The Mindset Lists of American History -

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News | Leave a comment WILL COVID-19 CLOSE THE GENERATION GAP: A Marist Mindset Memo by Tom McBride May 3, 2020 Dear Boomers and Millennials: We must shed the coronavirus of division and complacency among us. This is your Hopeful Leader speaking. You have been apart, for Millennials feel that capitalism has worked for Boomers but not for them, and that Boomers have gotten the lion’s share of capitalism’s benefits. Meanwhile, Boomers don’t know wy Millennials would rather look at their smart phones than look at them. But that was all before Covid. After Covid the two generations—you young and old alike—can come together. The Generation Gap will have passed, along with the virus itself. What can I say, and how shall I lead, in order to make this come about? First, Covid has taught us that Evil is no respecter Read on We’re so familiar with making a list that we don’t ee its creative potential. To start with, every list has two parts: what’s on it and what’s not on it. Someone once said of a college dean, “He doesn’t have a black list. He just has a list, and you’re either on it or not.” That’s true of all lists: the cucumbers were either on it or not, and if not, why not? Don’t answer that.So let’s take this principle in the classroom and in life outside it. In the classroom we always start with a list. It’s called a syllabus. It includes some things and excludes others. This is where the teacher starts: She explains what’s on the syllabus and, though less often, shares what’s NOT on the syllabus. And in doing so, in prepping to do so, she clarifies for herself and others what her aims are. She gets a better sense of her focus. “I could have included this, but I didn’t, and here’s why.” This is a great first-day starter in the classroom. The syllabus is presented, and the introduction to the course is about what’s on it but above all what’s NOT on it. Lists are revealing by the contrast between inclusion and exclusion.Call this THE FIRST DAY LIST. But it could also be called the EXCLUSION LIST, and our point is that the two lists (inclusion/exclusion) shold be one and the same. Meanwhile, in the classroom you can go through the first-day syllabus by explaining what you left OFF and why. It’s a way to focus the course ahead of the weeks to come. Sam Goldwyn: “Include me out.”You can do this in life, too: whatever the subject, clarify your thinking by making a list and considering what is NOT on it, and why.In our previous episode we covered the exclusion/inclusion principle of lists. Today we consider another aspect of lists: order and ranking. Let’s start withorder. In Episode 3 we’ll considerranking.Order: When we go to the grocery store we usually make a list based on the layout of the store. The first aisle is the section for vegetables and fruits (also those plastic juice bottles shaped like lemons), so the mangoes and carrots always head the list. Pet food and ice come last, and you can guess why.This is the law, and order, of our grocery list, at least as long as we keep going to Super Savings Supermarket.But what about more conceptual lists? Let’s take the art of reading. In the classroom teachers assign readings all the time. Even as you read this, there are millions of people reading their course assignments from Singapore to Greenland. But, if you’re a professor, why just assign readings in literary theory or social sciences? Why not also help your students become better readers at the same time? You can do this… by having them make a list.How? Well, think of the grocery store layout. After you’ve been to the store a few times you get the lay (and thelaw) of the aisles and conform your list to it. Have your students consider a reading assignment to be like a trip to the store. Once they’ve finished reading the assignment, or “checked out,” to continue the analogy, ask them to LIST the key ideas of the reading in theorderin which they appear.So: after your students have finished a reading, ask them to LIST each concept IN THE TIMELINE IN WHICH IT APEARS and thus to map, for themselves, how getting one concept helps them get the next one and so on. This is a wa to get students to see what reading is inseparable from navigatingSpace-Time.Supermarkets unfold in a certain order and according to certain “laws.” So do many reading assignments, and if they don’t, they’re like grocery stores that make you guess, each time, on which aisle the cooking oil is this time.We’re sometimes tempted to call these sorts of lists “Law and Order Lists,” but much more encouraging is the label TRACKING LIST. The list in Part 1 was called the First Day List. The Tracking List is different. The First Day List belongs to the teacher. The Tracking List belongs to the students. And once every student has done one, then there’s some gold in the class. Students can consult their own Tracking Lists inorder(note that word) to review the reading. They can start making Tracking Lists in the future in order to get a quick sense not only of what they have read but also HOW THEY HAVE READ IT: how a reading instructs them. You as teacher can have students exchange their Tracking Lists as a way of promoting both small-group and larger-group