The Tyranny of Ignorance

Forgive the voice-to-text historians who hear German whenever President Trump speaks, who see a madman with bad hair, who see the open hands of benevolence toward a master race, who see the closed hands of belligerence toward a specific race. 

Forgive these self-anointed Murrow Boys who mistake the sight of smoke and the sound of fire alarms, who mistake the spirals and scrolls of gray clouds rising from toaster slots, who mistake the timbre of their smoke detectors for the noise of burning timber. Forgive these people who mistake a kitchen fire for the Reichstag fire.

Forgive their lack of evidence, too, since they see the withdrawal of a thousand men from Syria as a giant goose step toward a thousand years of tyranny at home.

Less forgivable is the ignorance they perpetuate. 

Ignorance born of the decision to quote George Orwell without reading him, of reading his works without understanding a word he says. Because to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. Neither a struggle of many nor some nor of one alone. Not your struggle or my struggle, and most certainly not My Struggle, but our struggle to honor history: to enlighten our lives rather than blinding the life of the world with the lights from a billion devices.

The screens on those devices glow with comparisons to firemen who burn books and fascists who burn bodies. The screens burn with the efficiency of electric lights. 

The screens pale before the best of disinfectants, unable to block the sunlight of hope and the radiance of truth.

About Bill Asher

Bill Asher is a writer and retired executive. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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