What are we telling our children? A blog by Glenn Schuckers

This is an open letter to every elected official at every level from local school board members and town councils, to state representatives and senators, to the men and women who are now or who want to be federal legislators or leaders and to every man and woman eighteen years of age and older who plans to vote. In short, this is an open letter to everyone who, in any way, takes part in government.  They are all the people who have believed in our form of government  at all  levels—-  representative democracy.

The children are watching.

Maybe not the children who are younger than six years of age who are luckily not aware of what is going on in this country although even those of school age probably know about school shootings, shooting drills and what to do if a shooter shows up in their classroom. It is a sad commentary that I even feel a need to write this, but I repeat,

The children are watching.

They are watching as grownups, or at least people who are older than teenagers, give every evidence of arrested mental development. We would do well to remember the words of First Corinthians, verse 13: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

All the people out there need to begin to think like adults, or maybe more accurately, just to think at all. They need to stop believing things such as lasers from Italy bouncing off space satellites to change votes in America. They need to reject ideas about vote counters having thumb drives that they used to change vote counts. They need to stop believing that fake ballots from China with bamboo embedded in them were somehow smuggled into polls to reverse the results of an election. They need to reject the very idea that there was so much fraud that an American election was “stolen.” In short, they need to let go of the lie that was and is being put forth by Donald Trump and those who desperately want power that the 2020 election was a fraud.

And yet those ideas persist. They persist despite the fact the over fifty judges, the FBI, the United States Department of Justice and millions of adults agree that the 2020 election results were valid. They persist despite the fact that some of the people now in office were put there by the same ballots they claim were frauds.

In other words, they say the same ballot  that cast the vote for Glenn Thompson was valid but the vote for Joe Biden was a fraud. All on the same piece of paper, counted by the same machine and recorded by the same poll worker.  If that  does not sound like insanity to you, I don’t know what would.

If it were not such a threat to our democracy it might be entertaining, but it is not entertaining, not when a man who is currently running for governor in our own state says he believes it and will take subsequent elections into his own hands if he becomes governor.

This, unfortunately, is neither hyperbole nor is it entertaining. It is dangerous and my fear is that too many people will brush it off thinking that it could never happen. Until it does. 

But that is not all the children see.

They see adults disregard science. Think about that. If children see adults disregard science, how are they to function in a world that increasingly depends on science for its very survival? If we teach the children that things like climate change and global warming are just part of a global conspiracy invented by scientists who want to take over the world, how will they respond when it is their turn to make the decisions that they will need to survive?

And if they see that authorities can be disregarded, if they see that laws can be ignored without any consequence, where does that leave society?

The very words “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,” was written by John Donne in the 1600’s but it could not be more true today. We are all connected to each other and depend on each other for our existence. And that dependence requires us to tell the truth and the demand the truth from others. 

It is incumbent on each one of us to take responsibility on ourselves for saving our democracy. We cannot depend on our neighbors to do it, we cannot pass the responsibility to any political leader or party. It is time for each one of us to “put away childish things,” think and act like adults and demand that everyone else do the same thing. We can no longer look the other way at the hypocrisy that Dante described  in the sixth pit of the eighth circle of Hell as the punishment for hypocrites. These twenty-first century hypocrites who want us to believe they are leaders should be condemned to the infamy they deserve. 

We have the power to do it. The question is will we  act like adults and use it?

Because…the children are watching.