Brigitte Gabriel believes that the core reason that so many young people today are confused about their priorities and the values for today’s world is their total lack of knowledge of recent history. This is pitifully true. Is it due to changes in core curriculum in high schools and colleges? Perhaps on some level. But I don’t think that is the main reason. I think it is due to a completely new norm of not focusing on history by so many young leaders and professors.
Lessons from Recent History
The most important time period that should be studied in recent history is the time period of World War II. The causes of the war, the operation of the war, and the allies that helped defeat the Axis powers, should all be studied. That was a war that was absolutely a consensus war in the United States. Nearly every sane person in the West understood that our very way of life, and our lives were both under attack. But the most important thing to note is that it didn’t need to be as costly as it was. The war did not need to be 5.5 years. Victor Davis Hanson explains that the war was as costly as it was due to American isolationism, British appeasement, and Soviet collusion with the Nazi regime. If any one of those three would not have been the norm, the war would have been shorter and much less costly in terms of lives lost.
Isolationism is so attractive today to the young Western mind. After all, why should we be getting involved with wars in Afghanistan, North Korea, and Yugoslavia. Well, the reason is actually quite simple. Either we keep potential powder kegs small or they will blow up in our faces – on the mainland of the United States. It just needs a bit of foresight…. – and some lesson learning from World War II.
History lessons can and should be debated. But the main thing is to simply have that conversation. That is what is lacking from the discourse today. All controversial issues should be discussed within the framework of applying historical lessons to modern-day issues. This will insure an informed and reasonable decision-making process. And, of course, it will make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes.