So, the health care reform opponents have been at it again. Using images from Nazi Germany. Trying to tie this administration somehow to those…….abominations. Are some of these groups so hard up for fodder for their campaigns that they have to resort to using these horrors for personal gain? This is personal opinion, but I find this: God save us, these actions seem to be committed by individuals who are either abysmally ignorant or criminally cynical. If it’s through ignorance than I can only think they’ve been sitting in a corner with their fingers in their ears humming really, really loud. If it’s cynicism; honestly why should I be surprised. We’ve seen it before, over and over in the last election campaigns. Karl Rove would be so proud.
I stumbled across a rerun of a short mini series on the early years of John Paul II starting with the occupation of Poland by the Nazis. The program reminded me of other material I’ve read or watched over the years. I worked my way through the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in the ninth grade but seeing is still more immediate than reading.
Here was true horror. The Holocaust not only of the Jews but the attempts by the occupying forces to stamp out Polish language and culture. The Nazi’s plans for the Slavs were slightly more generous than what was planned for the Jews, but not by much. The attacks on refugee columns. The bombing and near wholesale destruction of cities. The closing of schools, seminaries and universities. Deportation of men and women as slave labor in the Reich. Teachers, professors, clergy, civil leaders, even monks and nuns either shot without trial or sent to concentration camps. Constant harassment by occupying troops. The country stripped of resources, the population to be reduced to slavery, ignorance, and near starvation. The Poles fought back, not only with guns and bombs but with underground theaters, schools and seminaries.
Heaven save us. May this country never be faced with a similar fate. America was singularly fortunate at the end of the war. We didn’t have to rebuild our cities, homes and factories. We could count our dead in thousands, not millions and almost all of those were military not civilians.
I’m truly afraid that we’re past the point where we’re willing to talk to each other instead of shouting at each other. I’m even more afraid that the violence in out language is mirrored in the constantly increasing physical violence around us. In the last week a police officer was killed in a drive by shooting in Seattle, the shootings in Texas and another in Florida. I feel like I'm watching a train heading downhill with no brakes and the bridge is out.