Sunday, December 31, 2017

To the Vanquished, Manifest Destiny, Regardless of What You Call It, Smells About the Same

I'm glad Lisa Sarenduc put in some good words for NM Public Education Director Christopher Ruszkowski. To many, he looked like the stereotypical hapless politician who had tripped over a verbal land mine of his own making with his "Manifest Destiny" quote.

But Manifest Destiny, regardless of what you call it, is pretty much the human condition, whether you call it "Manifest Destiny", "Gold, Glory, and Gospel", "Lebensraum", "Zionism", "Proletariat of the World, Unite!" or whatever manifestly self-important reason humans gin up to expand their tribal base while stepping over the fallen bodies of others. The major difference between the American and German experiences in large scale expansion at the expense of others is that Germany lost its war.

So while Secretary Ruzkowski may have tripped over his tongue, the rest of us merely hold our own, knowing that many, if not most of us are living on land of questionable title; many of those title deeds were paid for in someone else's blood or Trail of Tears.

We can't turn back the clock on past sins so we must move forward with a greater consideration for all of humanity rather than looking out for the good of our own tribe, whether our tribe is racial, ethnic, religious, or political. Using concepts like Manifest Destiny as a basis for the good things that Mr. Ruzkowski's educational platform might accomplish only poisons the rhetorical well.

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