Big Surprise? There Is Now a 'Historians Against Trump' Group
As they once did in their protests against the Vietnam War, American academic historians are now trying to use their positions in academia to present “scholarly” reasons why Donald Trump must not be president of the United States. They have formed a group called “Historians Against Trump” (HAT), since obviously “Historians Against War” was not appropriate for this salvo.
Their “Open Letter to the American People,” published on their website, is one of the most arrogant, pretentious piece of claptrap they could possibly have written. Why have they written this letter? This is their reason:
Historians understand the impact these phenomena have upon society’s most vulnerable and upon a nation’s conscience. The lessons of history compel us to speak out against a movement rooted in fear and authoritarianism. The lessons of history compel us to speak out against Trump.
I am no fan of Donald Trump, and I am not going to vote for him this election, but their argument does not stand up. First, what if there was a large group of conservative historians in the academy who decided to write an open letter about the election, claiming “the lessons of history” as their reason for arguing we should vote Republican? The HAT would no doubt loudly condemn them for using the fact that they are professional historians with Ph.D.s as the reason they should be listened to.
As we know, I could count the number of self-proclaimed conservative historians in the academy on the fingers of one hand. The truth is that the historical profession has been captured by people who are largely made up of aging New Leftists and their students now entering the profession, all of whom are either left/liberal, socialist, Marxist or even Communist.
Their letter argues that Trump’s very candidacy is “an attack on our profession.” Would they countenance an Open Letter from conservative historians that says the people should vote for Trump and that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is an “attack on our profession”?
Opponents of Trump can argue that he is unfit to hold the presidency, a demagogue who does not know anything about social or foreign policy, etc. These are personal political judgements, and they could be right or wrong. But having an anti-Trump view does not mean that they have the right to speak as historians. Maybe they need to book some sessions with their sister anti-Trump group, “Citizen Therapists.” For that matter, why must therapists, too, speak out against Trump, as therapists? Well, of course, they come up with a similar reason:
Trumpism will undermine the emotional health of those seen as the “other” in America—both historically denigrated groups and those whose turn will come…. As therapists, we have been entrusted by society with collective responsibility in the arena of mental, behavioral, and relational health….Therefore, as citizen therapists we stand united against the dangerous ideology of Trumpism.
What if a group of conservative therapists wrote the same statement arguing that supporting Hillary Clinton is undermining their patients’ “emotional health?” You know that a wide group of mental health professionals would be up in arms about their using their profession as a reason for not supporting Hillary Clinton. Moreover, how would they treat a patient of theirs who is public about his support of Trump? Obviously, they would think that person must be very disturbed indeed.