Saturday, May 16, 2015

Scott Walker fails history, and cuts to education could mean your kid might, too

Two American history gaffes in one week, plus per-pupil spending dipping below national average, are ominous signs of what’s to come

Scott Walker isn’t a friend to U.S. history.

In two separate tweets this week, Team Walker got significant events of our nation’s early beginnings very wrong.

In the first, Walker’s Twitter account tried to celebrate the founding of Jamestown.

There’s just one problem: Jamestown was founded 408 years ago, not 505.

That’s a minor slip to be sure, although how it can be blamed on a typing error is questionable.

It pales in comparison to another slip-up this week by Walker. Tweeting an image of a quote from Thomas Jefferson, Team Walker pushed for “smaller, more conservative government.”

The problem here? The quote can’t be attributed to Thomas Jefferson. He never said it.

Walker joins a long line of politicians who have slipped up on quoting the author of the Declaration of Independence. The problem is so frequent that the official site for all-things Thomas Jefferson ( has set up a page listing all of the spurious quotes that people mistakenly assign to him.

Fact-checking and being knowledgeable on history isn’t Walker’s strong-suit. It’s pretty clear to see, whether you look at his own comments or those of the staff he hires, that he doesn’t place a priority on historical accuracy.

Which is why he might be so comfortable with huge cuts to education. No clearer is his distaste for growing the minds of our children than in his proposed budget bill, which puts per-pupil spending in the state below the national average for the first time in Wisconsin history.

It’d be one thing if Walker was simply embarrassing himself with these American history gaffes. It’s disgraceful that he’s pushing budget cuts that would make the entire state an embarrassment.

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