Trump signed an executive order that aims to manipulate the minds of young children.
“We will state the truth in full, without apology (sic),” he said, adding:
“We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on earth (sic).”
If bipartisan US hardliners get their way, education at all levels may resemble Nazi Germany and Israeli indoctrination of children.
After Nazis gained control in 1933, the infamous Nuremberg Laws followed.
Education featured indoctrination and loyalty to the Reich. It laid the groundwork for wars to come.
Scholar Louis L. Snyder witnessed Nazi rallies and practices firsthand.
He explained that “(t)here were to be two basic educational ideas…”
“First, there must be burnt into the heart and brains of youth the sense of race.”
“Second, German youth must be made ready for war, educated for victory or death.”
“The ultimate purpose of education was to fashion citizens conscious of the glory of country and filled with fanatical devotion to the national cause.”
As one of the world’s most militarized societies, Israel resembles Nazi German.
It’s notably by indoctrination through education, waging wars on Palestinians and neighboring state, along with mandating military service as a rite of passage.
Militarism is fundamental in Israeli society, young children brainwashed to be warriors.
Starting in pre-school, it continues through higher education.
What’s ingrained in young children at an impressionable age sticks most often when becoming adolescents, youths and adults.
When I attended public schools long ago, teachers taught and children learned, preparing me and many others for higher education and later life.
Historically in the US, local authorities determine educational policy, not the federal government.
The 10th Amendment was the basis for making it a function of individual states and local communities.
Nationwide, local school districts decide on how it’s to be financed and administered.
Until the 1960s, the federal government had virtually no role in setting policy.
Since then, it’s been involved in fostering equal access to education, along with safeguarding constitutional rights of students and teachers.
While not constitutionally protected it as a universal right, the 14th Amendment safeguards it against discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or disability, or ethnicity.
Federal funding of education also plays a role in its content. Funds can be advanced or withheld based on whether local authorities stick to federal standards.
Trump’s EO establishes a so-called President’s Advisory 1776 Commission.
It’ll be charged with “work(ing) to improve understanding of the history and the principles of the founding of the United States…”
According to remarks by Trump weeks earlier, he’s opposed to truth-telling works like Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States — what he called “left-wing indoctrination,” adding:
We will “reclaim our history, and our country, for citizens of every race, color, religion and creed.”
He and hardliners surrounding him want children, adolescents and youths brainwashed in the American way — its mindset ingrained into their consciousness by sanitizing the nation’s history.
They want an obedient population for easier control.
Samuel Johnson called patriotism “the last refuge of scoundrels.”
Thomas Paine called dissent its highest form. So did Howard Zinn.
When governments ill-serve, exposing wrongdoing is vital.
It takes courage and involves sacrificing for the greater good.
It includes risking personal harm and welfare.
It means doing what’s right because it matters.
It reflects patriotism’s highest form.
It’s not what Trump and other US hardliners have in mind by his EO.
Their ideas are more akin to the USA Patriot Act that trampled on the Bill of Rights — eroding fundamental freedoms, not protecting them.
Each new US ruling regime advanced things toward greater totalitarian rule.
Perhaps over the next four years, remaining freedoms will disappear altogether.