Could it happen here?
The swift, shocking political events of the past two years got me thinking about a time shortly after World War II when our elders emphatically warned us about the dangers to our democracy posed by the political left. The looming specter of worldwide communism was obvious.
Less obvious, they said, were the alleged "horrors" of the New Deal's social agenda, which included citizen efforts to achieve racial and economic justice.
However, despite their recent blood and resource-draining wars against totalitarian fascism, our elders were much less concerned about the dangers posed by the political right.
Apparently, they were convinced that we were immune to the appeal of fascism which had so recently threatened to engulf much of the world. The watchword was, "It couldn't happen here," not in the bastion of democracy with its revered Constitution and Bill of Rights.
I think they would have been aghast by how quickly those rights were altered by "neo-conservatives" after the 911 disaster. In a few short years, where citizens had once openly and freely exercised rights to freedom of speech and assembly anywhere, there were chain link enclosures with signs reading, "Free Speech Zone." Wasn't America itself the free speech zone?
During the same period, we witnessed blatant government deception that led to seemingly endless wars, the erosion of constitutional protections of an unfettered free press, and of a citizen's freedom from warrantless government searches and surveillance.
At present, I am increasingly distressed by assaults on factuality itself and on the proven merits of unbiased investigation in science, law, journalism, etc. If, for example, assaults on journalistic succeed, we could be left with nothing but state-approved "spin," lies, and propaganda, i.e., utterly worthless "fake news."
Prior to the current administration, we respected exemplary journalism and its importance to democracy. With good reason, we thought investigative journalists were persons with integrity, not the "lowest forms of life" or "enemies of the people." We knew that wasn't true.
We must be wary of those who seek to divide, deceive, confuse and intimidate us. They would destroy our hopes of living out the ideals embodied in our founding documents. Yet it is fear of the left that we so often hear about.
Progressive demonstrators are not a paid "mob." They are citizens seeking government of, for, and by the people — us. They resist control of our government by the ultra-wealthy and an unholy alliance of the military, an acquiescent church and corporate wealth and power.
Their resistance is most important when government power is primarily vested in only one political party, especially when its leader co-opts oversight, and quashes criticism and opposition. We now have all three branches of our government controlled by a single party and its leader, a dishonest, manipulative, egomaniacal, cruel, jingoistic, racist, misogynist.
Yes, it could happen here. It's up to us.
Get informed and involved. Vote.