At the risk of giving the Art Pope more publicity than he deserves, I am compelled to point out one more grisly act in the Puppetshow. Mr. Pope doesn't like how schools teach history and wants to have it rewritten in his own egomaniacal image. Witness the North Carolina History Project.
Purpose and Goals
During the past few decades, scholarship has minimized what most know to be true—that individuals can make a difference and that ideas matter.
Really? My daughter went through public school in the past few decades. I never once got the impression that individuals don't make a difference and that ideas don't matter.
Meanwhile, the powers of abstract social and economic forces have been overemphasized and a presumption that government should perform societal functions has been fostered. In the process, many good things in North Carolina’s history—the creation of personal wealth, the benefits of private property, and the positive influence of religious and free market ideas, to name some examples—have been misunderstood. As a result, much of what is positive in North Carolina remains inexplicable. Most importantly, a vast resource of good ideas and exemplary personalities are forgotten, and possible solutions to current societal problems are overlooked.
To compensate for such cultural losses and fill a void in historical scholarship, the John Locke Foundation started the North Carolina History Project. The History Project’s purpose is not only to encourage a wide variety of historical questions and provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas but also to emphasize overlooked or forgotten historical themes. Such themes include entrepreneurship, private sector problem solving, the importance of individuals and ideas, and the positive role of free markets.
I'm starting to think the Puppetmaster is actually off his rocker. Does he really believe people don't think there have been positive influences of religion? Does he really think free-market ideas are fundamentally misunderstood? Or does he just have some deep seated anxiety the drives him to fix things that may not be broken?
The truth is probably more like this: Art Pope isn't getting his way 100% of the time and he simply doesn't like it. He wants everyone to adopt his extreme views about the free market and the power of entrepreneurial drive. It's almost tempting to feel sorry for him.