Saturday, March 5, 2016

Taking a Punch at the Taboo: Politics

At least a month ago, a student who is not afraid to challenge her fellow students and me, said, "You know that ________________(presidential candidate) is Hitler all over again." I thought her claim was extreme, a little frightful, and certainly not worth the animosity a discussion or rebuttal would bring to our classroom.

Yet, why had I quit watching any of the presidential debates? Because I couldn't stand the bullying. Because I couldn't stand the promises and self aggrandizement of great accomplishment and capabilities when the facts seemed to show otherwise. These men and women were giving us few logical answers, and were even dodging answers to the blaring questions of the federal deficit, immigration, unemployment etc. etc. And of course they almost all disagreed with each other. The debates became a big time wrestling match, referees included--so much that Ben Carson wanting to be part of the brawl asked, "Could someone please attack me?"

As we continued studying the passive resistant the WWII village of Le Chambon, we kept asking ourselves, How did Hitler gain so much power? How were an intelligent people, an industrialized nation duped into electing one of the most wicked men of all time?

The man was a deception and deception is always a half truth. Otherwise, it wouldn't have a chance of success. In order for the deception to take hold, the people had to look at all the goodness in his promises and shut off their consciousness to little red flags of untruth. When the pastor of Le Chambon, Andre Trocme, preached at the end of the war to the German prisoners, they defended their actions by saying they..."'were ridding Europe of the red plague, Russian communism.' When Trocme mentioned the massacres and the gas chambers, the Germans raised their shoulders and raised their hands unbelievingly and said, 'Filthy, lying war propaganda.'" In order to keep fighting for the Third Reich, they had to focus on what they perceived as the good, and shut off their consciousness and awareness of atrocity.

Me, we, together, must start demanding of our candidates the whole truth. We can't continue to shut off our consciousness to the scary untruths in order to embrace the half hope of a capability that promises to save the nation. Where are those women and men? We must find them, be them, support them, elect them.