Sunday, January 24, 2016

I read this morning that the Greek islanders from the region around Lesbos have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the work they have done in service of the Syrian refugees. According to an article in the Guardian, "these people organised and helped the desperate when the governments weren’t even willing to recognise that there was a crisis. By opening their hearts the islanders sent a powerful message that humanity is above races, above nations."

While the goopy sentimentality of that statement sounds like World War I home-front propaganda, recognition of the valor of these regular working people--fishermen, students, soldiers, housewives--can only do good.

Meanwhile, here in our great nation, Donald Trump re-tweets anti-Semitic jokes about Bernie Sanders . . . and by anti-Semitic I mean gas chambers.

I've just started reading Philip Roth's The Plot against America, a novel that imagines a world in which Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin Roosevelt for the presidency, publicly accuses American Jews of warmongering, and reaches a "cordial" understanding with Hitler. Roth published this novel in 2004. I can only imagine what he is thinking when he turns on his 2016 radio.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Just finished for book club discussion In The Garden of The Beast which discusses Ambassador Dodd's tenure in Berlin just as Hitler ascends into real power.