Before Dinesh D’Souza, There Was David Barton

Eric Metaxas (Right), David Barton (Left)

David Barton hasn’t gone anywhere but D’Souza is currently associated with the claim that progressive historians have kept the racist past of the Democratic party out of our education system. In 2004, Barton publihed a book called¬†Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White¬†in which he emphasized the Democratic failings and the Republican history of civil rights advocacy. However, he fails to account for the shift in the Democratic party during the last 50+ years. Typical of Barton, the book is missing important events such as Barry Goldwater’s failure to support the Civil Rights Act. I critiqued the book in a 2012 post.

Currently, Princeton historian Kevin Kruse is documenting on Twitter the many historians who have found D’Souza’s work to be lacking (over 100 at this writing). I was reminded that D’Souza’s spin on the Democratic party isn’t new with him by this tweet from Bruce Wilson:

I don’t know how long D’Souza has been promoting the Democratic party is still the racist party line but he sounds a lot like Barton when he does it. Is it possible that D’Souza lifted it from Barton?

D’Souza claims history teachers obscure the fact that Democrats favored slavery and Jim Crow laws. That certainly isn’t true in our local school system and as Kevin Kruse regularly points out, historians teach the facts — all of them. It is D’Souza and Barton who leave out the facts they don’t like.

Kruse’s thread with the line up of historians is here:

24 thoughts on “Before Dinesh D’Souza, There Was David Barton”

  1. I’ve listened to D’Souza presenting his take a few times on YouTube, and every time I think, “Even if he’s 100% correct, who cares? We’re not voting in 1960.” I think the Democratic Party is racist for completely unrelated reasons.

  2. I will say that if there wasn’t so much leftism in our government, which is endorsed by the Democratic Party that resembles Communist Russia from where my parents came from, especially the suppressing of Christian worldview in public, there wouldn’t be people like Dinesh D’Souza and David Barton. Obviously, they got faults, but I believe that what they advocate for is a lot better than what the leftists do, especially Bernie Sanders, who in my opinion, is a rigid secularist anti-Christian bigot, and I am grateful that people like Barton and D’Souza could keep him and of his like in their places.

    1. …people like Dinesh D’Souza and David Barton. Obviously, they got faults….

      Please provide examples of their faults.

      1. I personally do not like how D’Souza is downplaying the experiences of African Americans dealing with racism. He is seeing their experiences through his personal experience as an Indian immigrant, which in my opinion, is unproductive. As for Barton, he has made numerous claims that US’s Founding Fathers were all Bible-based Christians, which is only partially correct. As a matter of fact, most of them were deists and Freemasons, whose theology is mostly non-biblical. Regardless of D’Souza and Barton’s faults, I believe that having USA’s culture and government being shaped by some Christian values is a lot better than shaping our culture and government by none Christian values.

      2. they misrepresent (if not outright lie about) US history to promote their christian world view. Warren’s blog has quite a few examples of how they have done this.

        1. It looks like they truly believe in what they are saying and writing, but aren’t we all, in general, tend to believe what was taught to us as the truth and aren’t willing to question it?

          1. Again, if you followed Warren’s past posts on this, you know it isn’t simply a matter of “false belief”. Many have pointed out how what they have said is false (and presented the evidence of it) and yet they keep repeating those falsehoods. I.e. they are lying.

    2. I’m sorry, but equating what little “leftism” exists in American governmental circles with the Soviet communist regime is utterly ludicrous and immediately disqualifies you from any rational discussion on this issue. Even if Bernie Sanders won the next election in a landslide and implemented a new national healthcare system, it *still* wouldn’t remotely resemble Soviet Russia.

      I grew up in the UK in the 1970s when it was a real socialist nation. Even that wasn’t remotely communist — for one, it was still very much a democratic nation — and today’s Democratic party isn’t even remotely as leftwing as the British Labour Party was in the 70s (or is today, under Corbyn, for that matter).

      You are simply not dealing with reality here, which is why, I guess, you like D’Souza and Barton, because they are telling you what you want to hear, and not what’s true.