discussions of the reading.College reading assignments aren’t like the regular layout of the Super Saving Supermarket. Each one is a little different. Butr once students have had a little practice with Tracking Lists, they’ll discover that different reading assignments in a particular field don’t vary all that much in their presentation procedures. Just as the oranges are generally in aisle 1, the thesis is generally on about page 3, or maybe about 7.5 minutes in. Still, results will admittedly vary.Last of all, this can help professors better choose reading assignments. If such an assignment does not have some discernible law and order to to its mode of presentation, then maybe it should be left off. Exclude a lawless, virtually untrackable, reading.This is a common use of lists. You can find them easily on the Internet: Top 50 Things You Didn’t Know About Woodstock or Top Ten Blues Radio Stations, and so forth. Nearly everybody likes a Top 10 List. If you’re on Facebook and propose a ranking of horror movies, you nearly always, in our experience, get plenty of comments. Everyone agrees that there ought to be a ranking, if few people concur on what the ranking should be.Should “Psycho” or “Halloween I” be number one? How about “The Town That Dreaded Sundown?”Ranking Lists in the classroom have multiple uses. Once a course is nearly over, or a section of a course is over, students can rank the readings in various orders: pleasure, clarity, usefulness, and so forth. If the course is a literature course, you could ask students to rank, say, Salinger short stories in order of greatness. The nice thing about Ranking Lists is that first of all, you can do these lists according to many, many caregories (greatness, utilitry, difficulty, etc.); and second, these rankings, once shared, are an effective discussion switch. Ask students to explain and defend their rankings. It’s a means to generate substantive analysis and excitement about a course section, as long as students are required to articulate the rationales for their judgments.Ranking Lists can be l quirky. You can, outside the classroom, list The Top 10 Movies Set in Winter, and have a parlor discussion (if such still exists), or internet chat, about why you chose which ones in which order (our favorite isGhostStory), and why others did or did not do the same. Or: suppose (back to the classroom again) you are teaching a Shakespeare course. Ask students to list the Top !0 Shakespeare Characters Who Would Have Made a Difference If They’d Been in ANOTHER Play by Shakespeare. Suppose Iago fromOthellohad been King Claudius’ number one assistant instead of Polonius (Hamlet). Suppose Hamlet had loved Juliet instead of Romeo. You could ask students to rank these in order of how much difference these transferred characters would have made. It’s an eccentric way to think about the structure and motivations and motifs in Shakespeare’s greatest plays. It’s also a stimulating one.Or: Ask students at various times to list, in order of most to least important, what they don’t (yet) understand about course contents so far. This can reveal to you, and to them, what they’re still struggling with. Top 10 Things I Still Don’t Get.At this point we’ll stop. You get the idea. Rankng Lists can be clarifying. They can be fun. They can be creative. You can use them in classroom ways (likely ways that we ourselves have never thought of but that you will) and all sorts of non-classroom ways, too; otherwise known as life.These lists can be good for teaching and learning and good therapy for life (“life” is an extra part of this little series, at no extra cost). . What are they?They are lists of items that describe ongoing ways of life: continuous, daily time with a reliable and repeated set of activities and mentalities. Slighty Quirky Example: Priests in small Middle Western towns in the early 1950s lived a certain way. They did predictable things each day and had immovable assumptions. There were things they “always” did (said mass, listened to confessions) and other things that they “never” did (went to a parish member’s house for dinner more than once a month, rebelled openly against the adamantine housekeepers the parish had provided for them, auctioned off merchandise for sale at parish fund-raisers).d Short stories tend to be perfect illustrations of “Always/Never” Lists, since these stories often begin with “set” ways of life that are about to be interrupted by an unpredictable event that wll form the heart of the short story. (Note: The stories of J.F. Power are good sources of the “always/never” lives of priests.)Alwayis/Never Lists are useful for describing, in a quick and concise way, the ethos of functional (or dysfunctional) ways of life. The subject of these Lists, whether they are about priests or office workers or the French court prior to the French revolution or nuclear physics labs or McDonalds restaurant staff. is “how they do things.” There may be no rhyme or reason, we may think, for how things are done in these various worlds (or subcultures), but “we do it this way because we always have” often prevails. These worlds, however, may be creative or complacent, productive or, when viewed by the Lister and her readers, ironic.So how are such Always/Never