Our memories depend on our age group - and our historical library! I was a teenager during the 1930s so that's "old." Like most teens, was pretty "smart." With radio, movie newsreels and newspapers I kept up with world news. I heard the actual voices and saw images of the famous and notorious of that time, Roosevelt, Churchill, Hirohito's "peace envoys," Chamberlain's "peace in our time," Hitler, Mussolini and many others. Newspaper headlines and photos were vivid for my generation. Hey, I had one of the first personal, portable radios. The size of a ladies' very small purse. As attached to me as today's cell phone. So the following are not "opinions" but facts, based on m actual experiences.
Many of today's news clips trigger stark memories of those times. These atrocities could never happen again - could they? I realize those under age 70 can't imagine what I remember! If you doubt what I am trying to convey - please take a bit of interest in history and look them up for yourself!
Recently the president was briefing the press, very determined that he would not discuss increasing the debt ceiling. He would use his executive privilege power to reach his goal - circumvent our Congress. His jaw pressed forward and I suddenly remembered speeches and saw images of the Italian "Il Duce" in the 1930s telling what he was going to do for his people. Both seemed similar images to me. He did a great job for Italy during the next years!
In Germany the National Socialist party had "elected" a war hero, Von Ribbentrop, as their own "puppet President." Using "executive privilege" things such as gun control, ethnic recognition, state sponsored day care for the children became mandatory to better prepare them to accept total government control. Even to the degree that a child was expected to report his parent to authorities should he hear them critical of their leaders. Now they no longer needed a Congress to reach their objective. On Feb. 27, 1933, the Reichstag (German Capital Building) was burned to the ground and the Nazi Party was firmly established. Tragically convenient! I was 10 at the time but still recall my parents and their friends could not believe what had happened. Still, that was in Europe, far away with crazy times and leaders, Couldn't happen here!? On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor proved it could - and did. In a few months I was serving with the 8th Air Force in England.
The past few days have indicated to me that now our society is far more interested in the lives and lies of athletes like Lance Armstrong. Years of untruths and lies in which those that questioned him were ridiculed while his champions believed and admired him. Our top government officials aren't too far behind. Benghazi, Tripoli, Egypt disasters which can't, or won't be explained. Enough of political correctness! It is a victory for non-christians and far left government extremists. Should we use their proper names and identities, we are "racists" or unfeeling social "monsters." Political correctness as it is being used just kills me. And maybe it will! Today I watched Obama tell reporters he has problems because too many people were getting news from Fox News. The implication being that if Fox disagreed with the president then viewers were being misinformed or stupid. And he is our president.
I hope will be privileged to have the opportunity of expressing myself in this manner today. I feel The Post-Journal is one of the last places where an ordinary citizen is able to communicate his concerns in print. My comments are right there, in print, for anyone to question, disagree with or whatever. I can't say, "What I really wanted to say was ... or I was misquoted." It's on paper. Can't think of any other local media where this is still possible. Time goes by very quickly. Daily papers are having a few problems and becoming fewer and fewer. Appreciate them while we can.
I still have that first radio. I still remember!
Leo A. Wilcox is a Jamestown resident.