Regarding the June 20 column “Ignorance of history warps U.S. politics”: Obviously, I am not “with it,” nor is my dictionary. I had to search Google to figure out what may be meant by “This culture is increasingly nonlinear, and thus divorced from narrative.” So this sentence and resultant search was rewarding.

Revealing I thought was the author’s statement “I study history and I write history.” Does the author concede that history is written by humans who have already developed “points of view,” aka prejudices and biases, when they study and write history and, therefore, are never completely objective? Maybe that’s why history needs to be and is rewritten so frequently.

Revealing, perhaps, was that the only politicians named for (allegedly) misquoting history were two female Republicans whom the left would love to destroy. “Misspeak” is always regrettable, but it is not always ignorant nor fabricated. Sometimes — and I suspect more often — it is simply a neurological accident, i.e., it is not what the speaker intended to say. Which it is may not be obvious, but the sympathetic listener assumes it is accidental and the unsympathetic listener assumes it is deliberate. My point is that numerous examples abound on all sides of the political spectrum. Surprise?

“Era envy” is certainly not a new phenomenon but it was called “The-Old-Oaken-Bucket syndrome” when I was young some 65 years ago. I wonder how many people today are familiar with the song and can relate to the syndrome by that name.

It is easy to be dismissive of the values expressed and written into the Constitution as simply a misguided and naive era envy and thus excuse the fiscal irresponsibility and governmental excesses that conservatives oppose. Politics many not be so nonlinear as culture in general.

Frank Leitnaker

Bruchmuehlbach-Miesau, Germany

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