- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A group of history experts have formed “Historians against Trump” to educate voters on the “threat” presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump poses to American democracy.

An open letter published by the group Monday has been signed by 177 history professors, school teachers, public historians, museum professionals, independent scholars and graduate students. It said Mr. Trump’s candidacy is an “attack” on their profession, and that they have a duty as historians to “share an understanding of the past upon which a better future may be built.”

“As historians, we recognize both the ominous precedents for Donald J. Trump’s candidacy and the exceptional challenge it poses to civil society,” the letter read. “Historians of different specialties, eras and regions understand the enduring appeal of demagogues, the promise and peril of populism, and the political uses of bigotry and scapegoating. Historians understand the impact these phenomena have upon society’s most vulnerable and upon a nation’s conscience. The lessons of history compel us to speak out against a movement rooted in fear and authoritarianism. The lessons of history compel us to speak out against Trump.

“Donald Trump’s record of speeches, policies and social media is an archive of know-nothingism and blinding self-regard,” the letter continued. “Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is a campaign of violence: violence against individuals and groups; against memory and accountability; against historical analysis and fact. Donald Trump’s candidacy is the latest chapter in a troubled narrative many decades in the making. In another era, civil society institutions such as the academy, the free press and the judiciary were counted on to safeguard constitutional democracy. That this is no longer the case cannot be blamed solely on Trump. Donald Trump’s candidacy has profited from the fears of people living precariously and a political culture of spectacle and cynicism, both of which long predate his emergence as a candidate. The impulses and ideologies that animate the Trump campaign will not disappear once he is defeated in November.”

Historians Against Trump said it is organizing with like-minded groups, such as Writers On Trump and Citizen Therapists, and will march alongside those groups at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, The Daily Caller reported. The group said it will also publish essays and articles that “place Trumpism into historical perspective.”

The group insisted it does not align itself with any political party or candidate, and that many of its supporters do not identify as activists.

“We are united by the belief that the candidacy of Donald J. Trump poses a threat to American democracy,” the letter stated.

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