Trashing Donald Trump is the favorite indoor and outdoor sport of the liberal media, the deep state, the so-called intelligentsia and all the people who still can’t believe Hillary Clinton lost — including the Never Trumpers. Now they’re all busy writing stories about what a disaster Mr. Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin was. For a different view, and the best report on that meeting, see what Angelo Codevilla has written.
But why is the left so unkind to Mr. Trump when they tend to be so nice about President Franklin Roosevelt’s meeting with Joseph Stalin toward the end of World War II?
Here’s what one high school American history textbook says about that meeting:
“The Soviets had never ceased their clamor for an all-out second front, and the time rapidly approached for Winston Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin to meet in person to coordinate the promised effort. Marshal Joseph Stalin, with a careful eye on Soviet military operations, balked at leaving Moscow. Roosevelt, who jauntily remarked in private, ‘I can handle that old buzzard,’ was eager to confer with him. The president seemed confident that Rooseveltian charm could woo the hardened conspirator of the Kremlin from his nasty communist ways.”
That is balderdash, as is much of the rest of what appears in “The American Pageant” by David M. Kennedy, Lizabeth Cohen and Thomas A. Bailey. “The American Pageant” is one of the most widely used high school textbooks in the country today — and that is what it teaches.
The authors of “The American Pageant” portray Roosevelt as savvy in his handling of Stalin. That’s ridiculous. Roosevelt was deluded and thought Stalin was a trustworthy ally. Of Communist Russia, Roosevelt said, “They all seem really to want to do what is good for their society instead of wanting to do for themselves.” Of Stalin in particular, Roosevelt said, “I think if I give him everything I possibly can, and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of peace and democracy.”
Many Russian experts disagreed with FDR, and patiently explained to him that Stalin was a tyrant and a dangerous mass murderer. William Bullitt, ambassador to Russia, told FDR that Stalin was a “Caucasian bandit whose only thought when he got something for nothing was that the other fellow was an ass.” But other Americans, and Churchill, too, could not get Roosevelt to abandon his faith in Stalin. When one of his advisers investigated the murder of thousands of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest, Roosevelt admitted Russia was probably guilty, but said that he “didn’t want to believe it,” and if he had to believe it, he would “pretend not to.”
The textbook continues:
“Tehran, the capital of Iran (Persia), was finally chosen as the meeting place [for a conference with Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin]. To this ancient city Roosevelt riskily flew, after a stopover conference in Cairo with Britain’s Churchill and China’s Jiang Jieshi regarding the war against Japan. At Tehran the discussion among Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill — from November 28 to December 1, 1943 — progressed smoothly.”
Smoothly for whom? For Stalin. He got a commitment from Roosevelt to establish a western front to take the German pressure off Russia.
Reading the account of the meeting in Tehran is pitiful. Yes, Roosevelt flew to Tehran, some 6,000 miles total, and was exhausted when he got there. He was already ill, and would be dead less than a year-and-a-half later. The Soviets bugged Roosevelt’s room, and many of the “servants” at the conference were actually Soviet spies. Stalin secured a commitment from FDR that Russia would have hegemony in Poland after the war. Poland would be part of the corridor of countries whose people Russia would control for decades after the war. FDR was giving tacit approval, and even said at one point, he “was confident that the people [of Poland] would vote to join the Soviet Union.”
Nothing Mr. Trump has ever said matches the delusional Franklin Roosevelt.
Fake news, fake current news is one thing. “Fake news” history books, like “The American Pageant,” is something else. What can be done about that?
What the Education and Research Institute of Washington, D.C., (of which I am chairman) is doing is putting critiques of American history textbooks online, so students can learn true American history.
Much of the commentary above is taken from ERI’s critique of “The American Pageant” and can be found at TrueAmericanHistory.US. It is sobering — and frightening — to see what biased textbook writers have done in the past, and see that bias at work again today.
Unfortunately, it shows that trashing Donald Trump is likely to be the favorite indoor and outdoor sport of the liberal-progressive writers of American history textbooks for years to come.
• Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Citizens for the Republic.