Lists useful, first of all, in the classroom. Let’s look at possible assignments, such as this one:In this micro-economics course thus far, we have been looking at the economic activities of smaller groups and institutions, and the theories behind these activities. Your assignment: Assume a micro-economic group of one hundred peope, all your age, and write an Always/Never List itemizing what economic activities and mindsets they would ideally do over and over agin in order to make best use of their scarce resources. Limit your List to no more than 25 items, then brief a brief essay of about 1500 words justifying it.We’re going to stop right there. By now you know what an Alwayis/Never List is; how it captures ongoing, often subcultural, ways of life; and you are innovative enough to know how these sorts of Lists can be used to assign your students’ creative work in sociology, economics, history, literature, and even biology (the always/never behavioral rules for survival of beetles and snail darters).But we will say one more thing: about Always/Never Lists as therapyi for life itself. Jot down your own personal A/N List and ask yourself: Is my repeated, habitual way of life the optimal one for me? What things that I always do should I do less regularly, and what things that I never do should I start doinThe Comparison-Shopping List is on the face of it one of the least glamorous of the list genres. It is, as its name implies, a double list (at least), two lists side by side, and what is on the left is compared with what is on the right.This is the classroom (teaching/learning) version of comparison shopping. In both the commercial and academic versions, one is looking for the better outcome. It could be the best designer beer for the money or the best argument for the available time.Yet while the Comparison-Shopping List seems obvious, it is probably the most helpful list of all. Benjamin Franklin made it famous in his memoirs when he showed how he made decisions: by listing the pros and cons of every choice, commercial or otherwise, in a list. It helped crystallize and condense his thinking. He thought he had worked all the pros and cons in his head, but once he took quill to Philadelphia fooscap he realized he had not done so. Writing things down has a way of jogging buried memories or liberating latent ideas. And seeing the stark differences in black and white provides an overview that, at once, both hastens and exposes good decision making. You don’t always know what you think until you see what you have to say.In modern comparison-shopping lists, price is one consideration, but it isn’t the only one. What are the others? List them. In life and in education (isn’t that part of life, too?) one is loking (shopping) for beneficial outcomes. Shopping is a human activity so pervasive that it is scarcely avoidable. Even Cro-Magnons must have done it.But, you may ask, isn’t the comparison shopping over once the student elects to take the course? How many choices does a student have after that? Plenty, and they are not just confined to class attendance and seating choices. Students are also asked to choose between and among opposing ideas. They are asked to assess these ideas, and to choose which ones to write about. When the student shops for and “buys” the course, the shopping has just started. Yes, students ARE consumers in the sense that smart consumers make informed and reflective decisions.Whether the professor does it or the student does, listing colliding ideas and arguments about this or that subject is a fine way to map the stuff that a course is all about. Comparison Shopping need not just be a website that contrasts package tours. It can also be a smart board that shows the differences between feminist and non-femknist existentialism or between theoretical and applied quantum physics.And if a student is browsing for a thesis for a paper. how does she choose which governing proposition will work best for her? Which one does she know the most about? Which one is she most confident of or most comfortable with? Which one would be hardest to find supporting materials for? Suppose she were to list four or five possible theses and then, below each one, list the pros and cons of choosing each one for a paper topic. One thesis might involve hard-to-get sources but it might also be the most interesting and original one? Which should she “buy”? A Comparison -Shopping List, academic version, will help make the choices more lucid.What the ancient Greeks called “dialectic” is central to teaching and learning. It’s point-counterpoint. In nearly every field, including quantum physics, there are serious disputes about both theory and evidence. Writing these down, whether on the board or on a screen, in Comparison List form does wonders to focus the conflicts and train lights on the controversies.We urge you to try making a Comparison-Shopping List. It may take a while to get the hang of. Practice in the fine art of them, though, will create incentives to go back to them many more times than once. Meanwhile, remember: KAYAK is just old-fashioned dialectic in digital form.The definition of the Connector List is nearly self-evident: it’s a list where the various items are linked in some way. But every Connector