We just celebrated Memorial Day and saluted those brave soldiers who fought for justice and democracy. These are American beliefs that we hold dear. However, there are currents of anti-intellectualism that are trying to undermine the foundation of this nation and it troubles me.
Intellectualism relies on critical thinking, fact-seeking, research and reflection to reach a conclusion. Intellectuals denounce injustice and defend our system of values. Unfortunately, they are the first ones to be undermined, arrested and executed when a totalitarian government wants to repress political dissent.
Looking back at Nazi Germany, the words of Joseph Goebbels hold true today. Hitler’s minister of propaganda asserted, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.” A master orator, his arguments for supporting the Third Reich were clear and forceful. He appealed to emotions and instincts.
In this age of instant information now more than ever we need to reason and fact check. Every lie must be countered with 20 truths. As George Santayana, philosopher and novelist, pronounced, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
Jane Hardin, Modesto