Every 7th grade English class that I taught needed to hear the same story; now, sadly, the country needs to hear that story. Hear it or perish as a great nation.
The story is:
After the Civil War, one of the outstanding Union generals, General Joseph Hooker, was called upon to testify at court-martials of other Union officers who had not distinguished themselves during the war. He refused. He said, “I refuse to build myself up by tearing other men down.”
At least once a year in the 7th grade English class, some of those 13 year-olds, usually boys, would try to build themselves up by tearing another student down. They would laugh at, insult, or bully another student. Most of all, they would let that student know that they were the “in” group, and the other student was not. When that happened, I would tell them the General Joseph Hooker story and point out that tearing another person down was a crumby way to feel good about yourself. That story seemed to stick with them.
Now we see the President of the United Sates of America and his followers in need of that story. At a recent rally, he laughed at, insulted, and bullied Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and those in attendance laughed along with him. An excellent article in The Atlantic describes that cruelty in detail.
What have we sunk to as a nation, as a people? Thirteen year olds are just beginning to grow into adults. We can forgive them and mold them. But a man in his 8th decade and his adult followers? What do we do with them?
Vote out of office all those who think it’s OK to laugh at, insult, and bully someone else. Anyone who thinks it’s OK to not treat Christine Blasey Ford, whom everyone spoke of as credible, with respect and support does not deserve to be in political office…..and does not deserve to be promoted to 8th grade.