List needs a a definable universe. You can put down on a List that the great ape died in a local zoo and that your great aunt on the same day got a paper cut, but what is the tie between the two? This is the nub of a Connector List: either the definable universe is the basis for the connections, or the discovered connections slowly build up a definable universe. If your great aunt were upset by the great ape’s death, because she had once been his keeper, and in her distraction got a paper cut, then there is a definable universe established by the linkage between death and cut. The great ape and your great aunt live in the same universe. Then, before you know it, you have the basis for a promising Connector List: bonds within the universe of a great ape’s death and the people and things his passing created.How does this work in the universe of teaching? Here are some possibilities.First, a student may, in preparing for an exam or just testing her own understanding, put down a diverse data-set from a definable section of a course. We recommend that she do this quickly and with no regard for whether or not the items fit together snugly. Then, after 15 or 20 of these items have been listed, she can go through them and see if she can connect them. If the items seem to be non-linkable, then that may be a sign that understanding is a little thin on the ground. If they seem quite connectable, this is likely a sign of good conceptual comprehension. Or there is a third possibility: that in finding the connections the student comes upona new and insightful way to review the material. So the possibilities are: I get this; I need to go over this stuff again; or I’ve got some great new ideas.Second, a teacher can also use a Connector List. The professor can present such a list to the class and ask class members to connect the items. “Here is what seems to be a highly varied data-set of items, but in fact they are linkable by careful attention to the concepts of this course. Can you link them? If not, let’s see what might be going on.”Both these methods—the study method and the instructional method—revolve around Connector Lists. They have in common: an attempt to link details with principles, specific information with abstract concepts. But within the whole idea of a Connector List is a warning. , for there are twoinadequateways to learn a course: One can grasp the major principles but be sorely lacking in supporting details and examples; or one can have a great memory of details but lack a full appreciation of general principles. A wise use of Connector Lists can save one from being either a bull-shiter or a fgrinder. Connector Lists are good ways to increase one’s sense of the concepts while, in working on the connections, the linkages, promote one’s more sophisticated understanding of the nitty-gritty.Connector Lists dwell within universes of knowledge, and you can build a universe from the top down or the bottom up, but a good student needs skill in both kinds of construction.Or, to put it another way, one can use a Connector List to be understand a universe of knowledge, or use a Linkage List to build one.The best way to approach a Designer List is by considering that your academic aim, whether a review or a paper or an oral presentation, is a product: a product to be designed.Let’s start with an analogy and assume that a biological species is a product: one that is built in order to survive and flourish. So what would have to be included in such a product? Several things. The species “product” must be designed in order to acquire and use resources, such as the sun or the soil or other members of the same species or the air or accessible prey. The species product must be designed in order to recognize and escape from predators. And, since there can never be just one member of a species in order for the species to exist at all, the design must also include some way of sexual or asexual reproduction.So a Designer List here would look like this:That’s it. A short list. But you’re not done. Now comes the Devil part: the details. For instance, if you are designing what will become a cow you don’t want to give the cow lion’s teeth, because cows need to chew cud and grass. That’s how they get along in their environment. A lion lives in a different setting. A cow should have special awareness of a wolf and seek shelter if possible. A lion can easily defeat a wolf, and the wolf, if there were one, would know it. So a lion needs no special wolf-detection skills. A lion needs speed and power because it stays alive by dealing with prey and predators in the wild. A cow gets by via the supply of milk, so designing the cow to be as scary as the lion would make no sense: no one wants to milk a lion-cow!So now the Cow Designer List (we’ll exclude the reproduction item in the interest of time) will look different:Note, too, that there is afunctionalrelationship between the two capacities (use of resources, escape from predators) and the structural details that serve those two capacities. And if you follow us this far (can there be any question of that?), you’re now ready to do a Designer List of your own. We’ll give you one big example: AnAcademicDesigner List—this is after all about the classroom above all—and then turn you