For Whom Would You Vote?
In each of the past
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
before 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.
Your comments and suggestions would be appreciated.
"It is time to elect the leader of a great nation, and you have been
presented with the following candidates:
CANDIDATE "A": 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 as earned his fortune from such businesses as alcohol, tobacco,
retailing, and smuggling."
CANDIDATE "B": 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, Candidate "B” 141 votes. A percentage of 25% for
"A,” 75% for "B."
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 or so to a
room became unbelievably silent.