Thursday, April 19, 2018

To Whom Does Tomorrow Belong?

I'm intentionally posting this video (from the 1972 musical Cabaret) today to ask to whom tomorrow (April 20) belongs. It portrays what appears to be a lovely song sung by an innocent boy. But we are quickly disabused of the notion of the boy's innocence, and soon thereafter learn the sense of the song. As chilling as the boy's singing is, the response of the audience is the truly frightening part.

This notion of false innocence is even more pronounced, for we have seen and continue to see the same thing happening in our own country: A perception of ethnic nationhood losing its integrity in order to embrace the promise of power—the hope for redemption from a source that cannot redeem, only destroy.

We know where Germany's ultra-nationalism led and what it took to destroy it. Has the United States learned that lesson? The stakes in the 21st century are much higher than they were 75 years ago, and the destruction that can be wrought is much greater than we can imagine. We have seen how diversity and understanding can lift up. Are we really that desperate to tear it down?