1200 scholars, unable to learn from history, sign letter against Trump (Shana Bernstein)

Twelve hundred scholars, mostly historians, have shown they can't learn from history by signing a pathetic letter [1] to Donald Trump:

As scholars of United States history and related fields, we have experienced concern and alarm as we went from a divisive campaign season to the election of Donald Trump as our president-elect. On the eve of a new administration whose key players have traded in hateful rhetoric and emboldened the harassment of various targets, we urge Americans to be vigilant against a mass violation of civil rights and liberties that could result if such troubling developments continue unchecked. Looking back on World War II and the Cold War, we recognize how easily the rights of people have been suspended during times of great uncertainty. A key lesson of such ordeals has been to never again repeat these mistakes, and so we issue a call to recognize and act upon the critical links between historical knowledge, informed citizenship, and the protection of civil and human rights.

During World War II, in the wake of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. officials justified the imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese Americans--U.S. and foreign born, most of whom were U.S. citizens--with the argument of "military necessity"...

...Internationally the United States has been engaged in a war on terror, and domestically the election made clear that we are in an ideological "culture war." And while we find ourselves in a distinct moment compared to World War II and the Cold War, we are seeing the return of familiar calls against perceived enemies. Alarmingly, justifications for a Muslim registry have cited Japanese American imprisonment during World War II as a credible precedent, and the Professor Watchlist—which speciously identifies "un-patriotic professors"--is eerily similar to the communist registry of the McCarthy era. Looking back to history provides copious lessons on what is at stake when we allow hysteria and untruths to trample people's rights...

It is not just that we are at the cusp of what may be a massive rollback of civil rights and liberties, but our culture is also mired in confusion about facts vs. misinformation and a rebellion against knowledge and critical thinking...

Obviously, those hundreds of historians can't learn from recent history: hundreds of supposed thought leaders said much the same things during the election and Trump won anyway. In fact, a group of authors started Writers on Trump that said much the same things, also got their names in the news, burnished their reputations with their small universe, and then failed with a whimper. They currently have just over 1000 Twitter followers and they had zero impact on the election.

The hundreds of historians also can't learn from Donald Trump's recent and past history. Like others, they take him seriously rather than realizing how fake he is. They aren't in touch with reality: in reality, there's very little chance that Trump would try a "Muslim registry" and if he did both Congress and the courts would rush to stop it. Likewise with Trump's other Grand Plans: Trump Wall on down.

The scholars aren't applying "critical thinking" to Trump. Instead, just as some Trump fans get sent into a frenzy about Alex Jones' disinfo, they've been sent into their own frenzy about disinfo from the Huffington Post and other questionable sources. They aren't that different from those who think that Barack Obama - greatest friend of Goldman Sachs and others - is a communist.

If the historians could learn from history, they'd realize that tens of millions of people are sick of being called names for supporting policies that, in broad terms, are perfectly valid: keeping terrorists out of the U.S., keeping illegal labor from lowering wages, and so on. They'd realize that those tens of millions see Trump as an antidote to people the scholars. They'd realize that calling possible Trump supporters names for supporting perfectly valid policies is one of the things that's helped Trump. They then might realize that people like them have repeatedly helped Trump and perhaps they should stop doing that.

If the scholars support open borders, they should try to present a valid argument for it, including explaining why they'd among other things help the Koch family, Tyson Foods, and WalMart reduce wages to world levels.

If the scholars don't support open borders, then they could try to present valid plans to achieve what Trump supporters want, such as a way to keep terrorists out of the U.S. that would work without violating civil liberties.

If the scholars truly oppose "confusion about facts vs. misinformation", then they have to fight instances of that not just from Trump supporters but from Trump opponents too. If they truly support "critical thinking", then one thing they can do is start demanding that those who have access to Trump or his advisors engages them in real debate about real issues. Let's see them do some good, rather than just posturing for their friends and in effect helping Trump.

[1] historynewsnetwork . org/article/164630
The ringleaders are Shana Bernstein of Northwestern University, Shelley Lee of Oberlin College, and Kim Cary Warren of the University of Kansas.