by Charles S. Garabedian
Famous Quote about Human History from George Santayana
I work regularly with American prehistory and history in one of my several parallel professions. The foregoing quotation by philosopher George Santayana is true. We teach American history and American government to students in high school and college to supply them with enough historical information and perspective to understand the mistakes of the human past. We do this so our students can avoid the agony that comes from making the same mistakes all over again in their own lives. Today we are going to learn some essential lessons from the historical past in hopes that we can avoid repeating those agonies and associated horrors once again in our American present and future. The Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog earnestly prays and hopes that you will remember these lessons when you go to the polls to vote Tuesday of next week (November 6, 2018).
We have just finished a full week of horrors. We saw an attempt to assassinate two men who once held the title President of the United States. Pipe bombs were mailed to these two men and numerous other people. The alleged bomb mailer was a rabid supporter of current President Donald J. Trump.
A Trump sympathizer tried to force his way into an African-American church in Kentucky so he could kill black Americans. Unable to gain entry, he went to a nearby Kroger supermarket and randomly gunned down two innocent, elderly black people—simply because their skin was darker than his—and he did not like that basic fact of human life.
On Saturday, yet another conservative extremist walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue to kill as many Jewish people as possible because he hated Jews. When the smoke had cleared, 11 Jewish people were dead and six other people were injured, including four police officers who responded to the shooting. Apparently, this shooter thought President Trump was on the right track with all his bigotry, but he was not being hard enough on the Jews because he has Jewish family members. Therefore, the shooter would go the extra mile and kill as many Jews as possible to move the bigotry agenda on down the road a bit. It turned out to be the worst and most deadly attack on Jewish people in all of American history.
Did President Donald J Trump mail the pipe bombs and pull the firearms triggers. No. He did something else almost as bad. Over the past three years, his bigoted rhetoric and his turning of a blind eye to American hate groups have created a national climate where racial and ethnic hatred can be expressed out in the open—without fear—as if it had tacit presidential approval.
Trump’s embracing of the so-called Alternative Right, under the guidance of his political mentor Steve Bannon, has emboldened American hate groups all over our country. It has inspired the members of these hate groups and blessed them with the belief that Trump has given them all the full social and cultural room they need to operate openly in American culture and society. They are convinced that Trump is on their side, and this is their time in American history to freely thrive. Naturally, living in such an open climate of hope, all sorts of racists and bigots now feel free to throw racist epithets at innocent minority Americans in public; call the police on African-American kids who mow white people’s lawns for pay; and just go kill the people they hate so much.
President Trump does not bring all Americans together in unity. He may see himself as the President of all 326,000,000 Americans. However, as a matter of practical reality, he works only for the approximately 30 percent of Americans who are his rabid followers—and the rest of us be damned.
Trump rules by dividing people—let me repeat that—dividing people. He follows a personal strategy of divide and conquer with the American people. He divides people into little minority groups with his bigoted rhetoric, and the haters who support him do their very best to subject the members of each little group to the famous Republican Party politics of personal destruction. This kind of politics is all about rhetorically demeaning, discrediting, and destroying the reputations of the leaders and members of these minority groups that Trump peels off from other Americans. Unfortunately, the politics of personal destruction changed last week when some of Trump’s most vicious followers crossed the line into the new politics of—I am going to kill you.
My fellow Americans and readers, we have seen this sad movie once before in our American history textbooks. Chris Cuomo, the evening news anchor at CNN Primetime, knows where—and so do I. The really sad thing is that most of the Americans who experienced these events firsthand are no longer alive today. Many other Americans were asleep in history class or in a forgetful state of mind when their history teachers covered these events in class.
Chris Cuomo and I both recognize the fact that those who do not remember the past are indeed condemned to repeat it. Therefore, now is the time to remember the historical past. Tonight Chris asked his viewers to watch a video clip produced by the U.S. War Department during World War II.
This video clip was just one in a series of such films entitled Don’t Be a Sucker. One of those films is specific to people like Trump and his minions—those who promote division, racism, and other kinds of bigotry in American life—and the danger they pose to all of us. Moreover, this video clip focuses in tightly on another historical place and time when Trump’s divide the people and conquer them policy was put into effect.
The video clip is 22 minutes in length. Please watch it carefully and seriously—-please. I beg you in sack cloth and ashes. Watch it so you will understand what Trump and his Alternative Right acolytes are doing in our own country today—right now.
We have never seen this before in American history because no previous American president has ever gone to such incredible lengths to divide the American people. To the best of my knowledge, no previous American president has ever envied and admired evil foreign dictators like President Trump does. From Trump’s warped perspective, Kim-Jong-Un, Xi Jinpeng, and Vladimir Putin are his best buddies—and he admires them because they are despots who can get things done by bullying, issuing death threats, and walking all over their own people and the Rule of Law that usually protects ordinary citizens in free societies.
Please remember what George Santayana said one more time:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
As previously noted Chris Cuomo and CNN recommended this old video clip below to the American people earlier this evening. I think you will see why after watching this video clip. While you are watching it, think about Trump, the mailed pipe bombs, the African-American dead, the dead Jewish people in Pittsburgh. Just click on the following safe link; turn up the volume some; and watch this old U.S. Government film clip from World War II: