Today my father would have been 96 years old. He passed away on June 13, 2007. Although many of the challenges we face today were already in place or developing back then, the world naturally changes over the course of time and I can’t help but wonder, and for the sake of this piece speculate, what he would have thought about what is taking place in our world today.
The hardest thing for me to speculate on is how he would have felt politically. Although my father was staunchly supportive of Israel, I wonder to what extent it would have impacted his vote. I don’t believe any supporter of Israel is entirely pleased with how President Obama has been towards Israel, but I do wonder if my father would have supported the candidates of today that support Israel while taking very conservative stances on other issues. I am not saying my father was a Liberal per se, but he was remarkably open minded when it came to political issues and generally voted Democrat. That being said he also formed many of his own viewpoints and was not influenced by the media in the way so many others are today. If I had to guess, I think he would have waited to see who was running in the general election and then would have picked whomever he felt was the best of the 2, or maybe 3.
I believe he definitely would have been outspoken about the dangers facing us from Muslim extremism and would often have referenced the 5th Column, those who were Nazi collaborators living quietly in Holland before the war waiting patiently and helping the German war machine with deceptive infiltration. I don’t think he would have supported Donald Trump’s views because he was not one for absolutes on issues like this, but I also know he would have had no trouble clearly stating the threat facing the world. Just as my mother feels today, my father most likely would have seen similarities to Europe in the late 30s.
I am sure he would have been glued to CNN and FOX, just as he often was back then and would not have missed any of the debates. I think he would have been more amused by Trump than concerned, but I also don’t believe he would have supported him. I’m not sure how he would have felt about Hillary Clinton, but I am fairly certain he would have come up with an original thought and would not have merely repeated what the media feeds us, be it good or bad.
I believe he would have been very realistic and pragmatic about the seriousness of the problems facing us today, but I don’t think he would have had a doomsday attitude, instead an attitude that we needed to take a very different approach towards events unfolding or we would be in very big trouble.
Lastly, although I think he would have been disappointed in the direction the world is going, I think his approach towards history would have given him a certain degree of optimism not shared by everyone. After all, if the world survived the evil of the Nazis, there is a reason to believe it can survive the evil of today, maybe and hopefully without the same degree of devastation and suffering as we saw during Hitler’s tyranny.
I wish I knew what he would have thought, and certainly he would have been proud of me in someone way, but instead today I just remember him and try to imagine what he would have thought.
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