13 Comments
May 24, 2023Liked by Robert Leonard

As all your writing, today's is entirely concise and accurate. Two thoughts I have. First, although everyone refers to the right wing as conservative, I prefer right wing extremists. Traditional conservatism had some intellectual heft. Today's right wingers wouldn't know Adam Smith from Adam Sandler, Edmund Burke from Justin Bieber. Second, I have recently been again contemplating Hannah Ahrendt. She wrote of totalitarianism, and I realize DeSantis and Reynolds are would be totalitarians, determined to control all parts of government and society. Then Ahrendt's amazing phrase, "banality of evil," partly refers to the totalitarian foot soldiers who follow orders, who consider it immoral to not go along. The Republican Iowa legislators are essentially mere automatons following and doing what Reynolds and right wing money tell them to do.

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Spot on. Thanks. I thought about changing what I called "conservatives" in this piece, but then I would have broken away from the "time capsule" aspect of it. At the time I don't think we knew, or I didn't anyway, how authoritarian Reynolds would become.

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May 24, 2023Liked by Robert Leonard

Wow, just wow. You nailed it.

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Jun 6, 2023Liked by Robert Leonard

Say his name because it happened. There is enough to teach without swaying the minds of a child to the right or to the left. They will make their own conclusions based upon truthful facts taught in the classroom.

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American history is replete with advances on racial progress followed by pushback. One notable example is the post-Reconstruction era. Following the Brown v. Board of Education decision, many areas of this country 'pushed back' by creation of private schools-which permitted race-based admissions. Following the enactment of federal civil and voting rights legislation, America witnessed considerable pushback. Shortly after George Floyd and the national attention to race issues, the pushback began and has continued, with restriction of DEI at all levels of education, book banning, to name two. In the face of pushback, attention to issues of race 'progress' has been on retreat in our state. As a parallel issue in our state, after 10+ years of progress on LGBT issues, our state government leaders are pushing back with similar policy enactments.

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Thanks Ralph for taking the time to parse out the patterns. This is optimistic. Progress will follow.

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Your column and writing provide the inspiration and motivation. Really.

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May 25, 2023Liked by Robert Leonard

I’m an old white woman married to an older white man. There are many in our demographic who agree with you. I wish I were as articulate as you are. Thank you for your comments.

I believe the laws that prohibit true historic events being taught in classrooms are unconstitutional. I’m waiting for lawsuits.

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Thanks Susan. I too, am hoping for lawsuits.

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I so appreciate you for writing and sharing this thought-provoking piece. It certainly shows your courage because you live with the people you write about.

It allowed me the opportunity to learn how “others” think about the tragedies in our lives. One of my former Penn State students sent me a survey yesterday that is trying to determine how others see our tears. Another friend, a former senior editor at the New York Times, has completed an edited book that speaks to the state of Black mother’s mental health resulting from the attack on Black Lives—specifically, our children.

As you so rightly pointed out, it’s not just George Floyd, it’s all of our children who have been murdered before and since George Floyd. I started counting with Travon Martin.

Thank you.

Question: Why aren’t we who believe in First Amendment freedom/protection fighting as hard for it as those who believe in their second amendment rights?

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Thank you so much, Anita. You are an inspiration. And this is a great question. Maybe you have started a movement. Thank you again.

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May 24, 2023Liked by Robert Leonard

Thank you, Bob. Your words are a powerful reflection on then and now. What so many of us had hoped would be a turning point turned out to be more and more of the same.

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May 24, 2023Liked by Robert Leonard

Silence the teachers. Encourage ignorance and insularity and provincial attitudes. Make the children toe the line. Don’t let them learn from any angle other than the narrowest and most rigid possible. Build a culture of correct thinking. Fire any teacher who explains critical thinking or encourages curiosity.

All this will make the world love America even more!……..thank you again Robert for your clear-headed thoughts

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