      1. I said that leftism in the US is equivalent to Communist Russia in terms of suppressing Christian worldview in public. I am also aware of similar things happening in Europe and in the UK. It has been happening in our public education since the 1960s. My comparison to former Soviet Union was confined only to that. Over there, Christian people were being imprisoned, expelled from colleges, and fired for preaching from the Bible while in the US and the UK, Christian people have not been imprisoned yet, but such people experienced other aforementioned punishments. I couldn’t care less if Bernie Sanders would offer universal healthcare, based on his recent treatment of Russ Vought (there is a thread about it here), I believe it is fair to compare him and his like to Communists in the former Soviet Union. Look, if you think that in democratic societies people should be legally punished for openly stating that everybody who is not a Christian stand condemned or for offering professional help to clients with unwanted same-sex attractions, then I can understand why you feel irritated with Dinesh D’Souza, David Barton, James Dobson, Ralph Drollinger, Eric Metaxas, Jordan Peterson and so forth. I do not think so and this is why these people despite their shortcomings are my heroes. Since nobody from around here has any real conception what it was like to live in Soviet Union and being persecuted for living according to the Bible, then none of you are qualified to condemn and judge me for what I post.

  3. i saw D’souza’s first movie – I wasn’t impressed, and thought it was mostly just an Obama hit piece.

    I often wonder if D’souza, Barton, Metaxas, and their like are doing what they do for the money and notoriety – surely they know about their detractors and what is the truth. I think they turn a blind eye to the truth as it doesn’t support their narrative.
    confirmation bias.

    1. mostly just an Obama hit piece

      It wasn’t mostly an Obama hit piece, it’s the only reason that movie was made in the first place — as a hit piece.

    2. mostly just an Obama hit piece

      It wasn’t mostly an Obama hit piece, it’s the only reason that movie was made in the first place — as a hit piece.

  4. Warren, why do you repeatedly use the phrase “Democrat party”? The correct name is “Democratic Party”. “Democrat Party” is used as something of a slur by some Republicans (probably especially by slimy ones like Barton and D’Souza), but you should be above that sort of thing — in fact it is the sort of ungracious misstatement that I would expect you to criticize if Barton did it.
    There’s even a Wikipedia article about this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_Party_(epithet)

    1. Kind of like the Republicanic Party? Of course not. It is a party of Democrats, not Democratics. This is much ado about nothing.

      1. Knowingly calling an organization by a wrong name is bearing false witness, whether it be “Democrat Party” or “Republic Party” (or I have seen Publican Party suggested).
        Not a huge deal, but bearing false witness is never “nothing”.

          1. My comment was not directed at Warren, who quickly acknowledged and corrected his careless mistake. If only people like Barton and D’Souza behaved so honorably.
            It was in reply to another commenter who called criticism of the use of that epithet “much ado about nothing”.

          2. My comment was not directed at Warren, who quickly acknowledged and corrected his careless mistake. If only people like Barton and D’Souza behaved so honorably.
            It was in reply to another commenter who called criticism of the use of that epithet “much ado about nothing”.

          3. My comment was not directed at Warren, who quickly acknowledged and corrected his careless mistake. If only people like Barton and D’Souza behaved so honorably.
            It was in reply to another commenter who called criticism of the use of that epithet “much ado about nothing”.

          4. My comment was not directed at Warren, who quickly acknowledged and corrected his careless mistake. If only people like Barton and D’Souza behaved so honorably.
            It was in reply to another commenter who called criticism of the use of that epithet “much ado about nothing”.

        1. Being as that it is a party of Democrat, just like the Republican Party is a party of Republicans, calling it the Democrat Party is not really bearing false witness. It might be a bit of a tweak, but I think it became popular when Bush did it unintentionally (remember how bad he was with words at times). There were uses before Bush, but it seems more common now.

          But the reality is that there are real issues to be discussed. This is nothing compared to those real issues like whether or not a living baby outside the womb should be cared for and protected. Getting upset over a name is small potatoes beside that.

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