A big part of that factor starts in school. There is little emphasis placed on our system of government; its history idealistic values and parts; how the parts are supposed to work together; why democracy is so fragile; the methods by which democracy can be undone by indifference and the ways of would be dictators, using, say, NAZI Germany as an example.

In conjunction with this emphasis on American democracy, there should be taught something like a guide to straight thinking. When I was in tech school there was taught something by that very name — A Guide to Straight Thinging. It explained the core faux arguments and rhetorical techniques used by demagogues and cons.

All this is far more important than, say, algebra and geometry. I mean, what good are these technical subjects if because of ignorance one ends up in a toture chamber. Of course such things are not taught because right wingers protest that such is liberal mind control and so we end up with a Trump.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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