History repeating itself
Friends often call me about my column, especially if something is missing … even more often when they don’t agree with me. That’s fine, I reply.
I’d forfeit my life, as our forefathers did, so others have the right and privilege this wonderful country gives us for disagreeing with each other.
As sometimes happen when you do a column in 750 words, or less, there are omissions. That’s what happened last week. My column should have ended with “study the issues and vote your conscience.” Recently, my friend Anna and I got into a discussion that proved the point I’m making. She hadn’t even heard about the fiasco — my personal opinion — of the deal our esteemed leader is trying to push through with one of our enemies, Iran.
Not only will this “deal” give them back a ton of power toward getting a nuclear bomb, it also includes giving them billions and billions of dollars that were long part of the sanctions. These were also lifted as part of this agreement. All I could think about was how much good those billions would be, for peaceful purposes, like cancer research, feeding the hungry or housing the homeless.
Why are our priorities so screwed up I thought? How can anybody in their right mind think about dealing with a country whose people and their leaders scream out in the streets, “Death to America?” And our leader is — pardon my expression — kissing them where the sun doesn’t shine. OK, I promise that next week I’ll talk about something a whole lot more pleasant, but I had to get this in print now.
Smiling privately to myself, when turning on the Bill O’Reilly program, I found that he was talking about exactly what I’ve been saying. Our populace, especially our young people, doesn’t have a clue what is happening in this world and what affect it will have in our daily lives. FOX News “Watters World” interviews people on the street, and the ignorance of many of those about current and past history is astounding.
I have always believed that not appreciating what we have here in America is almost a sin. If we don’t start educating our young people that we are actually in a war, it could be devastating. In fact, too many of our adult citizens don’t have a clue either that we’re actually in a war, and one that is probably as serious as WWII had been. Back in those days everybody was on one side.
We pulled in our belts and pulled up our sleeves, working in factories and producing thousands of planes, tanks and other weapons and supplies needed by our troops and allies. It was astonishing what we did back then. The other day I watched a TV show that told the story of Nazi Germany and it proved how easily an entire country of normal people could suddenly be swept into something so sinister.
Can you imagine what would happen if suddenly, someone in charge of our town told us that anybody who was of one particular ethnic group would be branded with marks proving who and what they stood for? Or that we could no longer be their friends nor have anything to do with them or their livelihood? That’s what Hitler did to the Jews and nobody did a damned thing to stop it.
When WWII started, I was very young. Our neighbors were German born immigrants who loved this country and were terrified that Hitler would get to this country and kill them because they had escaped Nazi Germany. They did what we all did; we stood by our government and military. We sacrificed. We did without butter, meat and gasoline, etc. Tons of items we can easily buy today needed ration coupons to obtain back then.
This may not sound too difficult, but at times it was. We had a war to win, and few complained. Try that today. So here I am at the end of what I began — this remembering again why we must understand this terrible war we’re in, one that most people don’t. This old lady has decided to abide by something I found years ago on a religious calendar. I hope you’ll understand.
It states “The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wants me to do; the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.”
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org