Now what? Will we soon be witnessing criminal charges and trials? Will he challenge the election’s results two years from now? Will he try to run four years from now? Let’s hope, in the last case, that the GOP gets its act together sufficiently enough to defeat him in the primaries. Too many people, including him, seem to assume that if he runs, he’ll get the nomination. While they are probably right, this isn’t a conclusion cast in stone. The primary ballot process is still secret so no one needs to worry that, if he loses in a certain place, they will be blamed. It’s not like Congress or legislatures where members have to stand up and be counted publicly. Party members will have a new chance to redeem themselves. The question is, will enough have seen the light to change their allegiance?

At the same time, we still have to accept the fact that he still has a lot of staunch supporters who believe every lie he tells and would give their all for him. Our best bet is still finding a way to assure that he would have to be running his campaign from a jail cell with a sentence long enough to keep him there well past election date and the start of the term for that office. Wouldn’t the law profs have fun with questions of this kind that would be posed by such events?

It’s going to be fun to see states vie with each other to be the first in line to charge him with criminal violations. As things stand now, I suspect New York would win the race as they already have the process well underway. I wonder if Florida would be next? Or New Jersey? Places where he has property and, maybe unpaid bills and workers still waiting to be paid for services rendered. I wonder if legally, he can use the recently acquired campaign donations to pay his legal debts? I’m sure he’s going to try. Where do his adult children who are in business with him fit into the equation?

Enough of this kind of speculation. Let’s shift gears to address the question of what it says about our country that so many believe his lies and follow him so blindly? If we are to truly avoid a repeat of this kind of situation, what steps are necessary to prevent it? I suspect it is a result of a failure of so much of our educational system.

I notice that much of our current troubles originate in the South though it is a long way from being their exclusive fault. It makes me wonder, that even if we keep the responsibility for education up to the individual states, shouldn’t there be a fixed set of national standards that all states must meet.

I would make it mandatory that all high schools must require at least a semester of civics, or political science for graduation and a year of U.S. history. I say a year, because every semester course I’ve had never managed to get beyond 1900 in a semester. With 70 years more of history since then, it would really take two years to cover the whole of it, with an additional semester every 50 years needed to cover the whole.

I realize not every school is lucky enough to have had Oscar Gladish for a U.S. history and civics teacher in high school. He had studied law under Wayne Morse and in his class examined the reasoning for every important Supreme Court case ruling such as Dred Scott. He managed to amplify the textbook and make the subject fascinating.

Would that every high school student could be so fortunate.

With all the lies we’ve had to deal with lately, we need to reexamine our school’s curriculum to better prepare graduates to make better judgments about evaluating the information they are fed. To do less is to threaten our future.

Lenna Harding lived her first 20 and past 43 years in Pullman. A longtime League of Women Voters member, she served on the Gladish Community and Cultural Center board. Reach her at lj1105harding@gmail.com.

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