To me, history is what was. It’s the past that’s been and gone forever.
To people on the Left, however, history is the future that they shape, which they presume their Leftist scholars will later enshrine in propagandistic history books. I thought of that peculiar viewpoint last night when watching a PBS special about the JFK assassination, an event that doesn’t interest me at all. The most interesting thing about it is a conspiracy theorist’s kerfuffle in its wake. As for me, I believe in a single gunman acting out a Communist fantasy because, today’s Leftist belief to the contrary, Kennedy was a fierce anti-Communist.
The PBS show wasn’t a bad show, and did lay to rest some of the conspiracy theories, but mostly I struggled to stay awake. What did catch my attention was Jim Lehrer’s statement that the assassination “changed history forever.”
Thing about that statement for a minute and marvel at its incoherence. An ordinary person would say that the assassination changed the trajectory America was on as of November 22, 1963. But it didn’t change what happened before November 22, 1963 which was actual history. Moroever, at the moment the assassination happened, what was left was the future, not “future history.”
It was with Lehrer’s nonsensical words ringing in my mind that I read Daniel Greenfield’s “The Left Side of History,” which explains the Obama’s leftist habit of seeing history, not as a look back to the past, but as a forcibly created future:
“As frustrating as HealthCare.gov may be sometimes,” Obama told ObamaCare navigators and volunteers. “We’re on the right side of history.”
It wasn’t the first time that Obama had invoked the right side of history to rally the troops. During the Arab Spring, as Mubarak resigned on his orders, he said, “History will end up recording that at every juncture in the situation in Egypt, that we were on the right side of history.”
It’s hard to be on the right side of history at every juncture. But Obama believed that he had achieved the feat by backing Mubarak, then backing his overthrow and then backing the Muslim Brotherhood.
Read the rest here, and see if you can get a handle on the way the Left views the future as the pre-written past.
UPDATE: Like me, Joseph Epstein doesn’t get the “Kennedy wallow” either. It’s especially silly when one considers that the Left is fetishizing a tax-cutting, communist-hating, Catholic-worshipping, and black-disliking president. And thinking about the facts versus the fantasy, I guess we’re just getting another insight into the Left’s idea of reality versus those actual stubborn facts.