Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Weeping For the Death of The American Dream

I'm in awe of the people on Pantsuit Nation. They are full of hope even in their despair. Me?

Not so much. I'm usually a pretty up person, but today has been one of the hardest days ever. I woke at 1AM, to discover that the nightmare has only begun. Americans by the millions voted to end the America I served proudly. The America that, although flawed, aspired to greatness. That's done come January.

In 1933, after a farce of an election, the legitimate right wing parties in Germany accepted and invited Adolph Hitler into power. They were sure he could be tamed, that they'd still pull the strings. His supporters were thugs, deplorables in all matter of ways. They created violence that real leaders thought Hitler would rein in.

They were wrong. In the weeks after Hitler became Chancellor, the violence didn't stop. It escalated, and targeted critics, skeptics, dissidents, political leaders who disagreed with the rhetoric of hatred. The Right never got Hitler tamed. By March, the violence had reached epic proportions - and then, one night, 'somebody' set fire to the Reichstag, the seat of legislative power of the German republic. Within days, the government voted itself out of existence. And Germany descended into an abyss that claimed tens of millions of lives: Jews, yes - but also political leaders, professors, teachers, pastors and priests and nuns, entertainers, artists, thinkers, scientists - anybody that Der Fuhrer suspected might dissent to his plans. Or that his flunkies thought might be a problem. Or anybody that had something that one of those deplorables wanted. No one was safe.

And the Right watched, in alarm but silent. And the Left, the apolitical, the common man - all suffered. Even Hitler's supporters suffered - in an ecstasy of violence and hatred, they turned on and destroyed a great culture and heritage. In the name of the Volk, the nation - the angry white men that allowed, accepted and perpetuated the Hitler regime moved violence into a mainstream non-event.

Historians wrestle with this still today. Why did so many Jews stay in a Germany that was so hostile? Why did common people stand by and watch their neighbors disappear? Where were the protests?

And we search. And we see that violence cows everyone if it's violent 'enough.' The definition of enough changes, evolves. 

Trump's followers fed on his rhetoric, fed his hatred which then fed them back. In a vicious cycle, the language of violence permeated everything. The vulgarian con man realized that if he just got more vulgar, more outrageous, the media would feed on that, bringing him ever more haters. And feeding his hatred got into the news, and that was all somehow 'good.'

So now, when I read of liberals who argue that we must recover, defend ourselves, protest - I wonder if they've ever read history. What makes anybody think that a man who glorifies vulgar displays of power, hatred, bigotry and violence will suddenly play by the rules? It doesn't need to be the police who break down the doors and haul dissenters away. The KKK has done it for years. And their man is going to be living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And every town that has a Trump voter in it - much less thousands of them - can start looking around. Because the ugly is coming.

Convince me that the Trump University fraud trial is going to go ahead, be meaningful. Or the rape case. 


People around me, here in Blue State, assure me that nothing will happen. I have an inconvenient memory. And I am afraid. Very, very afraid.

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