I've been thinking about Spain today and an acquaintance of mine who I've known for almost 12 years. He happens to own a beautiful family run hotel with a million dollar view perched high in the mountains of southern Spain. He is old enough to remember the Franco era. For those of you who may not know, Francisco Franco was the facsist dictator of Spain who rose to power during the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death. After his death Spain became a democracy. Franco came into power with the help of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. The resistance consisted of numerous factions who, unfortunately, could never unify and many were brutally murdered or put in political prisons. This scenario conjures up many similarities with what recently happened in the last election. I'm continuously surprised at the parallels. 

When people ask what it would take to get a Trump supporter to regret voting him into office, I'm reminded of my friend Pepe who proudly owns a little private museum where he keeps a very impressive collection of Franco memorabilia including a black and white photo of him standing with Franco and a few other important dignitaries. Pepe still misses Franco. He has never regretted being part of that brutal movement to this day. Such is the human brain when it comes to changing our minds. We latch on to a belief or thought and it becomes dominant, often defining who we think we are and how we solve problems. Our brains often sabotage our own well being, over and over again.

Pepe is a man who loves his kids and works hard to provide for his family, but when he invites guests to enter his little shrine for Franco, they are often speechless and unprepared for what they encounter. I was one of those guests once upon a time. There were about 12 of us staying at the hotel. An entire British walking group enjoying their adventures on the surrounding mountain paths and I were escorted to see his little, private museum. None of us knew what to say when we saw it.  We could barely look at one another except behind Pepe's back with raised eyebrows. His pride was evident and it flew in the face of our knowledge of history. It opened my eyes to the limitations of the human brain  to reach logical conclusions. People don't surprise me any more.

Teresa is the author of several books. She explores creative paths to freedom, alternative lifestyles, living without debt and cultural expectations that limit our potential. She is a myth buster by trade. Her most recent book  Have We been Screwed? Trading Freedom fro Fairy Tales can be purchased on Amazon. http://amzn.to/2wMzGC7

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Comment by Teresa Roberts on September 7, 2017 at 4:23pm

My interest in Spain is a long one. I spend part of my winter there every year, usually two to three months. It's kind of like my second home. I've been reading about the history of the Franco era and recognized a number of similarities to this last election cycle. It kind of gave me a jolt.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 7, 2017 at 3:56pm

Interesting anecdote, thanks. <sigh> I guess some people do never learn from history. Others simply revise their memory of who they supported and what terrible things they did in war. I think people learn best from history they personally experienced, then from what their parents and grandparents  recounted to them as children. Most difficult, I'd say, is to learn from history that's not concrete but abstract. History from books and films is, it seems to me, difficult for many to distinguish from vivid fantasy portrayals. On the other hand, films can instruct. I read that a film series helped Germans come to grips with lingering Nazi sympathy still embedded in their culture. Sorry, can't find that link.

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