Harvey J. Kaye is an author and Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. There’s nothing unique about his worldview or public comments, which amount to left wing fantasies, hypocrisy, and historical revisionism. In other words, he is the same as most professors in contemporary academia. What brought him to our attention is how open and fervent he is in pushing his ideology. For someone who is tasked with molding young minds, the biases and issues he displays on social media present a troubling picture.
For starters, in response to Scott Walker’s plan to drug test welfare recipients, he tweeted:
His hate for Republicans barely ends there:
He acts like a first grader on the play ground grabbing back a toy truck. “This is MINE now!”
Tell me Mr. “history professor”, how are modern Democrats/progressives closer to 1860’s Republicans than modern Republicans are? Is it the economic policies? All those 1860’s Federal welfare programs? Their views on abortion? Immigration? Gun rights?
And this guy TEACHES history?!
This article is something that he wrote to defend Bernie Sanders. If you’re looking to punch dry wall, you can view it here. Basically, he makes the case that American history has a long culture of social democracy. He even says Thomas Paine and other figures fit the bill as social democrats.
Well welcome to the world of reality Professor Kaye. Thanks to Nate Silver, we have these handy-dandy charts that break down spending by category over the past century or so.
The first chart is just federal spending. The second is state, local, and federal combined.
Here’s the issue with the Professor’s argument – he points to anecdotes throughout history and argues that because specific people supported singular policies that modern social democrats support, that means American history is replete with social democracy. He also quotes some poll numbers from 1943 that he doesn’t bother sourcing, which claim that Americans were supportive of programs that make up a basic safety net (namely programs like Social Security, Medicaid, tuition assistance and unemployment insurance). Of course they were, but their concept of government spending on programs like these were less than a third of what they are today, just in relative, let alone absolute terms, as the above chart shows.
Not by any meaningful definition is America a country with a social democratic heritage. Spending as a percentage of the economy on social services wasn’t really even a thing until the 1930s (which is most of the way through our history), and even then it was a small fraction of what it has been recently.
We are more socially democratic than ever, even though progressive academics like to push the myth that we have been shifting rightward in terms of economics since Reagan. The tax code is more complex (and revenues aren’t much different), the bureaucracies are bigger and harder to navigate, domestic spending is huge compared to what it used to be, the federal labor force is massive, and military spending continues its decline as a percentage of the economy.
Kaye is also a walking contradiction. His biggest personal hero is FDR – a racist who unilaterally interned over a hundred thousand people based on their race, but goes after Donald Trump and the confederate flag in his timeline.
I’m no fan of the flag or Donald Trump (he’s a sideshow in many ways, and displaying the flag is stupid and a symbol of racism to me), but I believe great progressive racists like Lyndon Johnson, FDR, and Woodrow Wilson are what make American history “vile” and “extreme”.
Can we take FDR off the dime while we are on this politically correct tear? Just as black Americans shouldn’t have to look at the confederate flag, Japanese-Americans shouldn’t have to look down at the currency they are forced to use in the U.S. and see the man who imprisoned their parents and grandparents and destroyed their livelihoods.
So Harvey isn’t a fan of class warfare huh? Oh….
Singling out groups for hurting America is pretty normal behavior for this guy though.
That article he liked makes the case that America would be less violent, more mobile, and more “normal” if not for the South.
It may be worth noting that if we got rid of Green Bay, Wisconsin, where the Professor works, our national rate of violence would also fall (4.8 violent cases per 1000 in GB vs 3.8 national median).
Of course this is true of nearly all urban areas. And especially true, more so than the south, of areas like Detroit, Chicago, and D.C. Yet I can only imagine the outrage if some idiot wanted to say we would be more “normal” if we got rid of cities, where there’s a lot of poverty, crime, drug use and uneducated people. I wonder if Professor Kaye would think that radical article would be worth sharing. No, just the anti-South side of things is good enough for his Twitter.
Final note – this is just the past week or so. He has over 100,000 tweets.