Beloved children's book author Dr. Seuss (otherwise known as Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel) has been a vital part of many of our lives since we were born. His 46 children's books have long been given as baby gifts, read in nurseries to sleepy toddlers, and by teachers in pre-schools and kindergartens the world over. But did you know that Geisel also worked as a political cartoonist during WWII? He didn't pull any punches, calling out the media, America's isolationism, and even Adolf Hitler.
Though he focused primarily on children's books after the war, that inclination to make a statement never truly left him, and we can find that evidence throughout his work. In fact, it may be time for us to turn back to our beloved Dr. Seuss now more than ever. Many of the lessons Seuss imparted to us through his kids' books are still meaningful and motivational, but many of them are always surprisingly relevant when looked at through a political lens. In fact, while these simple quotes below definitely remind us of our childhood, they more so seem like they could have been written by a children's book author today, about our own current political climate. It's scary how some things truly stay the same the more things change, but thankfully we've still got our old pal Dr. Seuss to inspire us in the resistance.
1. "I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, But down here at the bottom, we, too, should have rights."
Someone just fly this banner over The White House for the next four years, please and thank you.
2. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not."
Dr. Seuss has gently been asking us to get out there and make a difference our entire lives. And it's definitely a reminder that we need now.
3. “This”, cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour! The time for all Whos who have blood that is red To come to the aid of their country!”, he said. “We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts! So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”
Whew, this one hits hard. When times are dark, scary and overwhelming, it's always important to remember that every single voice counts. When we were kids it meant sticking up for ourselves, telling the truth...now it means pretty much the same thing, from writing essays to protesting to calling our representatives.
4. "Don't give up, I believe in you all. A person's a person, no matter how small."
Of course this call to action works in many ways, but we can't help but think of it as a call to resistance. Because every person counts when they're fighting back against oppression, no matter how small.
5. "It’s high time you were shown. That you really don’t know. All there is to be known."
Oh, yeah. We know quite a few people in government who could definitely benefit from taking this one to heart.
6. "Sometimes you never know the value of something until it becomes a memory."
Are we still talking about how much we miss the Obamas? Because damn, we really miss the Obamas.
7. "And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)"
OK, so we're choosing to look at this one as a hopeful political statement. Will we succeed in the fight, in making sure everyone's rights are secured, and keeping our country as place that we can be proud to call home? If Dr. Seuss is banking on us, how could we not?