June 20th, 2024

The time of the dictators is just a shot away


By Lethbridge Herald on May 21, 2024.

Editor:

Next month it will be eight years since I retired from teaching.  Life now is a mixture volunteering, music, church activities and a continuing study of politics and history.  But  I am not totally out of teaching:   I often get contracts from the University of Lethbridge to observe student teachers, and this spring I was in four local schools watching 10 intern teachers with classes from Grade 3 to Grade 8.   The good news is that the intern teachers, the classroom teachers, the administrators and the young students themselves were doing well:  sometimes very distinct differences in academic abilities inside each classroom, but overall a very productive school system.

And yet there is a gloom pressing in on me as I compare certain aspects of current affairs with the positive energy of students and teachers.  The ecological damage of our physical world, the Israeli-Hamas war, Putin, North Korea and the Taliban are all there assaulting our optimism with violence and cruelty.  And in some ways the worst offender to our way of life is Donald Trump.

How could that be?   How can a potential American President, already convicted of business fraud and sexual assault, have such a far reaching influence on us and our youngest people?  Where is the connection?

Schools not only teach the academic basics of reading, writing, math, there is an unwritten curriculum of socialization — all cultures have their version.   Starting in kindergarten we have teachers constantly reminding students of ideas and practices we value:

1. respect the teacher and the classroom rules so everyone has a chance to learn,

2.  tell the truth,

3.  help and respect other people,

4.  clean up your mess,

5.  don’t cheat,

6.  respect the personal space of others,

7.  put in a good effort so you have a chance to advance on merit.

Donald Trump has lived a life that openly mocks all of these principles.  

Donald Trump would have been a miserable student to have in a classroom and now as a 77-year-old his influence, damaged psychology and ignorance threatens everything we ry to teach young people.

Trump is only behind Joe Biden (on average) by one percentage point in national polls and has a strong lead in the important swing states.  If the election were next week Trump would probably win and start a revenge filled destruction of democratic checks and balances that would have international repercussions.  Trump admires dictators like Putin (who has his security apparatus interfering, again, in the coming election), and he already has majority support on the Supreme Court.   One of his appointed judges has delayed the stolen confidential documents trial until after the election, and the case in Georgia where he tried to rig the election is also delayed.   Once elected Trump would make those cases disappear.  Even with evidence now of Trump’s cognitive decline (word salad speeches) it is clear he will not change his obsessive path.

This tendency of the USA to go to the brink of breakdown is not new:   they fought a civil war about slavery and the victory of the north was never guaranteed.   In 1968 George Wallace, a racist governor, ran for president and was so popular he won the Electoral College votes of five states.

What can we do in Canada?  Unless we have friends or relatives in the swing states, not much.  But when a recent poll shows that 25 per cent of people in Alberta like Trump, you can begin to see which UCP policies are coming from the fact denying paranoia of the Take Back Alberta movement.

It is possible that Biden will turn it around before the November election, that a conviction in the Stormy Daniels hush money trial making Trump a convicted felon will hurt his chances.  And oddly, in Republican primaries, Nikki Haley is still getting up to 20 per cent of the votes.  If not, it will be like 1968:  Nixon won the election, the Cultural Revolution in China killed millions, Russian tanks were in Czechoslovakia and the Viet Nam war was raging.   The optimism of the 1967 Summer of Love was falling apart, and the Rolling Stones song Gimme Shelter was appropriately predictive:   “…a storm is threatening…our very lives today…”

I hope the optimism in schools I just saw and the ideals of the unwritten curriculum will win out, but the time of the dictators, as Mick Jagger sang, is just a shot away.

Allan Wilson

Lethbridge

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buckwheat

The crisis of the week from a Trump hater. Lives inside your head. Hopefully some “brainwashed” grade sixer will grow up and lead you out of the abyss.

JimO

Better than a Trump lover.

biff

hi, jim, we agree, again.

biff

how is it you believe you favour things like freedom and denocracy ( i think you do), and yet you are so often hardline to the contrary?
typically, dictators and the likes of fascism are supported by those that believe they are supporting freedom. only, they support anyone that espouses their beliefs and preferences, period. and, to that end, they will accept whatever limits and controls and undemocratic means ensure everyone is forced into your nasty little box.

Last edited 29 days ago by biff
BigBrit

Beyond a “crisis of the week”, more like four more years of such a thing if Trump does in fact win. A well written letter that you obviously disagree with which is your right , but resorting to written insults without offering any form of credible argument is ignorant and rather sad.
The “abyss” you mentioned, is likely a reflection of the empty space between your ears.

BigBrit

Beyond a “crisis of the week”, more like four more years of such a thing if Trump does in fact win. A well written letter that you obviously disagree with which is your right , but resorting to written insults without offering any form of credible argument is ignorant and rather sad.
The “abyss” you mentioned, is likely a reflection of the empty space between your ears.

buckwheat

Sure drew out the haters. Lol. Nice job people.

Mrs. Kidd (she/her)

I am not a hater, nor is my wife, but we do disagree with your perspective on this letter. We would be interested to hear from you which of the seven principles listed in the letter you think Mr. Trump has lived up to. As is customary with these types of assignments, please provide evidence to support your position.

Last edited 29 days ago by Mrs. Kidd (she/her)
buckwheat

The point is itdoesn’t matter whether Trump, Biden, Trudeau, Pollieve, Singh, Smith, Eby, Notley they are all going to sell us out. The USA is a mess with unfettered illegal immigration supported by Biden. Trump wants to stop it so he is a dictator. Could go on but it appears most want chaos with no accountability and no law. Have fun swimming in the self created sewer.

BigBrit

Trump’s “playbook 101”: “ Drill baby drill”. Gun control”? – what gun control? Always blame the immigrants (you know the murderers , rapists , druggies.) Repeated lies, exaggerations every time he opens his mouth. Cozying up to the world’s current dictators. Already claiming this upcoming election will be fraudulent (if he loses) – sound familiar?
The rest of your list of scoundrels , dangerous as some may be , are tame compared with this excuse for a human down south. (Although Smith is sounding the MAGA mantra more and more)

Last edited 29 days ago by BigBrit
Fedup Conservative

You can bet my American Relatives fully agree with you. They can’t understand why anyone would be dumb enough to support him just like Conservatives in Alberta can’t believe these fools support these Reformers. There is certainly nothing conservative about any of them, is there?

Mrs. Kidd (she/her)

I’m very sorry but as you have failed to address the question asked I have no choice but to give you a failing grade on this assignment.

Fedup Conservative

And you aren’t smart enough to realize that they are True Conservatives trying to stop these damn Reformers that you so greatly love from destroying anymore of our children’s future. Isn’t it sad that you aren’t smart enough to understand that?



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