Why Political History Illiteracy is Killing Us (Part 2 of 2)

–When Will We Learn?

In 1950, one of the American film industry’s royal couples was Melvin and Helen Gahagan Douglas. Both of them orchestrated a variety of plays and films that were intellectual masterpieces.


Why Political History Illiteracy is Killing Us (Part 1 of 2)

Both of them were connected to many of the country’s leaders in art, film, politics, and business. In 1950, Helen ran for office with the United States Senate and won. She became the first woman elected to this office rather than filling the seat of a dead husband.

Richard Nixon wanted Helen’s seat. Working with Joe McCarthy, the founder of the country’s communist scare, and Roy Cohn, the man that would go on to become Donald Trump’s political mentor, devised the first major political smear campaign that took her down. First, they gave her a title that was easy to remember and strikingly evil. They christened her, “The Pink Lady.”

For the next year, the Republicans characterized Helen Gahagan Douglas and her husband as elitists that were organizing California’s communists into a force that could bring down our democracy.

The biggest problem is that it worked. For 66 years, the formula for launching political smear campaigns to destroy the competition hasn’t ended democracy yet. But it sure has corrupted it.

In the early 70s as Watergate exploded. I was a kid and could remember asking people about a bumper sticker:

“Don’t blame me, I voted for Helen Gahagan Douglas.”

“Lock her up.” “Lock her up.” “Lock her up.”

Today, we have access to the truth without moving from our desks. And yet, millions continue to say it. Why? Because it feels better to be righteous than informed.

When we accept dishonesty without exploring the truth, we are the biggest part of the problem.

Every single day, I receive posts or see comments from people spewing out theories and truths that have no basis from historical fact, it doesn’t just lower the credibility of the post, it lowers my confidence about our future.

I write this with one intention in mind:

“To save us.”

I don’t have enough information to make a pronouncement here, but I have studied historical politics to become a more responsible citizen.

By studying history and watching the progress, we can better ask the question, who wins why we idly stand by or dismiss ourselves through inarticulate outrage?

The probability is high that much of this is all about oil.

While we have a much more diverse economy, Russia’s health is primarily based on petroleum.

The campaigns against Green Energy is getting funded by someone. Who will benefit from setting the progress back?

We continue to have people tell us, with a straight-face, that Hillary Clinton ran a child-trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor.

Meanwhile, many of the very individuals that are speaking out, get chopped up and run out of an embassy sewer. We rage on about the 1% taking away our future rather than retooling ourselves for the next best way to make meaningful livings at a time when technology is giving us the freedom to whatever we want with our lives.

Study the truth everyone. I’m sending this one out in the spirit that someone will become inspired to study the truth before calling me an idiot or part of a conspiracy.

It was once said, “the truth will set us free, but first, it will piss us off.”

In our quest towards real freedom:

Read something true.


David Harder
David Harder
DAVID founded Inspired Work in 1990, which has helped over 42,000 professionals transform their relationship towards work. Individuals from all walks of life attend Inspired Work’s public programs to launch new careers, new business or to become more successful in their existing role. He views work as a profound opportunity to become more fulfilled, contributive and effective. Mr. Harder’s leadership, employee engagement, executive development and social networking programs are used in a wide variety of organizations including The Walt Disney Company, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Loyola Marymount University, University of Southern California, The United Church of Religious Science, Morgan Stanley, and many others. Inspired Work’s leadership programs, career development and team building programs produce some of the worlds most outstanding satisfaction numbers in any business: 92.6% out of a hundred. David has appeared on many business and human-interest programs including CNN, KTLA News, KFWB News and Business News Network. David’s book, new book, The Workplace Engagement Solution (Career Press) offers an entire “crack-the-code” approach to engagement.