Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, September 24, 2018

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Scott Beason

Scott Beason

Screenshot: YouTube

Many Republicans despise the Common Core state standards initiative, but few do so for reasons as ridiculous as Alabama state senator Scott Beason.

Beason, who has sponsored a bill to allow Alabama schools to opt out of Common Core-based standards, recently explained his opposition to the curriculum to The Anniston Star. Among other objections, the lawmaker is upset that it includes:

  • John Hersey’s Hiroshima, which describes the detonation of the bomb “told from the Japanese view.” Beason is concerned that “it doesn’t sound like we’re being very good folks, does it?”
  • Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, in which the narrator expresses regret for killing a North Vietnamese soldier during the war. “What is the message that’s being put across?” Beason worries. “Is it that we were the bad guys in Vietnam, or was it that we were the good guys in Vietnam? I think we’re the good guys. But I don’t get that out of this argument, I mean, of this story.”
  • Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which a Common Core-approved textbook encourages students to compare to the Red Scare. “So we’re comparing the McCarthy investigations of the 1950s, in which he turned out to be right, with the Salem witch hunts,” Beason says.
  • One of his colleagues, Talladega County GOP Chairman Danny Hubbard, added that “now that all the records are out, it’s clear that McCarthy didn’t go far enough.”

Once again, it appears that those who oppose more rigorous academic standards are the exact same people who really could have used them during their own school days.