Progress Texas’s Unsplendid Deception

by Jonah Goldberg

Hugh Gallagher wrote a wonderful book, Splendid Deception, on FDR’s exhaustive effort to deceive the American people about his disability. Of the 35,000 photos taken of him, there are exactly two of him in a wheelchair. When the FDR Memorial was unveiled, there was a huge controversy about whether he should be depicted in a wheelchair (here’s Charles Krauthammer on the issue in 1997). The argument was made at the time that we are so much more enlightened now and so we shouldn’t cave to the prejudices FDR was dealing with. There’s some merit to that, I think.

I’m not sure what it says about today’s culture, but I can’t help but feel it’s something other than progress that liberals now feel the need to photoshop another wheelchair-bound politician so that he is standing up — just so they can more effectively mock him.

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