By any standard I recognize, the 2016 presidential election season is hands down the most appalling in my lifetime–and I am not a young man. If it is true (as I believe it is), that the election of Barack Obama, the first President of the United States of African descent, exposed latent racism and bigotry in the United States, then this election has in every respect put the icing on that ugly cake. Moreover, it appears that the specter of a Trump administration has aroused anxiety in children and that in general there is “Trump Anxiety” among adults as well. I don’t much care for either candidate, but it is undeniable that the Republican candidate has engaged in dog-whistling bigotry, sexism and misogyny, general vulgarity, and a combination of grotesque vanity and whining self-pity that really ought to put off anyone with reasonably stable mental health.
So this week, less than two weeks before the general election, seems as good a time as any to post a reading on George Washington’s famous letter on toleration for today’s Weekly Text. Finally, here is a reading comprehension worksheet to accompany it.
As always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.