Time For Education To Come Back – AND PLEASE, HURRY!

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With the election of Emperor Donald (Palpatine) Trump and Sith Lord (Vader) Mike Pence, there is a great deal that I fear may come about: to quote the band REM, ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It’.  But NO, I don’t feel fine.  In fact I have to back up, take a deep breath and take a moment to reorient and let my vision clear somewhat after this disgusting and disheartening turn of events.  I’ve had a week to come to terms with what damage the Electoral College has done to our Democracy but still, every time I open my eyes in the morning, the first thing I see in my head are jack-booted thugs crashing through my door and taking away from me the life I hold dear.

Dramatic?  Overly so?  Perhaps.  Maybe my fear is groundless; perhaps the checks and balances placed into our government will function the way they were intended and these senseless creatures we call Politicians will be prevented from doing us all real and palpable harm.  But the comparisons to the rise of The Third Reich are not worth considering just yet.  History, which people largely seems to ignore, is resplendent with examples of just what happens when the population of a mighty country chooses ignorance over rational and reasonable thought.

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Having been born in the year 1957, I have lived long enough to have developed some perspective on our history.  I have been an avid reader all my life, have been a supporter of the arts and sciences, have been a thoughtful and generous person in life and in love and am, for the most part, a reasonable creature who assumes that humans are well on the way toward social if not immediate physical evolution that will ensure our survival as a race and will eventually solve the great problems that face our species.

Of course, I could be utterly and completely wrong about that, given the outcome of this divisive and particularly pathetic election.

A government headed by a sexist pig that denigrates women and sees them as objects for conquest.  A horrid man that doesn’t even want to live in the White House.  A little Napoleon that stirs up hatred, demands silence from the free press, encourages attacks on citizens and lies even to those who in their myopic blindness supported him and brought about his ascendance to power.

Not to mention his backward, repugnant and clearly dangerous choices: a vice-president that believes that climate change is a hoax, that people who are gay can be cured by shock treatment, who voted against embryonic stem cell research which has already helped thousands, who would ban abortions for rape victims, who voted against securing mortgage help under the Home Affordable Refinance Program – the list of his ignorant positions is simply outrageous.

And then there’s an open white supremacist and hate-filled editor of Breitbart News being tapped for White House Chief Strategist – an important position – by a Trump, a man who frankly doesn’t care one whit about the electorate but only cares about his imagined prestige and the fear with which he can create and manipulate the citizens (or is it serfs?) of this nation.  KKK members parading in the streets to celebrate his (and their) victories.  The unbearable rise of violence against minorities in America.

It is time for re-examination and rededication to real, sensible and reasonable core values you hold dear.  Time to make certain that our voices are heard, that we consolidate our support and stand with those against tyranny and repression.

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The incoming choices for the new administration’s cabinet and other top-level positions show exactly where this is headed.  Newt Gingrich tapped as Secretary of State.  Jeff Sessions as the Secretary of Defense.  Ben Carson – who recently refused the position on the grounds he was unqualified – and who was as presidential contender (let that sink in for a moment).  And the President Elect wants his children – who now supposedly run his business interests – to be advisors and have top security clearance – when the only thing his children should be doing is expressing their private opinions like the rest of us and staying out of policy-influencing positions in the administration.

And to top it all off, in case you weren’t disgusted enough, Sarah Palin – yes, that Sarah Palin – considered for of all things, Secretary of the Interior.  Drill, baby, drill.  That Sarah Palin.

Dumbed down, swallow-it-whole, misguided – and yes, Hillary got it right, deplorable – Americans will sit there and take this as just ‘the norm’.  Got news for ya – not all of us will allow you to get away with turning our country into a knock-down, drag-out Jerry Springer episode.

“Our future growth relies on competitiveness and innovation, skills and productivity… and these in turn rely on the education of our people.”

Julia Gillard

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