loose to build, following these principles, your own academic list.We double back to a recent idea: that the purposes of the design, and the accompanying list, is to build aproduct. A cow is a cow-product. A paper or a presentation or a review session: they are all products. Products are poorly designed or well-designed. We used the example of a cow and a lion, but we could have used the example of a bar of soap or a smart phone. Well, we could have if we knew anything about soap.So let’s say you are writing a paper. Well, a cow in order to be successful has to have capacities A, B, X, Y, Z, etc. What must you have? Well, you’ll need lots of things, right? You’ll need a broovy intro (one that will draw the reader into your subject); you’ll need a so-what section (why is this important?); you’ll need a thesis, a governing and unifying proposition; you’ll need supporting details; you’ll need a section anticipating criticisms and answering them; and you’ll need a conclusion that mentions some larger implications, even though you’ll say that exploring them is “beyond the scope of the present paper.”Now that’s 5 or 6 design features. You may not need them all, but you will need most of them. Note that we put these features not in a List but in a left-to-right paragraph. They’re harder to follow that way, so it’s time for a LIST (there’s just something about a List):And then, of course, as you decorate the Designer List you will write in thefunctionaldetailsthat serve each feature. Before we leave this section, here are two tips.First, you may not be able to plot this whole thing out in a fuilly-evolved Designer List right away. You may have to build your List by doing some writing in order to test out what you know and what you think and what you need to bone up on. You should go back to the List as you go, but don’t necessarily expect to construct the finished product right away, top down, and then start to write, command-control, according to it. This, by the way, is also not how the lion and cow got here. They got here using the first method, not the second. Or so the evidence says.Second, make sure that your details arefunctionalto each section. Supporting details that underlay your thesis should go in that section and not in the answering-criticisms section; or vice-versa. In other words, don’t give a lion cow’s teeth.What sorts of Lists hae we left out? Send any comments to A Mindset List® Perspective: The 1st Man to Put America 1st THE FIRST MAN TO PUT AMERICA FIRST Charles Lindbergh’s Plot to Make America Great AgaiBy Tom McBrideCharles Lindbergh never said he wanted to Make America Great Again. But he did say, as does the current American president, that he wanted to put America First.He may well have plotted to make America great again, but he never said it out loud. This was seventy-eight years ago. Time has been rude to Lindbergh. Recently the author of a new book about him (Robert Zorn) discovered, in an airport discussion, that Millennials had never heard of Charles Lindbergh. Yet once he was world-famous as an almost sublimely pioneering aviator. He was prominent in the America First Committee. The year of the Committee’s founding, 1940, Lindbergh was still idolized for his famous solo air journey from New York to Paris thirteen years before. His middle name was Augustus, and for millions he was an august figure indeed, both solitary in the air and, speechifying, on the ground.In retrospect, the Lindbergh of the 1940s is a profile in dark ruminations, stated in all the fervent diligence that he had been taught as a boy in the upper Middle West. A stoic, aw-shucks Americanism, as seen in Lindbergh’s brief political career, after the start of World War II in Europe but before the attack on Pearl Harbor, emerges as the carrier of fascist potential. Perhaps it was only a mutation of mid-twentieth-century patriotism. But the raw materials for racialist repression were present from the start.Lindbergh did not issue from a political vacuum. Nor did his followers. Having famously landed in Paris in 1927, he was no Dorothy who just happened to set down in Oz. Instead, he was a political thinker with many followers in Dorothy’s isolationist Kansas. He was hardly alone in his convictions. Many of his countrymen thought of American Jews as urban and foreign—as potentially alien squatters with no fealty to any land. Today we might call them “citizens of the world” and mean it as a compliment, though it would not be thought a compliment, perhaps, by the hyper-Americans of (say) Frankfort, Indiana, certainly not in 1940. (Nor would it have been a compliment more recently to Prime Minister Theresa May, who, promising a hard exit from trans-national Europe, stated that citizens of the world are lamentably citizens of precisely nowhere.) Lindbergh conceded that a very limited number of useful Jews might be good for the United States. Today he might have said that some of them, “I assume, are good people.” There were millions of U.S. citizens who believed in the 30s and 40s that white European races were superior, though few of them could articulate this opinion as well as Lindbergh, who praised, in a grand historical survey, German efficiency and science; British government and commerce; and French understanding