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Friday, 19 July 2019 22:54

And Then They Came for Me

Written by  Bob Serody

And Then They Came for Me

-- Written By Bob Serody

 

When writing about Trump, the problem journalists currently face is the difficulty of keeping up with his statements and actions that, like a tightening noose, choke off our freedoms and even worse, our vision of the future. The amount of hate that he spews on a daily basis serves not only to divide us, the noise he generates makes it difficult for us to process what’s happening. 

 

Eventually, the news leaves us numb after being bombarded with his hate-filled words, executive actions, and raids on undocumented workers, imprisonment and separation of children from their parents at the border. He has given tax cuts to the wealthy, while at the same time attempting to cut our critical government welfare programs such as healthcare and social security. There is also his denial of man-made climate change, his disruption of alliances with our allies, his breakdown of trade agreements, his pullout from the agreement limiting Iran’s production of nuclear fuel, followed by his threat to go to war with Iran, his fraternization with our enemies, and finally, his effectiveness in shutting down the Republican Party’s duty to debate and pass congressional legislation. 

 

Yes, his record to date is enough to make him the worst American president in history. Unfortunately, the reaction of the Democratic Party has been somewhat lame. It is still musing over whether this man, who is hiding many personal secrets regarding his own financial holdings, while preventing his aides and former staff from testifying under subpoenas from Congress, should be impeached. Nancy Pelosi prefers to take her chances with the presidential elections. The crucial question remaining for the Democrats is whether a progressive or a moderate candidate has a better chance to face Trump in the general elections. Will the party return to the principles of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman, where the people and not the financiers had a voice in shaping the platform? Many staunch supporters of capitalism within the Democratic Party forget that prior to Bill Clinton, socialist policies served to prevent the excessive concentration of wealth we have today. The word, socialism, as in social security, was not a dirty word, and the employer was expected to contribute to the employees’ retirement. The safety net has been loosened since then.

 

There is a movie that documents what is happening to us. I recall the scene in the laboratory where Victor Frankenstein looks at his creation and exclaims, “It’s alive!!!” This analogy to the monster Trump is no exaggeration. He is not only a danger to our country; he is a danger to the world. We have seen how history repeats itself, and I refer to his actions on immigration that have permitted neo-Nazis to come out of the closet. (Right wing parties are also gaining strength in other developed countries.) Those of us who believe our government is strong enough to correct for Trump’s transgressions and racial bias need to confront the fact that all governments eventually fall apart beginning with corruption. For example, when was the last time that war was declared by Congress? The executive branch is not only guilty of overreach; many of its cabinet and staff positions are vacant. Many of Trump’s appointments are accompanied by their own baggage. There were also excellent people who were forced out, fired, or resigned.  In Trump’s first term of office, the total number of terminations and resignations is now 25. The White House could be compared to a boat with many leaks. It discourages our allies from looking to the United States for leadership, and it encourages our potential foes to make a miscalculation that could plunge us into war. This is where we now stand.

 

With this type of record, many of us could fool ourselves into thinking that Trump can’t possibly be reelected. This would be the worst miscalculation by the electorate. 

If Donald Trump is reelected, he will be emboldened to believe he has a free hand in subverting our Constitution by replacing it with a dictatorship. Nobody would be safe. It is important to remind all of us of the words of Martin Niemöller. He was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian born in Lippstadt, Germany, in 1892. Niemöller was an anti-Communist and at first supported Adolf Hitler's rise to power. But when Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion, Niemöller became disillusioned. When he became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler, he was arrested in 1937 and eventually confined in Sachsenhausen and Dachau. After being released in 1945 by the Allies, he continued his career as a clergyman and as a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people. This is the poetic prose he left to remind us of giving absolute power to people like Hitler. 

 

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

 

Democrats, Independents, and Republicans would be advised to remember his words. As unthinkable as this form of dictatorship is, it is definitely possible. What is certain is that time is running out. Do we want to risk the chance that our planet will become uninhabitable, either from runaway climate change or a miscalculation resulting in nuclear warfare? Remember, there was no one left to speak out for me.

_______________________________________________

 Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local, regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA.

 

 

 

Last modified on Friday, 26 July 2019 13:09
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