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Pope Francis Warns That Recent Populism Mirrors Rise Of 1930s Germany

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The 2016 election proved that America was primed for a populist uprising. When Donald Trump, the consummate “outsider,” announced his candidacy, many among the working class finally found someone that understood could give a voice back to the “silent majority.” It was as much a victory of populism as it was for Donald Trump.

In a recent interview with El País, Pope Francis warned that the growing trend of “savior” populism throughout Europe could mirror that of 1930s Germany.

Old Pope
CREDIT: Republic of Korea / FLICKR

In his interview with El País, the Pope pointed out that he has no problem with populism when the people are the “protagonists,” but he warned of another form of populism that occurs when a “savior” comes along, saying this is what happened with Hitler’s rise in Germany.

…[A]fter the crisis of 1930, Germany is broken, it needs to get up, to find its identity, it needs a leader, someone capable of restoring its character, and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler who says: “I can, I can.” And Germans vote for Hitler. Hitler didn’t steal power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people.

He added:

That is the risk. In times of crisis we lack judgment, and that is a constant reference for me. Let’s look for a savior who gives us back our identity and let us defend ourselves with walls, barbed-wire, whatever, from other people who may rob us of our identity. And that is a very serious thing.

When the subject of Donald Trump was raised, the Pope was careful to keep an open mind.

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CREDIT: Gage Skidmore/FLICKR

I think that we must wait and see. I don’t like to get ahead of myself, nor to judge people prematurely. We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will form an opinion. But being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite unwise.

The Pope makes a good case for why we cannot expect to find solutions to today’s problems if we live irrationally. In this case, it’s irrational to assume the worst, and it’s also irrational to allow a “savior” to get a free pass just because they say the things we want to hear. The entire interview is worth a read.


[H/T] El País: Pope Francis: “The danger is that in times of crisis we look for a savior”


READ: Arturo Carmona Wants To Bring More Outsider Change To Washington

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After Becoming The First Undocumented Student At Her School To Get Her Ph.D., She's Concerned About DACA's Future

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After Becoming The First Undocumented Student At Her School To Get Her Ph.D., She’s Concerned About DACA’s Future

Credit: Yuriana Aguilar / Facebook

As the first undocumented student to receive her Ph.D. from the University of California, Merced, Yuriana Aguilar is working hard to advance research on cardiovascular disease. But her success did not come easily. From struggling to pay for her undergrad tuition without DACA, to then having the amazing opportunity of completing her Ph.D. with the benefits of DACA, Yuriana Aguilar has been on both sides of this U.S. policy. But the question is, what’s going to happen next?

Here is Yuriana’s story and what she has to say to those whose lives also depend on DACA.

Yuriana Aguilar comes from a very humble background. Her parents only made it to second and sixth grade, but they never doubted her ability to excel in higher education.

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CREDIT: SASHA KHOKHA / KQED

“Sometimes I would get very frustrated, and they would say, ‘Tú eres muy inteligente, you can do it,'” Aguilar said. “And I would be like, okay, I don’t need that, but I think I did.”

Her parents made their children’s education a priority. “My parents figured out that education was the key,” Aguilar told mitú.

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CREDIT: SASHA KHOKHA / KQED

“With some families, if they have a truck or if they have a little house, even if their kids are barely making it out of high school, they think they’ve made it. And maybe they have, because in Mexico life is a lot harder,” Aguilar explained. “But somehow my parents knew that education was the key, and they were right.”

During her first four years in college, Aguilar was turned away from scholarships and other financial aid programs because DACA didn’t exist until 2012.

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CREDIT: YURIANA AGUILAR / FACEBOOK

“One of the frustrations was trying to show the type of status I had,” she explained to mitú.

“When I was getting my Bachelors from 2007 to 2011, I could see a lot of people wanted to help me, they wanted me to have access to different opportunities and different scholarships, but [the organizations] would just tell me, ‘We can’t help you.'” Aguilar dealt with this for years. “It was very discouraging that they didn’t want to look at any of my qualifications.”

After getting her bachelor’s degree, she thought she had to end her education to give her siblings a chance to go to college.

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CREDIT: YURIANA AGUILAR / FACEBOOK

“I just couldn’t continue with school because my parents would be even more burdened. So I said, I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to get my Ph.D.”

“I was looking at the options and one of the options was being able to work for the university and the university would cover graduate school. But my [undocumented status] wasn’t going to work that way because I didn’t have a work permit, so I was going to have to pay for it. And I wasn’t going to be able to do that.”

But everything changed once DACA was implemented.

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CREDIT: YURIANA AGUILAR

“Now with DACA, there are more students coming through the education pipeline. It’s a huge difference. The reason I could complete graduate school and get my Ph.D. was DACA.”

Post-graduate Aguilar continues to research cardiovascular disease in Chicago and experts say she could help save lives.

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Credit: Yuriana Aguilar / Facebook

Christy Snyder, a member of the graduate division, explained: “The goal of Aguilar’s research is to better understand the molecular mechanisms that generate TWAs — knowledge that could eventually help to predict the likelihood of sudden cardiac death much earlier and allow those at high risk to get treatment.”

But now Aguilar’s concern is: what’s going to happen to DACA?

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CREDIT: SASHA KHOKHA / KQED

“My mom and dad both say que no me preocupe, to not worry. But a part of me is very concerned and very worried, because the president has spoken very openly about canceling DACA. So I’m very worried, but I mean, we just have to keep going… even if we’re not very sure.”

“When I was working on my bachelor’s and then my Ph.D., I wasn’t even sure if they were going to let me work as a scientist in the future,” Aguilar said. “But you just have to keep going.”

We asked Aguilar what advice she would give to those whose education, careers, and lives also depend on DACA, and she said she wants people to remain hopeful.

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CREDIT: YURIANA AGUILAR / FACEBOOK

“I would just tell them what I tell myself every day: we’ll see what happens,” she told mitú.

“And whatever happens, we’ve been on the other side. On the other side when they didn’t help us, when there was no support, there were no work permits. So I think if we go back to that side, unfortunately it will be very sad because we’ve tasted what it’s like to be legal,” Aguilar said. “And I don’t know what would happen in terms of a job. Well, I do know what would happen. Everybody’s hands would be tied again.”

“People have told me that this country wants good immigration. So they think we’re going to get something better than DACA. We’ve taken a step back, and I just hope that DACA does not go back as well. Hopefully this president doesn’t keep his promises on that.”


READ: Former Presidential Candidate Tells Educated Dreamer To Go To Another Country

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