Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
A third of Americans were supportive of Hitler and his policies, even as we fought WWII. (Hitler’s American Friends by Bradley W. Hart) That percentage included powerful white men such as Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford and two dozen senators plus representatives, as well as corporations such as General Motors, whose legacies were cleaned up and curtained for history books. The good part of our “trial by Trump” is that we have all been forced to realize the attitudes and practices of supremacists and oligarchs like Trump’s father have not disappeared. They may lurk even in our subconscious.
What about the Far Right followers? Some people are attracted to the image of a single man, corporation, or party able to do as they please, without regard to fairness, sensitivity, or truth. Of course, those followers assume they would be beneficiaries of “freedom” from constraints or the ability to bully others. They assume they are among the superior. They never consider that their income or status or soul might be negatively impacted. They have been inoculated by propaganda against truth, a technique to which I was alerted in college. Unfortunately for the followers, there’s insight in the old adage that if you aren’t lead dog, the view never changes. However, herd mentality doesn’t encourage thought, only passion. “Good” people can be led over a moral cliff. Blind piety can be used by manipulators—hence Karl Marx’s comment, “Religion is the opiate of the people.” The lesson has never been lost on our foreign enemies who are still pulling strings backstage. Timothy Snyder, a Yale professor and author of ON TYRANNY, says the best counter strategy is to keep telling the raw truth until it penetrates the Big Lie.
After the attempted coup against our democracy this week (which resulted in the destruction of personal and federal property as well as deaths), I discarded the blog I wrote for this week. The United States has always harbored would-be dominators—stopped only by well-informed, ethical, and courageous patriots. As a former educator, I’m ashamed that education has done so little to teach the vital importance of evidence testing and critical thinking—not merely for “liberals” but for all. I tried, but college seems to be too late in the development of most people to expand perception. When I was teaching literature in a high school, I was instructed not to discuss personal responsibility because it offended certain “religious” beliefs held by local parents. In contrast, I think personal responsibility is key—the gravity of free will. We must answer for our choices, and we must hold deliberate wrongdoing accountable.
Thinking of the terrible murders of humanitarians of many backgrounds in any of the dictatorial sweeps that have occurred around the globe, this week I considered tramping down to our lower pasture to remove our BIDEN/HARRIS poster in self-defense. The educated are among the first to be eliminated. However, I won’t remove the sign until after the new government is installed. Younger people may feel it’s prudent to hide affiliations that are locally unpopular, but I’m old and bold enough to think it’s important that the people who may respect me on some level for something I’ve said or done know I’m willing to stand for my values. I didn’t get them from a preacher. I grew them. However, I did know a minister who told us not to be too proud if we had no enemies, because it meant we didn’t stand for anything. I hope I stand for truth (which includes free speech for science and medicine and honest investigation), for compassion, for the power of diversity, and for love. I’m naively shocked that such a stand is controversial. For me, “religion” is an action verb: “Love one another.”
I write this knowing the only people who will read or consider it already agree with me. There are many who are far more advanced souls than I and have already done far more to defend the voices and welfare of all. But the gauntlet is down. Revolution is being threatened—not idly. Even after this past election during a pandemic, the rebels assume the majority of the population of this country is comprised of the weak. I would be easily killed, but I’m not going to be easily silenced. My husband bought me a sweatshirt that says, “Underestimate me; that will be fun.” It won’t be fun. “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” (I leave the concept of what the devil is up to you.)