Right Wing Watch has spent years exposing and debunking the false history promoted by Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton of WallBuilders. While a lot of our focus has been on correcting Barton’s lies about the founding era and the creation of this nation, Barton also has a tendency to lie about contemporary issues that can easily be debunked with a basic Google search.
This latter tendency was on full display during last Friday’s episode of his “WallBuilders Live” radio program, where he praised the North Carolina supreme court for supposedly preventing state Democrats from enacting “a really bad gerrymandered map.”
“The Supreme Court of North Carolina has done some really interesting stuff,” Barton said. “They upheld a really bad gerrymandered map that gave Democrats so much charge and just really cooked the books. But that was before last November. Last November, they flipped the court in North Carolina. It was four Democrats, three Republicans. Now it’s five Republicans and two Democrats. And guess what? [That map] got reversed in the last couple of weeks. They’ve gone back and said, ‘No … We’re not going to have a gerrymandered map. We’re going to make that map fair.'”
The only part of Barton’s claim that was true was the part about Republicans gaining a 5-2 majority on the court during the last election. In early 2022, the court struck down a gerrymandered Republican-drawn map that would have given the GOP dominance over 11 of the state’s 14 districts, declaring the map to be “unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt.”
But with Republicans now in control, the court reversed that ruling, allowing Republicans to impose their gerrymandered map on the state. As Politico reported, the ruling opened “the door for Republican lawmakers there to go all in on partisan gerrymandering and entrenching their advantages in the North Carolina House and Senate while cushioning GOP margins in the US House of Representatives.”
Contrary to Barton’s claim that the North Carolina Supreme Court had struck down an egregiously gerrymandered map designed to benefit Democrats, what actually happened was that a Republican-dominated court upheld an egregiously gerrymandered map designed to benefit Republicans.
Given that Barton is apparently willing to blatantly lie about current events that can be disproved with a quick search of the internet, why is anyone willing to trust his claims about American history that rely upon his interpretation of often unknown and obscure historical documents?
Barton’s tenuous relationship with the truth has not prevented him from having a major influence on the Republican Party, where he has been an active member of the Platform Committee, or the conservative movement as a whole. Right now, Barton’s bogus Christian nationalist history is helping drive a major assault on church-state separation in Texas public schools, including the hiring of Christian chaplains to replace guidance counselors.
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