My name is Glenn David Brasher, and I approve this message:
When I started teaching close to 20 years ago, I was determined that I would keep my own personal politics out of the classroom. We’ve all had classes in which the professor used their time in front of the class as a platform for political diatribes, especially in history or political science classes. That always angered me, and thus I decided that I would never do it. I think I have been very successful at that over the years, and take pride in the fact that most students can not figure out if I am a Republican or a Democrat. It isn’t very hard to accomplish this political ambiguity when you commit yourself to being as objective as possible.
But this past year is different, as I have found it near impossible to not lash out at Donald Trump’s candidacy. Any student that has had me in the last year knows where I stand on him, and why. In fact, it seems that pretty much every class (no matter the lecture topic) offers a lesson that seems appropriate when considering Trump. I make no apologies for it, and feel it is in some ways a duty. I do hate that it caused me to break my commitment, but I blame him and his popularity for that. I’ll go back to objectivity when he is defeated. To quote Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing: “make no mistake, he must be stopped.”
Anyway, I say all this because I am very proud to see that some seriously big-time historians have decided that they can not stand idly by and do nothing to stop a Trump presidency. Led by David Mccullough and Ken Burns, they have created a Facebook page called Historians on Donald Trump where they have posted short video diatribes against the presumptive Republican nominee (and will continually be adding new ones). I do not like that so far there is not a lot of diversity in the line-up (its largely older, white male historians), but perhaps that is exactly the demographic that we need to reach the most, because the bulk of his support comes from white males.
I have many Republican friends and family that confess that they too loathe Trump, but that Hillary Clinton would be worse. Trust me, I REALLY understand their reluctance to support her, (if she were not such a weak/problematic candidate, we would not even be facing a possible Trump presidency) but I simply can not agree that she (or perhaps anyone!) would be worse or more dangerous. DANGER is the operative word I think we all need to consider.
All those that proclaim to rever historians, history, and history’s lessons, I implore you to check out the videos posted on this Facebook page. To throw my support in, I will start posting one of the videos with each of my postings, starting with the highly revered David McCullough:
(David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize — for “Truman” (1992) and “John Adams” (2001) — and twice received the National Book Award — for “The Path Between the Seas” (1977) and “Mornings on Horseback” (1982). His other acclaimed books include “The Greater Journey” (2011), “1776” (2005), “Brave Companions” (1991), “The Johnstown Flood” (1968), “The Great Bridge” (1972) and “The Wright Brothers” (2015). He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award).