Columbia History professor Eric Foner, keynote speaker at the 2009 NCSS convention (a year after “socialist-anarchist” Boston University professor emeritus Howard Zinn’s presentation) in the London Review of Books, credits FDR with solidifying the liberal coalition, through the pro-union Wagner Act.
Foner fails to mention that politicians can only gain by giving away taxpayers’ money to public employee union voters. Foner heralds Wisconsin’s progressivism--the first state to grant public employee bargaining rights. He then snidely notes that “Wisconsin was also the home of Joseph McCarthy, and its conservative persona is now in the political ascendency.” The juxtaposition of the name of McCarthy with conservatism is intended to connect “red scare” mongering with conservatism—the same lessons of classroom discussions and textbooks. But while this partisan might have applauded the consequences of the 2008 elections, nary a word is said about the voters making their wills known in the election of 2010.
Princeton history professor Julian Zelizer too writes in CNN that we are seeing “a rather strong assault by conservative forces against the political and policy foundations of the liberal coalition” that “FDR helped to create.”
For these history professors, a liberal coalition is good, but a conservative one is bad. Such one-sided accounts are accompanied by a pedagogy that similarly rejects fairness. History lessons involve group discussions following emotional prompts intended to direct students to feel antipathy for the U.S. As they engage in privacy-infringing exercises in anti-bullying lessons, students are emotionally pressured to adopt a pro-gay agenda. “Critical thinking” questions are worded in such a leading way as to be a joke. Textbooks openly encourage subversion. Mandatory “community service” projects replace contemplative activities and direct students toward liberal causes.
Such pedagogy is intended to eliminate the standard of objectivity and independent thought. Students become incapable of engaging in the kind of reasoned debate that has been the foundation of our system of government.
The display of mob rule in Wisconsin should therefore give us more reason to take back the power from these unionized teachers.
This column first appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on March 14, 2011.