When you were growing up, did your parents ever ask you this: “OK, if so and so jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?”

The question was usually asked after you’d somehow gotten yourself into trouble, and after you’d already blamed someone else for getting you into that trouble.

Basically they were asking you if you have no control over what you do. And/or if you are just one of the sheep that follows any shepherd.

Of course, shepherds might be an important thing. And good shepherds are a good thing and bad shepherds are a bad thing. And right now in America and the world, there are a lot of bad shepherds.

Over 20 million people died in World War I and another 20 million were wounded. Half of them were soldiers and the other half were civilians.

Simply put, that is a situation run amok and a lesson not learned.

Around 20 years later, they did it again, with the same familiar instigator. Only this time 75 million people died, with 20 million of them being military and the rest civilian.

At the time, the problem was identifiable early on. Hitler was breaking the rules of the Treaty of Versailles, created to prevent Germany from ever again building a military complex.

He broke the law. But the other nations acted passively and didn’t enforce the law until it was too late. And the result was that over 70 million people died, when none had to.

And the question you’ve got to ask is this: Why did people follow Hitler in Germany? He was a murderer, lunatic and a drug addict. And why did they follow Mussolini in Italy, or Ferdinand in Spain or the emperor and military complex in Japan? And not only did they follow them, but they followed them to their death. Was there never a time when they said to themselves, enough is enough?

Of course, you could say that they did so out of loyalty for their country. Well, guess what? Following a leader that destroys your country is not loyalty to your country.

Meanwhile, the Bible says this in Exodus 18:21 — “Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.”

So what does that mean to us today? Essentially it outlines the importance of our elections and instructs us to vote for the right people. And what qualities are we to look for? Elect people who actually obey God, can be trusted and would never take a bribe.

Instead, what have we done? We’ve removed God from everything and trust went with him, which then swung the door wide open for corruption to move in and now it’s pouring in.

I’m a history buff. And I used to be fascinated with WWII and I admire the courage and strategies that it took for the Allies to come out the victor. But I’m appalled at the arrogance, ignorance and greed displayed by the Axis powers, the minority, who drug the rest of the world into a deep black hole.

And yet, more than anything, I’m appalled at the people of their countries who enabled them to do so.

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Kevin Holten is a columnist and executive producer of “Special Cowboy Moments” on RFD-TV.

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