Letter: Cruelty must not be tolerated
I was watching “World on Fire” on PBS. An exchange in Nazi Germany between an American correspondent and a doctor who was responsible for euthanizing handicapped children caught my attention. Yes, I am going to draw parallels to our country and rightist regimes around the world today. No, I’m not comparing anything to the Holocaust, so don’t go there.
What was interesting/disturbing was this highly educated doctors’ calm and righteous rationalization that ridding the human gene pool of defective human beings was the right thing to do. “They are dragging down the human race” he said, “we are the ones with the courage to know what needs to be done, the rest of you are cowards.”
I am afraid of this mentality. And I am frightened that it is permeating our society. And I am deeply concerned that compassion, empathy, and caring for others is currently being portrayed as a weakness in humans. Make no mistake; it is not. Paleontologists showed our cavemen ancestors took care of their sick and infirm. And while past history has shown even open democratic western societies have debated eugenics; the discussion quickly and fairly unanimously died its rightful death. We know better.
We may be going through dark times and periods of hate and blame; that’s the way I look at these attitudes, a bad period. And yes, I blame President Trump, who acts like a messiah claiming only he has the courage to do the requisite dirty work. Evangelicals have claimed: “Trump may be the devil, but he is our devil.” And ditto to the heartless Texas legislator who is OK with elderly people dying of COVID-19.
Deep down, we all know human goodness will persevere. It has to. Cruelty has no long-term future for us; it is unsustainable. Sometimes it is necessary to stand up for virtues like integrity, fairness and morality. I choose to stand up. Which side of this fight will you be on?
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