A tumultuous political atmosphere had harbored long-standing discontent with government, a gloom that was manifested by the rising popularity of radical parties. When war broke out leaders hoped that it would serve to rally support for the government. To an extent they were right—newspapers posted death tolls so citizens could track statistics like the soldiers were baseball players. The nation began to dust off a long-lost sense of nationalistic pride. However, in the end it turned out that the country and its military were not prepared for a war lasting more than about a year.
Following defeat the population suffered a cultural depression, mirrored by their stagnant economy. International sanctions required massive reparations on behalf of the already-starving country. A driving force behind the depression was the widespread confusion as to how they could have possibly lost the war, considering the optimistic news reports.
Yes, the 1920s were a hopeless time for the people of Germany. Yet their newly-rediscovered nationalism would not dissipate. They needed an excuse for their defeat and the ensuing collapse of the economy. After seizing complete power from the Weimar Republic an angry but charismatic leader gave the people the reason for their suffering. The birth of the National Socialist Party legitimized the “stab in the back,” the myth that Germany could not have lost the war without a mass betrayal by the Jewish population. The depressed citizens of Germany swallowed the lie and vilified an entire ethnicity.
Today Donald Trump is polling highest among prospective Republican voters for the party’s presidential nomination. It would be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing.The US has been suffering a cultural depression since the early 2000s. A series of unending wars and political polarization has left the population angry. Rampant hopelessness has bred in citizens a desire for a scapegoat. Donald Trump gained his position atop the Republican Party when he gave them that scapegoat: Hispanic immigrants.
I mean not to compare Trump to Hitler, but to point out the perfect storm of culture-wide misery that historically has led to genocidal actions. Giving a name—“Mexico”—to the country’s problems is a simple tactic of populist distraction. The Trumps of America want that distraction. If the subservient classes are fighting amongst themselves, the miniscule segment of our nation that controls an obscene amount of its wealth will watch from above, laughing and counting their money.
It is unacceptable that a platform of xenophobia should be worthy of a major political party. Supporters of any politician must wonder to themselves, “What exactly is it that draws me to him?”The answer for Trump’s supporters is simply that they believe that the USA can have no faults, which means forces from without our borders are responsible for our economic woes. Partisan politics aside, our country cannot be accepting of the sort of rhetoric purveyed by this man. Silence on the issue is Approval of hate speech.
Matt Parker, Rhinelander
National Voter Registration Day
If you have moved, had a name change or turned 18, you will need to register in order to be able to vote in the February 2016 primary elections. National Voter Registration Day is September 22, 2015. The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods will be sponsoring voter registration events at schools and public locations across Oneida, Vilas and Lincoln Counties encouraging all citizens to vote.
We concentrate our registration drives at locations that reach large numbers of unregistered voters, including high schools and community colleges, local shopping centers and more. While League volunteers are not actually able to register you to vote, we will provide you the tools and information you need to self-register online or through the mail. We also register thousands of voters through our online registration tool at VOTE411.org.
Since 2012, the League has been the single-largest on-the-ground partner of National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). On Tuesday, September 22, 2015, bring your proof of residence documents to school or town with you, so that you can register to vote. For more information on documents you need to register to vote, visit https://myvote.wi.gov/OnlineRegistration/Default.aspx.
Yolan Mistele, President LWVNOW
Writer opposes Nokomis ATV trail
The Town of Nokomis and the Nokomis ATV Club applied for a grant in 2014 from the DNR to put a multi-use trail on the right-of-way on the west side of Hwy L. The proposed trail is going to be for ATV, UTV, snowmobiles, silent sports, hiking, biking, jogging, hunting, trapping, etc. They now ask the landowners after they have started the project for our input. Here it is!
We do not want it on the west side of Hwy L right-of-way.
Their reasons for taking this route are to access Swamp Lake Road and getting to the Bearskin Inn, because the snowmobile clubs do not want them on the Hiawatha Trail making ruts. They already have an approved ATV route to Swamp Lake Road; take Prairie Rapids Road to Hwy Y to Swamp Lake Road or Lee Road to Swamp Lake Road.
This trail is not necessary.
Reason two. They are not yet able to go across the snowmobile bridge by the Bearskin Inn to get to the west side of the river. There may be future plans to get access to the Willow Flowage Scenic Waters area. But there is a clash between snowmobile clubs and ATV clubs for the trail damage due to ATV tires. So it’s a trail to get to the bar and then turn around.
We own property on the west side of Hwy L. The trail will run the length of our property and will negatively affect us and our neighbors. Safety–Who is liable if people do not stop for trail signs and are injured on my property? Noise –Some of my neighbors’ front yards will be crossed very close to their houses, intruding on their privacy. There will be noise 24/7/365 days a year. Trespassing, littering, people doing their business in the woods, pollution, smell.
There are at least three wetland areas that will be turned into mud holes. They plan on a 12-foot-wide trail; how many trees will be lost? Will it increase road noise? Property value – would you want this going through your front yard? Every driveway crossing will be a start and stop point for ATV tires to make ruts or damage blacktop and cause erosion. Will they pay for new blacktop? Snow removal?
I feel the way this grant proposal is being handled is sneaky and fast. I don’t understand why the ATV club is not allowed on the Hiawatha trail because the snowmobile clubs do not want them to rut the trail, but with this proposal they want all clubs on the same multi-use trail. If they used the Hiawatha, the ATV club apply their funds to repair ruts before the start of snowmobile season.
Michael and Pamela Kottke, Tomahawk