by Jared Yates Sexton
The Right depends on a mythological telling of our Founding.
They want to treat the Framers as champions of freedom, liberty, and equality, and hide the fact that they created a country explicitly for white, wealthy men.
The myth of American Exceptionalism, this idea that we are a *chosen nation* by God and that we are a bastion for liberty and freedom is why so much of our political crisis is confusing and, for some, inscrutable.
But real history shows us how we've arrived at this moment.
From the very beginning, America was founded to serve the whims of white, wealthy men, particularly slaveholders.
The South took advantage of the Founding to create for itself a hold over power and the protection of human bondage as a capitalistic enterprise.
The GOP and the Right want you to believe the Founding and America were divinely inspired by God so that it cannot be questioned and the white supremacist institutions will remain in place, even as times and demographics change.
This, of course, is how a complete failure of a third-rate reality TV "star" not only becomes president, but is considered by white evangelicals as a messiah-like figure chosen by God.
The mythology of American Exceptionalism is directly to blame.
The mythology of American Exceptionalism aggressively whitewashes history, taking things like the Confederate States of America and erasing the truth that they considered themselves the rightful heirs of our white supremacist founding.
In that perverse mythology, the Civil War *ended white supremacy* forever, cleansing our nation of its "one sin."
Truthfully, the white supremacy merely absorbed into our culture, politics, and society at large. It's been hiding there ever since behind that mythology.
What the GOP wants is weaponized history and mythology, an active hiding of massive race riots, generations of lynching, entire cities like Tulsa razed to the ground by rampaging white supremacists.
It wants to disinfect the record to more effectively hide racism.
As part of this weaponizing of history, the Right wants to forget that America spearheaded eugenics and the forced sterilization of citizens.
We inflicted tens of thousands and exported our explicitly white supremacist ideas abroad, including to Nazi Germany.
America played a massive role in spreading white supremacist conspiracy theories, like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, publishing them for years and popularizing the idea, influencing fascist movements in America and in Europe in the early 20th century.
As well, the GOP doesn't want you to know about previous fascist American movements, like America First, headed by Charles Lindbergh, who called for a white supremacist alliance with Hitler against people of color.
They want you to believe it can't happen here.
The Right also wants you to remain ignorant of how they have attacked past civil rights movement, portraying them as "communist conspiracies" or the result of manipulations by Jewish puppetmasters.
This has always been their trick, from the 1960's to this current day.
Over and over again, the Right has targeted reform movements like Civil Rights, claiming they're outside conspiracies meant to destroy America, thus legitimizing violent oppression and attacks against the protestors.
We're still fighting this fight. Right now.
And the GOP doesn't want you to know how, faced with Civil Rights, they intentionally directed their focus on stirring up white supremacy as an electoral strategy, using existing fascistic elements to create a new party and movement of hate and fearmongering.
Keeping real history at bay is a means of plausible deniability, of being able to deny that America is a racist country, that white supremacy is real, and thus allowing the GOP and its backers to continue racially exploiting people.
The mythological history is a weapon.
Meanwhile, the same people who peddle the myth that America isn't racist use calls for reforms as "proof" that the country is under attack, giving them cover to gradually destroy liberal democracy in order to continue their power grab and limit democratic progress.
This attack on reality has been spearheaded by massive corporations who have committed to a parallel attack on reality and truth, all in an effort to continue profiting off the destruction of the environment, even while the climate catastrophe continues to grow.
The denial of absolute truth like the climate catastrophe serves multiple purposes: enabling the continued exploitation of the environment and creating a conspiratorial fearmongering that furthers profit and political power.
This is the essence of Fox News.
In this fearmongering environment, the GOP tells its viewers that all calls for reform are part of a larger, sinister conspiracy.
This makes sure the base continues voting, but also creates an alternate reality where the myth can remain and profiting continues.
Only in this backward, conspiracy-filled environment can someone like Donald Trump win the presidency.
He was the embodiment of it, but also a weapon by which the GOP could continue to weaponize history, radicalize its base, and further its agenda.
Trump was repulsive, but useful for all the different GOP factions, including the Evangelical Right and billionaires like Betsy DeVos who wanted to destroy public education and eradicate impediments to continuing to grow their fortunes.
Of course, Trump was only a symptom of a larger disease and a portent of what was to come. There is a radical new generation following in his footsteps, and they are completely dedicated to forwarding this mythological history and the conspiratorial fearmongering.
This alternate reality is where the GOP's base now reside. They hold onto a completely fake history and are absolutely terrified about the conspiratorial threats that have been created by billionaires, Right Wing media, and demagogues like Donald Trump.
And what's worse is that it's only speeding up. The Big Lie was about creating massive doubt toward elections, allowing the GOP to deny any loss and potentially overturn any contest.
All of this is built on weaponized history and the myth of American Exceptionalism.
There is a direct line between the crafting of the GOP's conspiracy-filled alternate reality and the weaponization of American history.
You can't get to January 6th and this current moment without realizing its based on an alternate American story that hides our faults.
The outrage over "Critical Race Theory," "cultural Marxism," and liberal "conspiracies" is about the GOP protecting its stranglehold over its base and hoping to further indoctrinate others, all to hide its past mistakes and America's worst actions.
Only by learning actual history, the truth of how America was founded on white patriarchal supremacist exploitation, and how our history has been a chronicle of the struggle for equality and against this force, can we begin to actually progress and move past this crisis.