There’s a wonderful word among our Jewish friends that refers to someone that would give you the shirt off their back. Or drive you to an abyss even if it was way out of their way. That person is a mensch. It basically means not a saint, but a stand-up kind of guy.
Then there are the ubermensch, brought to us by wacky funster Friedrich Nietzsche (as in Nietzsche is Peachy! – little known slogan for his overlooked run for Kiwanis Treasurer in 1892). An ubermensch is beyond human, above human- “better than you” is the shorthand.
Whether Nietzsche intended it or not, the Ubermensch concept was seized upon by white supremacists and eugenics advocates. Some pretty awful things were based upon this concept in the 1930s. That’s right, I’m talking about Action Comics and that Superman guy. I think there was some other stuff too, but the specifics evade me at the moment.
We’ve come to expect a high degree of invulnerability and strength from our leaders that’s not to be found among real people. But if you actually run across someone that has those qualities to the degree of which we demand, is superdickery.com not the inevitable result? To be better than human is to be inhuman. I can’t speak for all of you, but I can use all the empathy I can get.
I feel this to be a particularly timely message especially to my American friends as we have an election coming up soon. You may have heard something about it in the news. Now I’m not saying either ticket or party represents this:
But I do believe there is a ticket that represents this:
I’m begging you, my fellow humanists, let’s not let 2016 be the Rise of the Supermen. Let’s make this the Year of the Mensch.