Guest columnist Bob Couch: Where is the wisdom? Much ignorance in left’s causes




Published: 02-26-2024 6:15 PM

Modified: 02-27-2024 12:00 AM

Several years ago while I was in traffic, I noticed the car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” As I recall that incident, it brings to mind the many present-day examples of ignorance that could prompt future historians to classify this era as the Age of Ignorance (apology to Edith Wharton).

To name a few: defunding police, lack of law and order, soft-on-crime district attorneys, pronoun tampering, teachers vs. parents, cancel culture, statues torn down, flash mobs looting businesses, woke folk, invasion of our borders, climate activists ignoring the consequences of eliminating fossil fuels (over 70% of electricity is provided by fossil fuels), the failing EV mandate, critical race theory, DEI, a two-tiered justice system, and the poisonous combination of social media and “smart” phones that has been so harmful to our younger generation.

All of the above prompts the question, “Where is the wisdom?”

Ignorance is not determined by one’s IQ. You can be the president of Harvard ignorantly avoiding the fact that antisemitism violates Harvard’s standards of conduct. You can be the secretary of Homeland Security and repeat, “The border is secure,” over and over and be guilty of extremely expensive ignorance both in the thousands of lives lost to fentanyl, sex trafficking, and the damage to schools, hospitals and cities throughout the country. Then too, there’s the 53-year old spoiled brat who thinks he can defy a congressional subpoena because his father is in the White House: he, who keeps saying, “No one is above the law.”

President Joe Biden spent the first day of his presidency doing away with several policies that had our country on the right track. One revoked our successful energy independence. Now we are buying expensive dirty oil from far-away countries, some of which are unfriendly. Another did away with improved border security, showing a clear lack of concern for the safety and security of the American people.

Sanctions that weakened Iran’s economy and military strength were lifted so that now Iran is a major power responsible for attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East to the point that three soldiers were killed in a recent raid due to our weakness to respond to 165 previous raids. There should have been a powerful response to the first attack.

Another example of disturbing ignorance is that far too many people, trying to appear erudite, use “Hitler” and “Nazi” in an attempt to compare them to present-day events. Those terms belong solely to another time and should never be used today … or any other time. Using them is the utmost display of demeaning and disrespecting the millions of innocent men, women and children, mostly Jewish, who were slaughtered in the Holocaust. Nothing else since then is comparable and, hopefully, never will be.

In 1960, I went to Dachau, which, in March of 1933 was the first of many concentration/extermination camps all over Europe. It was a chilly gray and rainy day. There was no guided tour then, so I was able to walk freely anywhere. The first site I came upon was an “Execution Wall With Blood Ditch.” 

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Later on I stood alone in a concrete room in which the victims were gassed. I can’t describe what went through my mind. It was impossible to imagine what it was like to be herded into that room and the horrific experience that followed. I was able to walk out of that gas chamber but thousands before me never did.

After that I went into a crematorium that contained a row of ovens with steel stretchers on tracks. Across from that crematorium was another one that had to be built later in order to handle more victims. At the end of each building was an office filled with card files in which the names of victims were meticulously kept. There were over 30,000 documented deaths at Dachau and thousands more undocumented.

We’ll never be able to eliminate ignorance but we must do all we can to educate against it. Let’s hope this year will be a strong beginning by ending what Thomas Sowell calls “ignorance silencing knowledge.”

Bob Couch lives in Easthampton.