I don't normally turn this site over to other writers. In eleven years and 694 pieces, I've only done that twice. I'm about to do it again. This is no ordinary time.
I have never met Leanne Coffman (much as I would like to). She is a successful businesswoman who lives in Indiana. The following essay, which she posted yesterday on her Facebook page, sent me into the clouds. I am reposting it here with her kind permission. It needs to be shared, and read by all.
|My pal, Leanne Coffman|
Dark venting: A Jewish friend wisely pointed out to me that we (I) shouldn't be too cavalier in making comparisons with the era of Hitler to now. This week, another friend, who is a German citizen, and I had a conversation about the type of government/societal conditions that existed during the 1920s-1940s. Both were correct in that we aren't seeing a mass extermination of a race/religion of people and we should not equate anything of the Holocaust to now because that would be quite insensitive of us.
However, I still find these comparisons to the white nationalist/dictators of that era and those are precisely what I am concerned about:
1) Mussolini and Stalin and Hitler, were keen on blaming liberals, immigrants, minorities.
2) They despised any in the press that were honest or against them and thereby prevented them from freely speaking.
3) The charismatic, narcissistic leader who speaks to the population only adds to that image. Mussolini said, “Italy wants peace and quiet, work and calm. I will give these things with love if possible and with force if necessary.” Could I see Trump paraphrasing that? Of course I could, because any dictator wants to rule by force and I do put Trump in the role of dictator-wanna-be, not because he seems to actually be smart enough to want that, but his narcissism seeks to be fed and he's surrounded himself with people who seem to align with white nationalism/rule by force and lies, not diplomacy.
4) Adding to that, the callousness of a significant percent of our population is hideous (and I see that a lot here in the rust belt, where wanting to do for other people or caring about society is met with hatred and disgust and sometimes threats by Trumpists).
5) Additionally-- knowing that a person such as Bannon is at the right hand of Trump, along with others who share similar ugly views, is not comforting to me. Bannon has been quoted as saying that he comes to "destroy" aspects of our government and I truly believe he means it. His brand of racism and hatred have no business shaping our policies or whispering in any US President's ear.
This cannot end well. I honestly do believe that martial law is not far behind. In fact, I could imagine that martial law/ extreme civil unrest is only months away.
I can also imagine people being destroyed for speaking the truth, either professionally or personally, through threats or real actions by this government and/or the group of people who align with Trump.
Fear of reprisal will most certainly be a tool used by this administration if this continues.
There will never be a period in time that compares to the horrors of the Holocaust. But I do believe millions will be harmed here and around the world by this Presidency, from loss of healthcare (which will impact the poor and fragile the most) to the environmental harm that will impact the planet and its people, and loss of freedoms and potential wars/civil unrest that will happen here and globally.
We will never recover from this in our lifetimes.
It takes longer to rebuild than it does to destroy.
Already our global reputation is damaged. (Even if we elect someone else in four years that is markedly different, the world knows there are a significant percentage of Americans who align with at least some of Trump's policies. Racism in our country will not diminish in four years and we've pretty well shown that ugliness to the world.) Add to that the environmental losses that the world and generations will feel, the healthcare changes that will effect at least some American lives and the quality of those lives; the refugees we could be saving, but will perish due to our callousness; the immigrants lives we'll destroy during these four years - those things we won't recover from. No new election will bring back those people.
The America I loved is not dead, but her pulse is weak.
I'll fight for the future as long as I have means to do so, but I'm well aware that neither myself, nor anyone reading this, may fully see the recovery of America.
Thank you, Leanne, That was as good as it gets!
Jessica Graae has a new recording. It bears a listen.
America is dying
When hate has found its home
All proceeds from the download are being donated to the ACLU.