In the past month the current president of the United States, a position that no longer carries the added honor of “leader of the free world,” has abdicated whatever moral authority he had left.
The Greatest Generation defined itself by taking on the battle between fascism and democracy. As a result of that history post WWII statesmen established organizations and a world order for western democracies. The idea was to make it harder for totalitarians and deluded nationalists like Tojo, Mussolini or Hitler to trample on the rights of their citizens and neighbors.
For the past 75 years that history and success is why so many millions have tried and many died trying to leave totalitarian and fascist countries to come to the west. History has taught us there is a difference between patriotism and an unhealthy loyalty to one’s own “tribe.” This is nationalism that metastasizes into resentment, hatred then aggression toward the “others.” It is not patriotism.
In 2016 a well-known conservative writer/columnist wrote “But to support Trump for the presidency is to invite chaos upon the republic and the world. No policy goal, no court appointment can justify such recklessness.” In 2018, here we are.
Today I am thinking about the centennial of Nelson Mandela’s birth, his life and the lessons he gave the world. I am thankful.
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.