I’ll bet that professor expected to spout his propaganda in peace that day, as usual.
But there was a Tom Woods Show listener in the audience, who just couldn’t take it anymore.
I’ll let him tell the story:
In my Native American History course we were going through the policies of the Great Depression. The professor was telling everyone that President Hoover was a supporter of the free market.
I had to respond. I couldn’t bear to have him believe this was the truth.
So I told him the real truth, that Hoover was an interventionist. This deeply upset him. The professor responded that I was the one who was mistaken, and that his “research” told him that Hoover was a free marketeer.
I continued to insist on my view and explained that economic history told a different story from what he was telling us. Hoover was in fact for larger budgets and projects, most notably the Hoover Dam. This aggravated him even more, and I was ordered not to interrupt or talk any more.
After class he apologized for his behavior, but still insisted that Hoover was a proponent of laissez-faire. He said that anyone who denied this was in thrall to myths propounded by libertarian historians, and that such a conclusion is not supported by qualified historians.
I disputed that, too. The fact was that Hoover was a government interventionist, as was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I mentioned the labor and agriculture programs introduced by Hoover.
At the end of the discussion he conceded that perhaps we were both “biased,” and so gave up on reaching a final truth.
I salute this student.
It’s not always advisable to confront your professor. But if you can’t take it anymore, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
And let’s be perfectly blunt: this professor is an ignoramus.
He is repeating a thesis that was current maybe 60 years ago. But as I’ve shown in my own work, the Hoover-as-free-marketeer thesis is so utterly abandoned that even PBS rejects it now.
There’s a lot more the student could have said, about taxation, bailouts, relief money for the states, Hoover’s own statements about the death of laissez-faire, and so on.
In fact, Rexford Tugwell, an important figure in FDR’s Brain Trust, frankly admitted that the entire New Deal was simply extrapolated from what Hoover had done.
So who are the students supposed to believe: their professor, or one of the architects of the New Deal himself?
So here’s the thing: the other side is so often poorly informed that it takes a mere breath to tip them over.
But when they take their ignorance and ideological prejudice into the classroom, I lose my gentlemanly demeanor.
I don’t want to tip these jerks over with an ordinary breath.
I want to breathe fire.
Enough Mr. Nice Guy. These people are spreading lies in the service of a warped ideology. That is inexcusable and evil.
They must be smacked down, hard.
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