Tomorrow the World

This movie was made when I was four years old, and the world was still reeling from the effects of Hitler’s “Today, Germany. Tomorrow the World.”
As I putter around my apartment on this lazy, snow-showery afternoon, I put on the Turner Classic Movie channel for distraction.
Tomorrow the World.
A young boy who has grown up under the Nazi regime and is fully indoctrinated by the relentless propaganda is sent to the United States to live with his uncle. A firm believer in the rule of the Reich, the boy upsets his family and community as his uncle attempts to control and teach him the downfalls of bigotry and hatred.
I can’t help draw a parallel between the young Nazi-indoctrinated boy and so many of the anti-liberal-American fundamentalists. Same attitudes, same rigidity, same refusal to see any side but their own, same naive willingness to believe the simplistic propaganda they’ve been fed by their leader. The American community in which the boy moves into at first welcomes him with humor and tolerance. But his mean-spiritedness and manipulativeness make that welcome wear thin.
Of course, back in the mid-1940s, people like that boy were far outnumbered by Americans who truly believed in the spirit of the American Bill of Rights — believed that it was important to keep America as a country that welcomed all nationalities and religions.
Also, of course, except for one Chinese boy, there were no minorities in that 1944 movies. Times have, thankfully, changed in that aspect of American inclusion. But the basic idea of that movie is still important.
I have been told by neocons and fundamentalists to stick to facts and not make references to movies and novels as examples of what is true, because those things are fiction and not fact. I don’t agree. For truth to reach our heads, it often has to reach our hearts first. Art aims truths to the heart, the guts — insinuates new ideas into minds atrophied from missed use, blind beliefs.
“The Nazis are afraid of ideas,” Fredercik March states to the boy. Neocons and fundamentalists are afraid of ideas.
“Today, America,” they believe. “Tomorrow the world.”
Are we scared enough yet?