10 January 2017

"Should Historians Speak Out Against Trump?"

Ummm . . . that train's already left the station.

However, the folks over at History News Network are asking the question (again, after the fact), so I thought I'd share this video. Note that no one has or is asking "Should Historians Speak Out Against Clinton?" or "Should Historians Speak Out Against Obama?"

Gee, could it possibly be that Clinton and Obama are liberal Democrats, just like most academic historians? Nah, of course not. Don't be silly.

Seriously though, I must ask, do the historians at HNN really believe that those of us outside the academy who, nonetheless, pay attention to these things, aren't unaware of the rampant leftist bias in academia? That's certainly the way they write. Are they really that detached from reality? I find it amazing that folks as educated as they claim to be can be so ignorant about what's actually going on around them. Absolutely amazing. And you just gotta love the commentary below the video:

"His claims are challenged by historians who believe that they have a moral obligation to engage the public on the issues raised by Trump's candidacy."

A "moral obligation?". Yes indeed, just as Professor Gordon Wood has labeled these folks: "moral reformers"; though it certainly appears their "moral obligations" are rather selective when it comes to politicians. Laughable.

I'm not familiar with the person being interviewed - Stanley Fish - but Wikipedia notes that he's an "American literary theorist, legal scholar, author and public intellectual. He is currently the Floersheimer Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Yeshiva University's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City." 

Mr. Fish seems to be channeling historian Paul Johnson who once wrote, "Beware committees, conferences and leagues of intellectuals. Distrust public statements from their serried ranks. Discount their verdicts on political leaders and important events."

He's spot on. And, no, most of don't think historians "should stay in the archives." That's a red herring. Many of us do believe, however, that simply because you have a degree in history, does not make you any more qualified to make political proclamations than anyone else of average intelligence. Moreover, the fact that there's so much leftist bias among academic historians actually makes these folks less credible. That being said, I do believe that Jonathan Zimmerman's comments near the end of the video are well thought out and bring some common sense to the discussion.

No comments: