Last week my children participated in a History Fair with other local homeschoolers. I won’t lie, I chose the subject for each child’s project as I wanted it to pertain to what they had been studying this year in social studies but also to the here and now. I wanted their projects to make them think but also make others think as well.
Our oldest son, Dylan, has been studying World History this year. We have actually been using the Sonlight curriculum which is a lot of heavy reading and there are several books pertaining to past and current child slavery practices and missionary work that has taken place across the world. ( The secular version can be found on Bookshark) His topic to cover for the History Fair was Chocolate & Child Slavery Practices. I wanted him to think about where our food comes from, but especially the candy that is made because 5 year olds are working 12 hours a day for next to nothing. I felt it being close to Easter would lead people to think about the candy massively produced for what many celebrate as a religious holiday. Of course, as people passed his project some were shocked but many paid it no heed because in their world view having an enjoyable experience trumps that of children as young as five being forced into slavery.
My two youngest girls shared a project for the fair. Theirs was on Victory Gardens. I chose this subject for a multitude of reasons. For one, I live in the home my grandparents built and one of my fondest memories about this house was the large garden my grandfather kept for about half of my childhood but started way before I came into the picture. Along with the garden there were also pots of herbs, tomatoes and peppers around the back door. Secondly, I chose this topic because of the times we live in. We as a country need to get back to our roots of producing our own food or at least a portion of it. In times of famines, drought, and impending wars growing your own food is not only a skill we should all have but a necessity. This year we will be creating our own Victory Garden with our neighbors.
However it was Jack’s project where I definitely had an underlying agenda. Jack has been studying United States History this year ( we used a secular curriculum). It is a mixture of boredom but intrigue for him. What I believe stood out to him was the past and the now current corruption in politics and what has lead us into wars. It is no secret that I am raising pacifists and that a portion of our family time is spent on raising awareness on social justice issues. This lead to not just Jack, but all of our children (And more than half of Americans) wondering to themselves how someone like Donald Trump got elected to be our President. Jack is a child of few words. He is quiet but when he does voice his opinion he gets straight to the point and his project did just that.
Excuse my shitty photos – the camera is broke on my phone.
So the title of Jack’s project was “Would You Vote For Me” and the facts on his board surrounded a hidden picture of a famous leader. Some read it thinking it was someone current and nearly half of all those who read the facts about this person said they would have voted for them before seeing their picture. This man was charismatic and drew huge crowds, he loved Disney Movies and his favorite was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This famous leader lead the first anti-smoking campaign, was a vegetarian, and was Time’s Man of the Year. He was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In private, this man was introverted, loving his family and his pets. He fought for his country and as a leader supported and went to great measures to protect those in the military. And let me say that this man knew what it was like to grow up in poor conditions. He lived in homeless shelters and hostels for three years as a struggling artist. He took delight in simple pleasures like eating chocolate daily and he was a prolific writer. On the surface he sounds like a great person.
No matter how people answered the question “Would you vote for me?” they were indeed shocked when they peaked and saw that my son’s project was on Adolf Hitler. Under his picture it told how he was responsible for the genocide of 6 Million Jews and tens of millions of other people during his reign. This is a man who won the popular vote. Nearly 18 million people voted for him with an 88% voter turn out the year he was elected. On the surface Adolf Hitler was not a monster. He was actually generous and undoubtedly had good qualities but the truth is Adolf Hitler was a monster, one of the scariest of them all. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing that cared deeply about animals, was against big game hunting, and for ethical slaughtering practices but yet he sought to exterminate a whole race of human beings allowing them to be tormented, enslaved, and butchered for experimentation.
And if you think this project was aimed to force people to question voting for Donald Trump – you would be correct. The comparison is not how the men are alike (they are) but how they were perceived by voters and half the citizens in their countries.
People believe what they want to believe.
And that has been the problem with this last election cycle. Half of America bought into an illusion of a leader. Even though they were presented with repeated facts and evidence that Donald Trump was not fit to fill the role of President they still believed in him anyway. While he incited violence at his rallies, lied blatantly, and nearly 70% of what he said was untrue people still fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Now that it is shown that he and many a part of his campaign and current administration colluded with Russia, have ties to white supremacy, lie and are incompetent for their positions there are still supporters. It is like they are blind to all the broken campaign promises, the blatant dishonesty, the unnecessary and excessive spending, nepotism, and his trigger happy small fingers next to the nuclear weapon button.
Yet, as Trump tweets daily about “Fake News” he is one of it’s largest participants. He associated with far right publications that are not just one sided but post exaggerated and often false information (Drudge Report, Breitbart, Info Wars). He listens to men like Alex Jones, who believe demons are manifested in human beings and that their is a reptilian alien race pulling the Global strings. Alex Jones, who I have actually listened to for years, is a right-wing extremist who believes in countless conspiracy theories (some with merit, most without) and is famously known for saying the Sandy Hook Massacre was a false flag. And Mr. Jones gets on air and proclaims how truthful and honest he is. He screams, yells, tears at his clothes, calls out to Jesus, uses profanity and makes declarations about other news sources being fake. However this week Alex Jones in legal documents in a custody suit claims to be a “performing artist” that does “political satire“. Alex Jones claims he is fit to parent his children because he is nothing like the character he portrays on Info Wars. This MAN, this “character” is one our President listens too and seeks his news from. ( to note I don’t think either he or his ex-wife Kelly should have custody of the children, both are unstable human beings)
Yet people will refuse to believe. Even provide excuses.
The truth is is that Donald Trump says one thing and portrays his self as a knight in shining armor, all knowing and with all the answers. This is something he has in common with Adolf Hitler. People fell for the smoke and mirrors, bought into his patriotism, his claims that he would bring change and Make America Great Again. He played to an evangelical base as the more moral candidate even though he has a history that displays just the opposite. And yet, people still believed him.
Sadly, due to shame and stubbornness, many of those who chose to believe what they wanted to verses the truth will continue along the same path verses admitting they were wrong. And what will that cost us, the American people, and the human beings of this world? Only time will tell.
Adolf Hitler was the Chancellor of Germany for 11 years. In that time, he was responsible for the genocide of 6 Million Jews, 20 Million Civilians and Prisoners of War, and millions of others World Wide. Hitler rose to popularity and won the vote because many working class people were under employed or had no work at all, small businesses were failing, and people were suffering under the economy. Hitler claimed to have answers and appeared to be a savior to the German people. His slogan was “Freedom and Bread” and he promised to bring prosperity to Germany again.