blonde chicks with awesome racks, big-chinned ex-jocks, all conspiring 24/7 to make you feel like you simply aren't cool and probably hate america if you don't support a certain way of looking at the world.

Maybe we do, maybe not. But progressive media needs to be better than the Zune of NPR, if the goal is to have something sustainable.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:25 PM on May 12, 2011


Can you guys tell me what you mean when you use "progressive(s)"?

Wikipedia says Liberals are often called "left-wing"[citation needed], in contrast to "right-wing" conservatives. The progressive school, as a unique branch of contemporary political thought, tends to advocate certain center-left or left-wing views that may conflict with mainstream liberal views, despite the fact that modern liberalism and progressivism may still both support many of the same policies (such as the concept of war as a general last resort).

In what ways do progressives conflict with mainstream liberals? Or is this just a morphing of language from "Liberal" to "Progressive" now that "liberal" means "communist babykillers"?
posted by taz at 12:22 AM on May 13, 2011


I'm trying to imagine a right wing doctor who... and thankfully failing.

Day of the Moon. Don't want to spoil it for people who haven't seen it, but between what he made every human do and the President who was helping him out it fits.

That's why progressives need a cable station with swooping american flag intros, over-caffeinated blonde chicks with awesome racks, big-chinned ex-jocks, all conspiring 24/7 to make you feel like you simply aren't cool and probably hate america if you don't support a certain way of looking at the world.


THIS. We need something like the Bruce Springsteen or Midnight Oil of left-wing thought. We need bold ideas. We need earnestness and loudness. I'd start something like it, but I'm too far to the right on certain things. But we need fairness. We need justice. I love America, and I'm ashamed of how it treats its poor and sick. We need appeals to American values - REAL American values like liberty, tolerance, justice, and FREEDOM. And we need to define them our way. They mean caring for ALL Americans, not just the richest.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:37 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The WWII video says the kids are going to "CONFRONT THE DANGER OF PURE EVIL"

Cut to clip of animated Hitler declaring "Germany has been ordained by god to rule the world!".

The Reagan revolution says the kids are going to "LEARN HOW ONE MAN WITH SOME VERY BIG IDEAS SETS OUT TO MAKE A HUGE IMPACT"

Cut to animated Reagan declaring "God has a plan for America!".
posted by the bricabrac man at 3:02 AM on May 13, 2011


I'm waiting for the episode where the kid's time travel is put to a stop by The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song. Oh wait, River actually things Nixon did some good. Better leave this mess to The Doctor alone!!
posted by kuppajava at 5:28 AM on May 13, 2011


taz -- yes, it's motivated by rebranding. I'm pretty sure that linguist guy is involved. (can't remember name, wrote great stuff about how left had adopted - stupidly - the discourse of the right)

but I also kind of like "progressive", though I would always name myself a Social Democrat. It stops the confusion with 19th cen liberalism which actually fits with the word "liberal/free" and better fits the basic beliefs being describe: support for policies that contribute to our community/society's progress towards being a better society - a more fair, open and stable society.
posted by jb at 5:45 AM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Reminder: when conservatives talk about education (and the undeniable importance thereof), while you're thinking about spelling and math and science, this sort of thing is ALL they are thinking about.
posted by Legomancer at 6:16 AM on May 13, 2011


The problem is that most liberals, or at least a big enough percentage to keep talking points from reaching critical mass, don't want an echo chamber of retweets, misinformation and rephrasing what Rush [INSERT BOISTEROUS LIBERAL ANALOGE TO RUSH LIMBAUGH HERE, MADDOW AND OLBERMAN AREN'T THE SAME AT ALL FFS] said.

We don't want to sink to their level. Of course, if you're into that kind of thing, Reddit.com/r/Politics is great at sharing sensationalist headlines that promote far-left views, until people pick them appart in the comments.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:25 AM on May 13, 2011


Or is this just a morphing of language from "Liberal" to "Progressive" now that "liberal" means "communist babykillers"?

The word "liberal" is too easy to misconstrue as "anything goes / overly permissive". "Progressive" is harder to twist. Who doesn't want things to get better than they are?
posted by the jam at 9:27 AM on May 13, 2011


I think this is their video of 1950's America.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:36 AM on May 13, 2011


that linguist guy

George Lakoff?

I've never actually read any of his work, but his ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to his newsletter. Any recommendations?
posted by Hlewagast at 10:12 AM on May 13, 2011


that's the guy! Me not so good at name-citation. I mostly know what he's said by an interview I saw several years ago; it was so insightful that his ideas (if not his name) have stuck with me ever since - specifically his arguments about framing/metaphor:

"Lakoff further argues that one of the reasons liberals have had difficulty since the 1980s is that they have not been as aware of their own guiding metaphors, and have too often accepted conservative terminology framed in a way to promote the strict father metaphor. Lakoff insists that liberals must cease using terms like partial birth abortion and tax relief because they are manufactured specifically to allow the possibilities of only certain types of opinions. Tax relief for example, implies explicitly that taxes are an affliction, something someone would want "relief" from. To use the terms of another metaphoric worldview, Lakoff insists, is to unconsciously support it. Liberals must support linguistic think tanks in the same way that conservatives do if they are going to succeed in appealing to those in the country who share their metaphors.[8]" (wikipedia)

Apparently Steven Pinker didn't like his book. Since I have never heard a sensible word out of Steven Pinker, this is a recommendation.
posted by jb at 12:14 PM on May 13, 2011


Language and stories really do matter -- and right now the right wingers know that and that's why they are so much trying to control the stories that we tell ourselves about how the world works.

That's why we have to stop even accepting the stories of those who wish to tear down our society - taxes aren't a burden, they are a patriotic duty (go Joe Biden).
posted by jb at 12:18 PM on May 13, 2011


Can you guys tell me what you mean when you use "progressive(s)"?

Just like in rock 'n' roll, progressives are basically similar to mainstream liberals, except with science fiction references and 15-minute synthesizer solos.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:23 PM on May 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Right's 'Big Lie' Strategy: When Losing, Simply Rewrite History by Chauncey DeVega:
The "liberals," a cabal that ostensibly holds sway over public schools and universities, are corrupt and anti-American. In their fantasy, conservatives have access to a quasi-secret, pure and unadulterated version of history that is only available to true believers. The Right is the proverbial keeper of the flame. They are obligated, through a gospel of sorts, to both protect and share this "correct," self-validating (and quite inaccurate) version of American history
posted by BeerFilter at 8:09 AM on May 14, 2011


Oh dear. Is Huckabee possibly making a subtle claim that Ronald Reagan isn't dead, but, rather, is the immortal Emperor of Mankind?

I think he's making the claim that Ronald Reagan is undead.
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on May 14, 2011


Huckabee's out.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:23 PM on May 14, 2011


*CONFETTI*
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 PM on May 14, 2011


I can't wait until they travel back in time to when Thomas Jefferson cuts out all the miracles of the Bible and Thomas Paine writes tracts against religion and in favor of a universal payout to people (guys in those days, but I've no doubt Paine would have been pro-universalism towards all in gender and race) upon getting a start in the world.
posted by symbioid at 12:18 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was supposed to be a wacky election with tons of weirdos. A few months ago, I even thought Glenn Beck might try to run and be assaulted by the skeletons in his closet for once (Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod send their regards). Then Trump started acting like he wants to be president.

Now, it looks like Gingrich is probably the wackiest "real" candidate (Bachman and Santorum just don't stand much of a chance), assuming Palin keeps on not really trying.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:44 PM on May 16, 2011


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