Destroying History or George Bush Just Made My Job Much Harder
Somebody please tell me how I am supposed to teach my students to think critically about the past and understand it in all of its complexity when our president’s view of the world is so unsophisticated.
The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive
ideological struggle of the 21st century. On one side are those who believe in
the values of freedom and moderation — the right of all people to speak, and
worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the
values of tyranny and extremism — the right of a self-appointed few to impose
their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of
enemy before. They’re successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other
totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be:
This war will be difficult; this war will be long; and this war will end in the
defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of
freedom and liberty.
I understand that he is playing to his political base here and that most reasonable people will give it little thought. Still, it is extremely frustrating that this man seems unable to move beyond an overly simplistic reductionism that fails to draw even the most basic distinctions between very distinct historical movements. Isn’t it standard practice in our classrooms to steer students away from the Nazi/Hitler analogies? They are bad rhetorical devices and nothing more. Why don’t we just throw out the curriculum if all my students need to know is that they were all bad.
And this man spent part of his summer reading Albert Camus?