As progressives are grimly death marched to their Gotterdammerung, won’t someone please think of the children?
Dear LL – Strangely enough, my five-year-old appears more interested in watching TV cartoons rather than serious discussions about American politics. Nonetheless, I’m wondering how to best help him process the information that he, his family and, indeed, everyone he’s ever cared for now live in a world in which anyone who is not a toothless, reactionary member of the white working class will be shipped off to a death camp forthwith. I gather that some of Newtown’s more forward-thinking primary schools are encouraging ‘two-minute hates’ where first and second-graders can enjoy the catharsis of screaming, “Trump is a psychopathic, ethnonationalist tyrant; let’s devise a cunning plan to fly to Washington and assassinate him!” That seems like a reasonable jumping off point but shouldn’t we grown-ups being doing more to magnify any terror children are experiencing about their imminent destruction at the small but evil hands of the next Hitler.
LL replies: I’m a supporter of teachers, Raylene, especially the bolshie ones who are on strike four days out of every five, but it’s times like this I feel they’re letting the side down. Shouldn’t Australian educators have hurled their lesson plans on the ash heap of history come November 9 and committed themselves to doing nothing but screening Schindler’s List, reading excerpts from The Dairy of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and supervising excursions to the Shoah displays at the Sydney Jewish Museum? And what about some Kristallnacht role-playing where all the schoolkids who wear glasses are labelled members of the decadent cultural elite and beaten senseless by the rest of their (blackshirt-wearing) class? If Inner West parents and teachers don’t lift their game, the slim chance of their precious charges learning some strategies for emerging from the gathering Trumpocalypse alive will be lost forever!