of, in his translucent words, “how to live.”But Lindbergh and others, especially in the Middle West, did not believe that British superiority, for instance, was ideological. It was racial. The British had discovered how to run government for the same reason the Germans discovered how to operate machines: because they were white.Thus for Charles Lindbergh the real tragedy was not that Germans were killing Semitic Jews, though he wished they wouldn’t. It was that Germans were killing Brits (in the Blitz) and vice-versa. During the 1938 wave of violence against Jews known as Kristallnacht, Lindbergh confided to his diary that he understood Germans had a “difficult” Jewish problem but did not understand why they were dealing with it in such a riotous way. Lindbergh was offended—aesthetically. This didn’t seem like Germany at all. Of course they would do a better job during the Holocaust. By then Lindbergh, banned by Franklin Roosevelt from flying combat missions in the war, was doing so on the sly, but against Japan, not Hitler.America Firsters, which included the young Kingman Brewster, future and revered president of Yale (he later recanted) were isolationists. It is vital to know why they (not all of them) were such: not only because they were in the middle of the country and felt secure from attack from overseas and saw no need to pick fights with nations that could otherwise never get at them. It was also because they, like Lindbergh, felt that America was no mongrel race but a lovely blend of the best (German, English, French) that augured greater white genius than even the Europeans had displayed. One does not wish to sully or dilute this unparalleled racial ingenuity. One wants to isolate it; let it thrive. One does not wish to kill it off by interfering in a tragic civil war between Nordic types in Europe.Let the American farmers in Kentucky and Indiana not fight Germans but stay home and breed. They could do little better for America than that.To be comprehensive and fair, many Americans also felt the U.S. entrance into World War I (The Great War) had been a horrendous squandering of time and treasure. The world was to be made safe for democracy, and yet now the Europeans were at it again. This time, the United States should stay out. If Lindbergh was a racialist, he was also a peacenik! Lindbergh and his ilk, and even those who did not agree with him about Jews, vowed “no more stupid wars.”Lindbergh is not to be condemned for wanting peace. It is why he wanted it, and for what ends, that besmirch his historical repute. This was rather evident even at the time. Roosevelt confided to aides that, since he might die at any time, he needed to say something: that he thought Lindbergh was a Nazi. This could be viewed as a self-serving remark, because Roosevelt thought America should fight Hitler (the sooner the better) while Lindbergh did not. Yet a review of the historical record does bear Roosevelt out to this extent: Lindbergh, at least pre-December 7, 1941, would likely rather have had the Nazis win than sully America’s Caucasiann greatness by interfering with combat in Europe.For Lindbergh democracy was nice, but race was nicer. Lindbergh himself had come from the upper Middle West of a Scandinavian family. His father (C.A.L., Senior) had been a Minnesota Congressman of isolationist enthusiasm long before. Lindbergh, Jr. was a loner—he had flown to Paris famously as the “Lone Eagle”—and he remained an intensely solitary (and even secretive) man until his death in the early 1970s. He hated the American culture of chaotic celebrity exposure, in which he himself was trapped, both before and after the infamous kidnapping and murder of his first son, and believed that the United States, awash in trivia and foreign/urban values, had lost its way and was tossing away its greatness, as he himself might have tossed away excess weight on the skyway to Paris. But that shedding was necessary and technical. This one was cultural and tragic.He thought America could use a cleaning of some type and admired Hitler for the heroic sanitation and efficiency he had brought to Germany. (Nazi propaganda films depicted Jews as vermin: a public health problem.) He had even thought of living there; and Hitler’s chief architect, Albert Speer, offered to design and build his family a house, perhaps brutally spacious (we might conjecture) but also highly functional. It might well have been something Lindbergh would admire. One of Lindbergh’s French friends finally dissuaded him. It would be unwise if not immoral, he admonished. Not everyone loved Hitler and many thought that, in time, he would maybe even cause millions of deaths in stupid wars.It is likely that Lindbergh was sincere, even decently comported, if also stubborn and racialist. Like most reactionary thinkers, he had a Golden Age to which he cleaved with all his might. For Lindbergh this was probably “before Jews and coloreds and cities.” Lindbergh’s boyhood in Minnesota was a paradise of pristine rural beauty, sandy hills and prairies and unspoiled lakes, and the sacred obligations that citizens of small and homogenous towns tend to honor. It is highly unlikely that Sinclair Lewis, who won a Nobel Prize satirizing the provincialism of just such places, would