by Rod D. Martin
August 2, 2018

An end of day note before I leave my desk for dinner.

On this day in 1934, Adolf Hitler became Fuhrer of Germany. He did not achieve this by conquest or coup, by revolution or revolt. Rather, he won an election.

And then he used Germany’s existing constitutional institutions against themselves, until justice was twisted into dictatorship, genocide and war.

I learned of Hitler at a very young age. I studied every book in my county library on the topic of World War II before I was 10. I learned many formative things from that study. But none did I learn so much as this:

Politics matters. Politics is indeed a matter of life and death. It is the blessing by which free men and women are allowed to govern themselves. And it is also the tool by which wicked men and women may enslave us and our children.

Ronald Reagan said many times that we are never more than one generation from losing our inheritance of freedom. And history proves him right, on this as on so many other things.

This is an election year. You owe your ancestors, yourself, and your posterity that civic duty of becoming fully informed, involving yourself, advocating for the truth, and of course voting, to defend that which is good and right against those who, with or without malice, would destroy it.

This is that minimum exertion which every citizen in every nation so blessed with liberty owes his community, his history and his future. And if the lesson of Hitler’s election teaches us anything, it teaches us that failing in this duty is at best negligent, dishonorable, and shameful.


On This Day in 1934 originally appeared as a Facebook post by Rod D. Martin.