Monday, September 27, 2004
In each of two years, and on the first day of class, Law Professor Butler Shaffer, Southwestern University School of Law, presented his students with the following voting exercise. Bear in mind that these students knew nothing about the Professor nor had he said anything to them prior to opening up the class with this exercise.
Cast your vote to understand why it is vital to teach factual not revisionist history in our private and public institutions of education.
VOTING EXERCISE "It is time to elect the leader of a great nation, and you have been presented with the following candidates:
A well-known critic of government, this man has been involved in tax protest movements, and has openly advocated secession, armed rebellion against the existing national government, and even the overthrow of that government. He is a known member of a militia group that was involved in a shootout with law enforcement authorities. He opposes gun control efforts of the present national government, as well as restrictions on open immigration into this country. He is a businessman who has earned his fortune from such businesses as alcohol, tobacco, retailing, and smuggling."
A decorated army war veteran, this man is an avowed nonsmoker and dedicated public health advocate. His public health interests include the fostering of medical research and his dedication to eliminating cancer. He opposes the use of animals in conducting such research. He has supported restrictions on the use of asbestos, pesticides, and radiation, and favors government determined occupational health and safety standards, as well as the promotion of such foods as whole-grain bread and soybeans. He is an advocate of government gun-control measures. An ardent opponent of tobacco, he has supported increased restrictions on both the use of and advertising for tobacco products. Such advertising restrictions include:  not allowing tobacco use to be portrayed as harmless or a sign of masculinity;  not allowing such advertising to be directed to women;  not drawing attention to the low nicotine content of tobacco products; and,  limitations as to where such advertisements may be made. This man is a champion of environmental and conservationist programs, and believes in the importance of sending troops into foreign countries in order to maintain order therein.
PLEASE SELECT THE CANDIDATE FOR WHICH YOU WOULD VOTE:
CANDIDATE 'A' _____
CANDIDATE 'B' _____
The combined vote total for these two years (4 classes) is as follows:
Candidate "A" 47 votes 25%
Candidate"B" 141 votes. 75%
After collecting all the ballots, the professor inform the students that Candidate 'A' is a composite of the "founding fathers" (e.g., Sam Adams, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Patrick Henry, etc., etc.) while Candidate 'B' is Adolph Hitler (see Robert Proctor's book, THE NAZI WAR ON CANCER).
An interesting follow-up occurred in one of these classes last year. In the "commerce clause" segment of constitutional law, the students were discussing the Schechter case - in which the Supreme Court struck down the New Deal's National Industrial Recovery Act. After describing this Act in some detail, the professor went on to inform his students just how popular state collectivism was throughout the world: Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco and Roosevelt being the better known examples; and of how Hitler and Mussolini had been revered by many renowned people throughout the world, including Gandhi, Churchill, etc., etc.
At this point, one student interrupted: "I don't see how you can say that. How could a man like Adolph Hitler have been popular with so many people?"
The professor leaned over the podium and responded: "you tell me...just two weeks ago, 78% of you in this class voted for him."
In about twenty seconds, the room became unbelievably silent.