Teachers – and others – please speak up

Teachers – and others – please speak up

Teachers – and others – please speak up

When the President of the United States indulges in language that is crude, lewd and base it is time for the world’s true leaders to speak up. Political stupidity, lack of strategic thinking and personal narcissism are bad enough. But they can show our young what not to do.

When vileness and hatred become the language of a President, it has got to be stopped. Do you want your grandchildren and great grandchildren to live in a world of foul words?

The crassness of Mr Trump’s attack on Mika Brzezinski and, earlier, Megyn Kelly, is breath-taking. It makes me wonder if he is some sort of misogynist. It is almost as if he has a wish to be toppled. Lemmings heading for a cliff fall that will kill them look more intelligent. It is not a matter of political affiliation or loyalty to a leader. It is straightforward rudeness, totally irreconcilable with today’s highly sophisticated world. Humans in caves behaved better.

Even the strongest supporters of the Republican Party are shocked by Trump’s latest tirade. Many people world-wide have expressed their disgust. But I have yet to read of complaints from educators and teachers. They are, as always, the leaders of the next generations. If they do not protest, Trump behaviour will become accepted by the young as normal.

One fault doesn’t destroy a President. Two errors of political judgment don’t necessarily bring down a powerful administration. But the litany of disasters perpetrated by Trump grows longer by the day. It has simply got to be stopped. Powerless as most people feel, there is something they can do. In moderate but firm language they can post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or any of the social media, a simple request that the President of the United States behaves in a way that supports the office he holds and doesn’t destroy it. They can point out that example is the best teacher and he is a supreme example.

Mr Trump is a language terrorist. At least he’s not firing guns or killing people – well, not until his revised healthcare plan gets going, anyway. But we are learning, painfully, the relationship between words and murders. Hate language does lead to violence. It has taken us a century to realise that. Now, at long last, we are qualifying “free speech” with restraints on what demonstrably provokes violence. It is not a great tribute to our world educational systems that this is necessary but while it is we must use restraints. Tape up the crocodile’s jaws lest you lose a leg.

So obsessed are we with wealth that the decline in the bond market and the threats imposed by the ending of easy money dominate the news. We will certainly be brought to account for Quantitative Easing. While we watch free money slip from our grasp we should pay attention to the priceless heritage of language and art that is rotting before us. The loss threatens a new Dark Age of purely selfish, hedonistic living. It could destroy humanity’s soul.

All who teach and lead must show the way, individually, personally, persistently. Giving up must not even be thought. Freedom is an option to live well, not an invitation to destruction.

Will you do your bit?