Friday, March 18, 2016

A Lesson for All Time

Renée Graham's excellent Globe editorial "Anti-Trump protesters are Patriots" see link here or below is one to which I wholeheartedly agree. Not only is it not treasonous to oppose the likes of the egomaniac racist Trump it is OBLIGATORY and patriotic to vociferously oppose him.

I am reminded of the great Spencer Tracy in his brilliant performance of an Allied tribunal judge, Dan Haywood, in "Judgment at Nuremberg" which centered on the trial of Nazi judges guilty of war crimes. Burt Lancaster plays Ernst Janning, a former German judge of some intellectual heft and moral compass before the rise of Nazism. He realizes his egregious crimes during the Nazi period sentencing the innocent to imprisonment and even death. He is seemingly the only former Nazi of conscience. He asks to see Spencer Tracy at the end of the film and says:

"The reason I asked you to come. Those people, those millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. YOU must believe it, YOU MUST believe it."

Judge Haywood says "It came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent."

The film speaks of conscience and of personal guilt. It speaks of one man's obligation to protest and refuse to commit inhumane acts of bigotry and monstrous acts of inhumanity. Nuremberg is not just applicable for that era but for all eras and man's duty not to commit unconscionable acts against the powerless in the name of the state.

The protesters at Trump rallies are doing just that and my heart is with them as they do a moral good and make judgment at Nuremberg and its lessons a lesson for all time for all men.

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