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Letter: Vital to remember the past

As George Santayana (philosopher) said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it”. 

Trump’s version of Psalm 23:4 - “Yea, though I walk through the valley of life, I will hear no truths or facts. My head is filled with delusions of grandeur. Surely hatred and oppression will follow me all the days of my life”. 

Trump’s version of the Bible, composed of conspiracy theories, disinformation and misinformation, is spread by Truth Social, QAnon, Infowars, Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, Diagolon and his disciples, some of whom may be white nationalists.

Authoritarian regimes/dictatorships are ruled or have been ruled by tyrants such as Putin, Hitler, Stalin, Franco, Mussolini and Mao. Theocracies are religious dictatorships, like those in Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. By their very nature, all dictatorships will maintain their power through non-democratic measures.  

Last month, May 2024, marks the end of the Second World War in Europe (79 years ago). It seems that some people in our society have forgotten that over 50 million people died because Nazis Germany and its allies Japan and Italy wanted to impose dictatorial rule on the world. 

We have forgotten about the sacrifices that our ancestors (parents, grandparents and great-grandparents) had to make in order to survive  the Dirty 30s, the Great Depression, and the Second World War (1939-1945). 

They had to work together in order to survive the lack of food and jobs (1930s), endure rationing (food, clothes, gasoline, materials, etc.) during the war years and the fear of a nuclear holocaust from 1948-1991 during the Cold War. 

We have some folks today who have forgotten the values our country were founded upon, “law, order and good government”, of decency, moderation, truth, honesty,  compassion and working together. 

Some folks believe that imposing their extreme religious and political beliefs on others will create a better world. For them, truth does not matter.  History does not matter. 

We have seen some of our politicians and religious leaders spread values/ideas that are contrary the values of a democratic society, encouraging people to ignore rules, regulations and laws that they don’t like and employing words and actions that encourage division, anarchy, hatred and violence in our society under the guise of “freedom of speech”. 

We should not be “conned” into believing that autocracy or theocracy  are good for us. Remember history: the Second World War; the Holocaust; the persecution of religious minorities; the persecutions against women, blacks, indigenous peoples/Indians, Muslims, Jews, Asians, Mormons, Hispanics; the Inquisitions started by the Spaniards in 1492 against Jews and Muslims; the religious wars in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries (Catholics vs Protestants); the spread of slavery into North America and to Latin America by the Europeans (English, Spanish, French and Portugal); the wars between the Protestants and the Catholics in Northern Ireland; the religious conflicts between Muslims (Sunnis vs Shias) in the Middle East and in Africa: Hindus vs Muslims and Sikhs in India. 

As George Santayana (philosopher) said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it."

George Thatcher,


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