have been the Lone Lucky Lindy’s favorite author. To bring back such an august age of time’s sylvan past, Lindbergh wanted Germany to fight the Soviets, not Britain and surely not the United States of America. But he did say that, once Communism was done, Russia might become a useful American ally. Was he unwittingly predicting 2018? .To give Lindbergh his due one must note that he did not believe he was plotting against America, for “America” is one of Wittgenstein’s family resemblance words, whose meaning depends on its particular use. What did America mean to Lindbergh such that he thought he was not scheming against it but trying to save it? It was not the America of liberal democracy but of ethnic purity. This is complex. Lindbergh was not opposed to liberal democracy and must have thought it was a good venue by which the genius of white Europeans could be promoted. But if it brings alien forces, then it must be adjusted. It is not that Lindbergh admired democracy less but that he liked Western European white heritage more. Here again the Lone Eagle did not fly alone. This was a time when millions of Americans worried that Italian immigrants were not truly white and that those whose last names end in a long vowel are not entirely to be trusted. .For Lindbergh the real plotters against America were American Jews, who wanted to get America into war against the Nazis (perhaps because he thought their bankers had invested in munitions), and the British, who wished the same result. Lindbergh stated publicly in Des Moines that the plot against America was a conspiracy by Jews, whom he had never much liked, and the British, for whom he now tempered his approval. In his diary he admitted that he could not entirely blame either the Jews or the British for trying to serve their own self-interests and survival. But then he glides into the subject of History itself, in which he had a keen and rather “scientific” interest. “Peace,” he averred, is a virgin that dares not show her face to the world without the shield of “Strength.” This was a law of History. But there was at least one other. Lindbergh said to his uncritical journal that he regretted the German invasion of Poland, but that Germany was only doing what would soon become normal for all. He went on to say that right and wrong is one thing in the eyes of the law but quite another in the eyes of History. Add to Lindbergh’s suspicions of democracy and his admiration of white nativism a dose of pop Darwinism, and a sizable dash of historical determinism.Charles Lindbergh was made in America. His roots go back to Thomas Jefferson, who manifested major American contradictions. Author of a great short statement propounding equality under the law, he also owned slaves. Prophetic about slavery knifing the country in half, his worries about “a fire bell in the night” did not prevent him from owning and coupling with slaves. While he expressed the founding principles of liberal democracy in universal terms—the right of all to pursue liberty and happiness—he also thought the essential goodness of the American experiment was to be found much more locally in its self-sufficient farmers. He was suspicious of larger cities and too-accessible credit and national bankers alike. He lived in a time when there were fewer people in the entire country than now live in Greater New York City. Might he not have agreed with Noel Coward: “The higher the buildings, the lower the morals.” For Jefferson American democracy was uniquely supported by the blend of roughhewn individualism and communal obligation found on its farms.Lindberg was also a rural idealist. A celebrity who got multiple ticker tape parades in America’s great cities, he remained a man of the Heartland. Unlike Jefferson, he did live to see the great teeming and polyglot cities. Unlike Jefferson, he lived to discover an ethnically cleansed pseudo-Darwinism that fused well with his love of small town America. He lived out the principles of liberal democracy—he, like his arch-nemesis the Committee to Save the Democracies, vied for public opinion, hearts and minds. Whatever President Roosevelt’s suspicions of him might have been, he never thought he was treasonous to America—not his America anyhow. And that’s the real America, the great one. Others just might enemies of the decent people.Follow us on Facebook daily features updated daily! Now available on Amazon in paperback or KindleDaily Quiz AMERICAN PRESIDENTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WILLING TO DEBATE THEIR OPPONENTS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. This would be an item on THE MINDSET LIST® for the class born in what year? Correct answer: 1976, when President Gerald Ford challenged his opponent, former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter, to a debate. Ford, behind in the polls because of inflation and his pardoning of Richard Nixon, declared at the Republican National Convention that he had been a good president and said he and Carter ought to debate. They did, three times. Ford narrowly lost the election that November.  2016 National Association of Advisers for the Health Professions, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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